Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Right Thinking On Christian Leadership (1)

This is the second week of our nomination of candidates for election and the nomination will end on the 26 July 2009, to be followed by election in August. These few weeks I will share with you thoughts about Christian leadership.

1. Christian leadership is different from leadership in general.
We cannot be an efficient leader without reading books on leadership! However, church leadership must be based on the principles of the Bible which is the basis of our faith and practice.

For example, leadership in the corporate world is driven by profit and
efficiency in achieving their vision. Whereas in the church, it is driven by the needs of the congregation and the efficiency in advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On this level, there is no similarity between the two. To function
efficiently in the church we must have a correct understanding of Christian leadership which may require us to unlearn our old mindset.

The disciples fought over position and this was what Jesus said in Matthew 20:25-28 (NLT), "You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." Church leadership must be understood as servant leadership.

2. The basis of leadership in the church– to serve the needs of the congregation and to advance the gospel. The apostles were the leaders of the early church. In Act 6 we were told that the church grew and the apostles needed people to help them so that they can give their attention to “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). The seven brothers who were “full of the spirit and wisdom” were chosen and they were known as ‘deacons’ which means ‘servants’ in the Greek language. We call them ‘church council members’ today. They were to do one thing, which was, to manage the daily food program to take care of the poor. The offerings collected were used to help run the church (which included taking care of the apostles) and also help members who were in need (See Acts 2:44-45).

Church leadership here is to be understood as servants to serve the needs of the congregation and to ensure the advancement of the gospel. Today, the fundamental function of church leadership is unchanged, that is, to ensure that the offerings we have collected is for the benefits of the church members and the advancement of the Gospel of Christ. In this way God is honored.

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