Jesus entrusted His global movement into the hands of ordinary men and women who demonstrated faith, courage and perseverance, Christians look for leaders who can preach impressively, who know a lot and have been to seminaries and bible college.
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28)
We’ve been looking at this theme of “Jesus is not a Christian”
I’ve been deliberately provocative because I wanted to highlight how modern day “churchianity” (As I call it) is often opposed to the ways of Jesus. In this last article we look at the area of leadership. I hear lots of Christians and churches talking about wanting to experience what it was like for the church in the book of Acts and the New Testament. But I wonder how we would actually all cope if our experience was actually like what happened in the book of Acts?
When I look at the leaders in Acts and the New Testament I wonder whether they would even get a look in at most modern day churches. Can you imagine what would happen if any of the 12 disciples got a job as a leader of a church today? There would be fireworks!!
But that is exactly what is needed today. Instead of leaders who tickle our ears and flatter our self indulgence and disobedience (2 Timothy 4) we need leaders who will model a radical lifestyle of discipleship and prepare our feet for action!
Samuel went to anoint the new King of Israel and God had this message for him,
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
I want to suggest that churchianity does not always see things the same way as God sees them. Churches hire leaders in the same way companies hire managers. The problem with this is that it’s actually the Holy Spirit who appoints and calls leaders in the church of Jesus Christ – not committees and votes. In my experience Churchianity tends to favour leaders that will not rock the boat and who will preserve and promote their interests. Anyone who is not like this doesn’t get a look in. The problem with this is that these leaders then train their flocks to become disciples of their church culture and traditions rather than radical disciples of Jesus who hear and obey the true shepherd of the sheep.
Here is what Paul said to Timothy to encourage him as a leader,
“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom. Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favourable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the good news, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” (2 Timothy 4:1-6)
Leaders preach and teach God’s word whether the time is favourable or not.
Leaders patiently correct, rebuke and encourage their people.
Leaders keep a clear head in every situation.
Leaders are not afraid to suffer for the Lord.
Leaders tell others the good news.
Leaders finish the work God has called them to do
To read more about how to train and develope leaders in the harvest check out my book “Accidental Apostle”