Saturday, February 23, 2008


1 Timothy 3:1 tells us "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the
position of a bishop, he desires a good work." Here Paul devotes seven
verses to people who want to be leaders. Two different Greek words are translated "desires." Both of them indicate a strong desire, in which a person actually seeks the office of bishop. And both words are used for both good and evil desires.

Paul's response to this desire was not to hand the person the office of bishop. Instead, he devotes six verses of the Bible to telling the person the requirements he must meet. Paul explains that the person is desiring a good thing, but this good thing has requirements.

Across the internet, there are various sites dealing with victims of churches. Many of these people are the victims of ruthless leaders. Others got into conflicts when they did not want to obey people who had met the requirements God set for leaders. And others were hurt when they strove for leadership positions that the church felt they should not have.

The first thing you need to realize about leadership is that the desire to be a leader does not prove that God has called you to be a leader.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


A common mistake among Christians who get hurt in church is: "I want to be a leader. Therefor, God must have called me to be a leader."

When God called Moses to lead, Moses argued "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" Moses not only didn't want the job; he clearly understood that he wasn't able to handle it. If you feel that you should be the person in charge of something, you're not acting like Moses "...who indeed was faithful in all His house..."

When God called Gideon to lead, Gideon couldn't believe it. Judges 6:36-40 tells how Gideon tested God twice before Gideon would believe that God had called him to deliver Israel. People who announce that God has called them to be leaders, and who then fight for the leadership, are not acting like Gideon. Something odd about Gideon, by the way; Judges 8:28 tells us that the country was quiet for forty years in his days, a feat that very few churches have ever accomplished. Gideon didn't cause discord and strife among God's people.

The point here, is this: the fact that you want to be a leader is not proof that God has called you to be a leader.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Who is at Fault?

We have just finished discussing how Christians get hurt by guilty churches and other guilty Christians. But what if the Christian who got hurt is guilty?

The wrong-doers will make the claim that the other side is guilty, so how do you know who to believe? Often, both sides claim that they are led of God in their actions, so how do you know who is led of God?

Many years ago, our church had about 175 kids in children's church. Many of us worked hard on church bus routes, and the children's church grew to 300. Led by the pastor's wife, an angry group of people in the church seized control of the children's church, and after a few years, they had brought it down to about ten children. The pastor's wife claimed that God had given her the ability to lead, and people like me were interfering with God's will for her life. But how did the people like me know, in advance, that God had not called her to lead the children's church? Or is it possible that God really did lead her to do it, and it failed for other reasons?

Over the years, I've seen several attempts by people to seize leadership positions in good, Godly, fundamental churches. They usually fail, but when they succeed, they fail anyway, as their new "ministries" die away under them.

How do you know if God has really called you to be a leader? If you say that you feel His call, others may say that they feel the opposite way. And that helps us to see the solution: you have to learn how to recognize God's call.