Success creates problems. That’s what Paul was feeling as he wrote this letter to his protégé, Timothy. In spite of opposition and hardships, Paul’s missionary journeys were incredibly successful. Churches were popping up all over the place. But the problem was, who was going to lead them?
Anyone who’s been part of a growing organisation knows that good leadership is essential. Jesus understood this and made hands-on leadership training on one of His highest priorities (Luke 6:12-16; 19:1-6;10:1-17). Now Paul faced the same challenge; if his church-planting success was to last beyond his lifetime, he had to find a new generation of leaders. The question was, how?
Paul started with ‘job descriptions’ that set high standards (1 Timothy 3:2-13). And whether you think of yourself as a leader in your church or not, these are good goals to work on. Notice that the lists balance personal traits, family issues and a good outside reputation. A Christian leader is a well-rounded person, not just a good talker.
Sometimes today people act as if the leaders are the most important part of the church. In so doing, they lose sight of a more important principle. The church doesn’t belong to its leaders, it belongs to God (1 Timothy 3:15). He’s the boss. Leaders serve Him by serving others. Anyone who aspires to leadership in the church must add one more quality to list: HUMILITY.
But the fact remains that if the church is going to grow, quality leadership is the biggest need. That doesn’t mean you need to be the world’s greatest preacher or church-planter. The church needs solid leadership at every level- Sunday School teachers, outreach programme leaders, home group leaders and more. If that’s so, perhaps you should begin developing your leadership qualities right away. God may be calling you soon.
-Adapted Kuniholm’s Essential 100
“Lord, I want to grow in my walk with You. I’m ready to be shaped by Your Word today.”