Have you ever been asked to lead something in the church and thought “What? Me? No way!!!”
The thought of being a leader can raise a number of feelings. Here a few that I have heard:
- It’s too much responsibility. What if I make a bad decision? I don’t want to have to deal with the consequences. What if I have to weigh in on a difficult situation? What if I don’t know what to do? I don’t want to know about the dark underbelly of the church.
- It would be too hard. I don’t think I’m leader material. I don’t like to be up front or in charge.
- I don’t think I’m called to be a leader. God never told me that I was to be a leader.
- I’ve never been a leader before, so I can’t be one. I don’t know what to do!
- I’m too shy, too quiet. I don’t like to speak up, and I certainly don’t want to be up in front of a crowd. I hate public speaking.
- I don’t know the Bible well enough.
Have you heard these before? Maybe you have heard them coming out of your mouth! Are there other reasons that you have heard, or that you have used, to suggest that a person shouldn’t be a leader?
And most importantly of all, should these concerns invalidate a person from becoming a leader in the church?
As we continue our series through 1st Timothy, we have arrived at chapter 3, and it is all about leaders. Who should be a leader? How should they become a leader? At Faith Church we have wrestled with these questions numerous times. In 2014 we updated our approach to leadership, and we said we made these changes based on biblical principles. For those of you a part of Faith Church, read what Paul says to Timothy, and then answer: how well do you think we did?
Check out 1 Timothy 3. Read the selection, then continue reading below.
Paul gives Timothy quite a long list of qualifications for leaders, doesn’t he? One of my concerns as I prepare this sermon is that at Faith Church we currently have 9 people on our Leadership Team. Maybe the rest of the church will hear the topic and think “Oh, this sermon is just for those 9 people on the Leadership Team. So I don’t have to listen in.” If you’re thinking something like that, I encourage you to still listen in. Here’s why:
This sermon is mostly for those who are not leaders yet. It is for the rest of the congregation, those who might become leaders, and even those who won’t. Why? Because those 9 current leaders have already achieved these qualities in large measure or else there is no way they could have been considered for our Leadership Team. Our current leaders can hear these words from Paul as an important reminder, for sure. But it is best for all the rest of us to see Paul as speaking primarily to us. Everyone can and should see these qualities as describing how a disciple of Jesus should live. Therefore, Paul’s words are for all of us. Let’s all pay close attention to the life that Paul describes here. Let’s all ask God to speak to us through his word, as perhaps there is something in these descriptions of overseers and deacons that we need to hear.