Sunday, August 28, 2011

Qualification Checklists for Church Leadership

by Rev. James Wong

There are four checklists of qualifications for church leadership found in the New Testament. The qualifications are mostly concerned with the character of the person rather than his skill, techniques or spiritual gifts. Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Here are the checklists:

1. Deacons. Deacon means “one who serves.” When the early church grew in numbers, the church elected seven men to serve in leadership based on this qualification: “Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. …” (Acts 6:3).

2. Overseer. An overseer is a man who oversees a local congregation. The term ‘elder’ and ‘overseer’ are often used interchangeably. 1 Tim 3:2-7 says, “The overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.”

3. Deacons. 1 Tim 3:8-13 says, “8 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

4. Elders and overseers. 1 Titus 1:6-9 says, 6 “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless — not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

Six Commitments for Leadership

“If God has given you leadership ability, take the

responsibility seriously.” ~Rom 12:8

1. Commit To Maintain Integrity

“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” ~2 Peter 3:14 (NIV)

2. Commit to forgive those who hurt you

14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” ~Heb 12:14-15 (NIV)

13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” ~Col 3:13-14 (NIV)

3. Commit to relax and trust God.

10 “for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” ~Heb 4:10-11 (NIV)

4. Commit to be an encourager

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” ~Rom 14:19 (NIV)

5. Commit to be a peace maker

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. ~Eph 4:3 (NIV)

6. Commit to continuous growth

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

Pastors & Leaders

"I asked God" Poem

Being Generous When You're Stretched Thin

Global Leadership Summit 2011

God & the Spider

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Important Characteristics of a Leader (2)

by Rev. James Wong

There are distinctive characteristics for church leadership. Last week we look at three fundamental principles of church leadership:

1. A leader must first of all be a follower of Jesus Christ.

2. A leader’s motive is to serve and give like Jesus did.

3. A leader must have a submissive spirit.

This week we look at the following additional characteristics for church leadership.

4. A leader must be obedient to God. This is how Hebrews 5:8 speaks about the obedience of Jesus Christ, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” The ultimate purpose of Christian leadership is to serve God, therefore the leader must be obedient to the call and directives given by God. Christ was obedient to God’s will. However, it is so easy to claim that one is obedient to God but has no accommodation for the institutionalized structure of the church. Obedience to God is just one side of the coin.

5. A leader must also learn to be obedient to those in higher authority. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” A leader must be obedient to God and those above him before he expects the obedience of those who work under him.

6. A leader must be an example to others in his lifestyle. Paul talked about the way he lived his life in Acts 20:33-35, “I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" The words of a leader must be supported by his life. Leadership by example is more effective than mere speeches. He must not only preach his sermon but live his sermon.

For example, in many instances in the Bible Jesus taught about forgiveness and he died praying for the forgiveness of his persecutor (Luke 23:34). He did not only teach the truth of forgiveness but lived it. He set a clear example of what it means to forgive.

Blessed Are The Meek

Matthew 5:1-12

Rev. Johnny Wong

1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~ Matthew 5:1-12

1) Meekness is being like Christ

28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30

2) Esteems others better than himself

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4

3) Encourages with his words

1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. ~ Galatians 6:1-2

4) Keeps no record of wrongs

12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:12-13