[If it looks like a Christian Leader, talks like a buy cialis tabs Christian Leader, wants to be known as a Christian Leader it must be a Christian Leader, right?]
We are at a place in the development of our little church where we need to begin to identify spiritual leaders. Not something that we take lightly.
In many ways our future health and preservation depends upon how we identify, develop, and grow spiritual leaders. How do you or does your Church identify spiritual leaders? I know you point towards the 2 Timothy passage regarding what spiritual leaders are supposed to look like, that’s good. My experience however has been that churches pick their spiritual leaders by default; “Hey, we’ve asked 10 people. They all said no so we really need you to serve as an elder in our church.” Funny I don’t see this in Timothy, Romans, Acts or actually in any of the Bible where they are lead to identify spiritual leaders. James gives us some good instructions here in chapter 3 on what to and not to look for in selecting spiritual leaders:
He’s Good at Talkin’ 3:1-5a [Take a closer listen to the details 3:5b-12]
James starts this portion of his letter off warning the church about desiring to be a spiritual leader merely for positional significance. We all like to be known as someone important or to be seen as holding an important position. James cautions, “Not many of you should be teachers.” Why? because they will be held to a greater judgment [a forensic word]. The role of teacher is not merely a positional role but a stewardship role- stewardship of word and life which God will use to example spiritual growth to others; This calling gives God permission to use any means necessary in our lives to teach those under our care and we will be held for the stewardship of how we respond in word and deed. James gives us negative examples of leaders who talked themselves up as leaders but proved they were unable to bridle their tongues to stewardship such a calling and therefore are disqualified from being teachers. Indeed a strong warning to us who claim to be teacher/leaders!
He’s Good at Promotin’ 3:14,16 [Take a closer look at the product 3:14-16]
There are those among us who are great at promoting a cause, closing a deal, moving an audience- even with spiritual undertones. James points to these skilled leaders next; He points us to look beyond the surface, or the closed deal to discerning the end product. The end product of this type of leadership is seen here as self- promoting, self indulgence, self-stroking, self boasting! Spiritual leadership is a stewardship of service. The greater servant is the greater leader in God’s leadership economy. To be driven by self promotion before humble serving is a red flag to choosing a spiritual leader according to James. Some of you are thinking that I am being to harsh or strict in laying out standards for leadership like this… well James calls this type of ‘leading’ as straight up demonic! Yeah, read it, James 3:16-19.
The James Model of Spiritual Leadership 3:13,17,18
Identify those whose lives don’t make “mini-me’s” but those who sow seeds of peace, righteous living, and bring a harvest of spiritual health of others. This is going to mean living with a community of people for an extended period of time- long enough to identify who is doing this in the normal part of building godly relationships. This is going to mean helping these potential leaders understand the heart of the call of eldership/teacher is a call to be a greater servant. May God grant us spiritual insight to see beyond the self-hype to the heart that is planting and producing righteous living and peaceable fruit for the glory of God alone!
Spiritual wisdom lived out in good conduct and peaceable works = Spiritual Leader!