Thursday, January 30, 2020

Leaders in the Local Church Essay Example for Free

Leaders in the Local Church Essay Lay leaders can simply be defined as persons chosen from the congregation by ordained leaders to serve as helpers performing such duties as may be delegated or assigned to them in accordance to their church ordinances. More and more ministers are finding themselves weighed down by the demands of the ministry. They are thus unable to be effective in meeting the changing needs of their flock. This has created a need to have different other people taking off some of the less sensitive responsibilities from the ordained clergies’ hands. The concept of lay leadership is however not just a modern day phenomenon; it is deeply rooted in the Bible. Deuteronomy 1:9-13 gives an account in which Moses appoints leaders to take off from him some of the responsibilities that were threatening to overwhelm him. Similarly in the book of 1 kings 19:19, Elijah acquires an attendant in the person of Elisha to serve as a helper in his duties as a prophet. The Apostle Paul also surrounded himself with spiritual people like Timothy and Titus to mention a few to whom he delegated different duties in his mission to preach the good news to the gentiles. The clearest illustration of the significance of lay leadership is however to be found in the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 6 form verse 1 onwards. In this account, the Apostles as well as the entire group found it wise to appoint seven Godly men to take over responsibilities that were important but did not warrant the attention of the Apostles. In this paper, different lessons will be gleaned from the above scriptures and many others to help in the understanding of the issue at hand. Church leaders are different from either organizational or political leaders and only leaders who seek Gods grace and lead by the grace of the Almighty will be able to maintain the Satan inflicted jolts that characterize today’s ministry of the word of God. 1 The church is undergoing enormous statistical growth but the same is not being experienced in discipleship. Leadership of the church requires individuals who are able to rise above their individual capacities and seek Gods guidance. Shallow leadership is the reason why the church today is struggling to meet the seemingly insurmountable challenges. 2 The church needs godly leaders who are able to fully submit to Jesus Christ and be in complete communion with the Creator. Leaders, who can be disciple makers, honor God and be able to fulfill His Will. There are times when Gods reassuring gift in leadership is obviated making the leadership journey long, arduous, bumpy and jerky akin to rides across rocky mountains. At times the leadership might seem long, dry and desolate often punctuated with seasons when we feel that our leadership is devoid of Gods assistance. It is these experiences that call for insistence on Gods reassuring grace and guidance. Developing leadership in the church is no mean treat as it not only requires leaders to develop a strong rapport with the creator for their own souls but also for the souls of the followers of Christ. God’s spirit reassures, inspires, instructs and guides leaders in the Church as they take that long arduous journey to sainthood and spiritual maturity as our creator commanded. However, it is not easy to develop leaders in the church without succinctly analyzing the philosophy of spiritual leadership. Through, spiritual instruction, God used criticism of leadership or trials to stimulate spiritual revival or to inspire fresh visionary leadership for the future ministry of the word of God. The Biblical desert trek under the leadership of Moses was such an instance when God used the desolate desert to create new frontiers in leadership. By working through the hands of servant leaders, a new vision is created to circumvent, surmount or wade through the challenges required in developing a spiritual oversight and even in building new teams in the church. 1 ii. Importance of Leadership Development Strategies for Training Leaders in the Local Church. Training leaders in the church is an ongoing process that cannot be done haphazardly. It requires a leadership development strategy that helps in identifying, recruiting and training potential lay leaders in any church. The health, the growth and the success of any church or its local branches is solely dependent on the availability of effective and efficient church leadership program that not only inspires the congregation to spiritual; maturity but also discovers and builds the innate potentials of leadership and service in others. Consistency in training of lay leaders may well determine the level of growth and spiritual well being of entire churches. Humanistic philosophies permeate from our culture and these in turn affect the strategies we use in developing leadership in churches. These humanistic philosophies spread a desire that we should be whoever we want to be. Contrarily, God disdains such attempts and instead calls upon humanity to be as his only begotten Son Christ was. This means that good leadership is not a result of a personal ambition but a Godly desire that can only be achieved when leaders are trained to act as our Creator instructed us to act. That is why good leaders can only be shepherds but not saviors; they can only be leaders but not lords and guides to the congregation but not gods of the people of God. 1 In the book of Acts of the Apostles chapter 6, the process of choosing the seven men was done prayerfully and the chosen men were dependable men filled with the spirit. It is important therefore that the process follow the biblical example. Otherwise, when leadership strategies in the church deviate from the Gods commands and instructions on good leadership and instead focus on improving on human efforts alone, spiritual leaders achieve positions of worldly power but not the grace of God. Strategies for leadership should only train leaders to carry out their spiritual obligations as a reflection of what Christ wanted. It is testament today guidelines for church leadership are being drawn from secular platforms without a succinct review of the Christian authoritative text for standard protocols for servant leadership. Because of this reason church leaders are being removed from a worldly instituted office and recycled in various capacities that are only temporary in nature while ideally spiritual leaders are lifetime learners who are obligated by the scriptures to offer lifetime guidance to the flock. It is only by the grace of the Lord that leaders can be able to learn and consequently act as leaders with a spiritual disposition that is created only by the Holy Spirit. In this stride, spiritual leaders should be confident in God but not exhibit self confidence, they should not only know men but also know God. In making decisions they should seek Gods will and not solely rely on their own human capability in making decisions. In Spiritual leadership by J. Oswald Sanders, spiritual leaders should be able to humble in leadership and not be overly ambitious, they should never seek personal rewards but they should love God and other with all their powers. One who enjoys command, treasures independent leadership and creates his own methods of leadership can only be said to be driven by fleshly ambitions. On the other hand, Godly leaders delight in their obedience to God and follow His instructions while shunning the lusts of the flesh. They do not treasure independence in leadership but tend to depend in God and follow His examples.

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