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Responsibilities of the Church 10: Leaders Must Lead

Responsibilities of the Church Day 10 – Leaders Must Lead

“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26, ESV)

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14, ESV)

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:1, ESV)

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17, ESV)

Everyone has probably had some experience with a poor leader, and it likely caused you a good deal of frustration. In the work environment, poor leadership results in failure, like being on a sinking ship. Here are a few examples of common traits among poor leaders:

   -Poor communication
   -Passive aggressive communication
   -Failure to accept responsibility or see their own faults
   -Refusal to listen to others’ thoughts, feelings or concerns
   -Intimidation of others
   -Lack of transparency
   -Poor delegation

None of these traits should be present in church leadership. The upside-down kingdom of God teaches us that true leaders serve. They put aside their own agenda for the good of the flock, much like a shepherd with his sheep. They lovingly attend to the needs of each member by actively engaging in their lives and encouraging spiritual growth. A good leader knows his flock—each and every one of them. They don’t have favorites and they regard each with dignity, care and concern. They visit. They listen. They take into consideration the ideas and thoughts of the believers. They pray for their church family. If they are leading well, their leadership is not oppressive, but embraced.

Any work carried out within the church needs effective leadership. Scripture has laid out for us the importance of leadership within the church. Leaders are responsible for protecting the truth, seeing that biblical doctrine is maintained in a way that honors Christ and His Word, and promoting growth in each local church. If a large corporation set out to tackle a substantial project, it would be pointless if no one stepped up and led the team. No one would know what was going on, what the goals were, or what to do. In short, the project would be a disaster. God cares greatly for each local church and expects us to care as well. If we want it to thrive, we must have effective leadership.

Even if our leaders aren’t leading well, we are still to submit to them. This goes against our human nature, but Scripture instructs us to respect and submit to them, understanding that God will hold them accountable for how well or how poorly they led their flock. They have been given a very big responsibility; it’s our job to respect their decisions and submit to them. In the case of a leader that is disregarding biblical truths and leading a church astray, that is a matter for the church to discuss together and pray for God’s direction in helping resolve the issue. 

Whatever church family you’re a part of, there are likely a handful or more actively leading you. Pray for them. They have a difficult responsibility which can at times be a very heavy load to carry. Be appreciative. When a leader is leading well, acknowledge them with your encouragement. If you are a leader, love your flock and make sure they know you do. Are you an easy person to submit to, or is submitting to you a burden? Each day we will all stand before God and give an account of how we used the gifts with which He entrusted us. What will God say about how you led? No matter how long you’ve been leading, always be willing to listen to the thoughts and ideas of those in your flock. A fresh perspective from another member is sometimes just what is needed to better lead your church family. May God help our leaders to lead well, and may we be willing to submit and respect those who are leading us.

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