Throughout my teen years, I strived to learn the essence of what it meant to be a leader. I would read books about leadership, attended school trips where they spoke about leadership, and asked countless leaders countless questions. In the world, it really is hard to put a finger on what makes a man a leader. There are numerous opinions, styles, and tactics when it comes to leadership. It is different for every occupation I found. Salesmen have their set of men they look up to, military men have their set of generals, Presidents, fighters, coaches, and on the list could go.
Growing into a youth position in an established church taught me the real leadership lesson I needed. Leadership was not in the personality, it was not in the fancy phrases, but was instead derived from the Bible. What made an apostle? What made a pastor? What made the hall of faith in Hebrews 11? The apostle Paul tells us: 1 Timothy 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;”
Paul became an apostle by the obedience to the commandment of God. He just did what he was told to do, and one day he was being called an apostle. Leadership as presented in self-help books and rally speakers is simply surface level leadership, but Christ, and Paul, present through the Bible the true building blocks for leadership.
1. Paul tells young Timothy how to become perfect as a man of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
2. We cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6), that which is without faith is sin (Romans 14:23), and our faith comes from the word of God and the preaching of the word of God: Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
3. If we are to love the Word (John 1:1), then we are to obey the Word: John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Noah found grace in the eyes of God, and his testimony with God was Genesis 6:22 “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Abraham was to become the father of God’s chosen people, and the heritage of God’s Son Jesus Christ, and it was because of his testimony with God according to Genesis 26:5 “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Moses was born, because women did what was right in the land of Egypt Exodus 1:17 “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.” Moses and Aaron obeyed the command of God Exodus 7:6. Joshua in Joshua 4:10. Saul lost his position of leadership, because he did not obey 1 Samuel 13:13. David did as the Lord commanded him 2 Samuel 5:25. Jesus was about his Father’s business Luke 2:49. And the list goes on, and the point is made.
New challenges present themselves to us all the time whether you are a man of God or simply a servant in a ministry. It can be daunting, and we sometimes tell God, “I don’t know that I am ready to do this.” We worry about our leadership skills, or our ability to make the right decisions. When in doubt, follow the commandment. All our standards, our rules, our direction, and our ministries can be directed by the commandment of God. “I don’t know if I am a good enough leader to run a bus route.” Just obey the commandments of God. Go, preach, sow, and reap. “I don’t know if I’m a strong enough leader to teach this class.” Just be a teacher by the commandment of God. Pray, study, preach, love God, and love your class. “I don’t know if I can be a youth leader” or “a worker” or anything else you could say. Just do it by the commandment.
Pastor Jesse McCammon
Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL