My granddaughter was only three years old, when I heard her speaking to her older brother.  “I’m the boss,” she yelled in a matter-of-fact voice.  “You sit down right now and be quiet.”

“Okay,” he said, obediently.

For some unknown reason, even though, he is a fiesty young man and stood head and shoulders taller than his younger sister, he didn’t argue with her.    This is an example of leadership.  It isn’t good leadership; but it is leadership.  Leadership is an interesting commodity.

What makes a leader is the subject of books and studies and discussion.  Passage, after passage, in the Bible teaches leadership.  One of the most interesting comes from Acts 6:1-7.

Acts 6:3 tells us:  So, brothers and sisters, choose seven of your own men who are good, full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. We will put them in charge of this work.

The new church was mushrooming throughout Jerusalem.  Of course, with rapid growth come problems.  One of those knotty issues was that  certain widows weren’t getting the care they needed.  The food distribution was unfair, prejudiced against them.  The apostles did not think that they could stop studying and preaching to be sure that the widows were getting food.   This would mean others would be needed to helpserve the food during mealtime

The apostles instructed the people to look around and find seven men who were leaders.  Then the apostles would appoint them to serve the tables.  After the selection process, the apostles prayed for the men.  As a result, the apostles were able to pray, study and preach.  Luke, the author of Acts, also explains that everyone was pleased and the church continued to grow.

God gives clear instructions about leadership in this passage.

  • Leaders are needed to help meet needs.  The apostles were reluctant to stop their important work of study, prayer and preaching even though they recognized there was a legitmate need.  They told the church to select seven men to do the task.
  • Leaders came from the people and they were chosen by the people.  While these men were certainly well aware of the seven the people selected, the apostles did not attempt to make that selection.
  • Leaders are known by the people, even if these men and women may not be in a leadership position.  Chrissy does not speak or walk.  However, she is one of the leading people in the Melbourne Special Gathering.  What does she do to make this happen?  Nothing.  Yet, the members recognize and give her positions of leadership.
  • Leaders usually understand authority.  Rather than usurp the person in charge, they will back away.  This problem in the early church had been going on for a time.  Nevertheless, these seven people had not “taken over the problem.”  They knew that it wasn’t their situation to handle.  They waited to be asked.
  • The people will submit to their leaders happily.  Luke tells us that after the appointment of these men, the problem was solved and we never hear about it again.
  • The church will grow if there is good leadership raised up from among them.

Leaders are a vital cog in the growth your ministry.  But leadership always comes at a cost.  Bible teacher and speaker, Bob Mumford once said, “Beware of any Christian leader who does not walk with a limp.”  If a leader has not wrestled with God over his or her natural abilities and come to a place of total dependence on God, that leader will live a life of striving and manipulation.

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