On Leadership

From Dave Black Online (10/21/09):

Okay, okay, I’ve been writing a lot these days about leadership in the church, and you’ll probably quit reading when I say I’m going to offer my thoughts on what a good leader looks like. But here goes anyhoo:

1) Leaders should be enablers. Their task is to equip and empower others for works of service (Eph. 4:11). Their ministry does not center around themselves or their pulpits.

2) Leaders should be examples. That is the clear meaning of Heb. 13:7 and (I am certain) of Heb. 13:17 as well. They realize that Christian education is essentially likeness education (Luke 6:40). Like father like son, like pulpit like pew.

3) Leaders should be able to teach. In Ethiopia, this function is frequently delegated to an “evangelist” who is brought in from the outside. The New Testament teaches that all elders are local, and that each of them must be able to teach. Again, teaching is done not only by words. But regular instruction in the Word of God remains one of the most fundamental essentials of Christian leadership. (P.S. Teaching doesn’t necessarily mean a well-crafted 30 minute homily. Why not step aside from the sacred desk and allow some interaction as you teach, or at least a Q & A session?)

4) Leaders should be able to oversee and serve. This means they need to genuinely care for others. It begins with postnatal care. New believers must be helped to read the Bible. They must be given opportunities to discover their spiritual gifts. They must become a living part of the Body, not just a number or pew sitter. They need to be given chances to share differences and doubts. Good leadership is never threatened by intelligent followership.

My heart is to help the Ethiopian church to raise up such leaders in their congregations. See how totally pathetic I am. I just can’t get missions off my mind.

(Material from Dave Black Online is used by permission of Dr. David Alan Black, who is the author of The Jesus Paradigm and the forthcoming Christian Archy, amongst many others.)