We’ve been looking at facts about submission that will keep you from being confused or abused in your connection to a local body. It’s important to find a leader you can trust to have a right heart in the things of God. If you’re in search of a place to connect, submit, and develop your gifts, recognize that no leader is going to be perfect, but that some are certainly working at it. The New Testament is quite explicit in what to look for in leaders. Let’s review the highlights:
- Look for shepherds who smell like sheep. That means they spend time with the flock and are available, not just for counseling or services, but to rub shoulders with the people. Also, your pastor should have a pastor. Pastors are also sheep. In order to exercise authority, one must be under authority. If your pastor doesn’t have a pastor, find another pastor. (Acts 20:28; 1 Thess 5:12)
- Look for leaders who are in it for the right reasons. These offices are called by God. Those who are looking for titles, power, or money should be disqualified.
- Look for leaders who work at it. Paul likened the ministry to being a soldier, a farmer, and an Olympic athlete. That implies work.
- Look for a shepherd who feeds the sheep. Not every pastor will be a great teacher or preacher, but he or she will make sure the sheep are fed.
- Look for a leadership with a positive impact. Paul repeatedly told people to follow or him as he followed Christ. You want a leader you can follow with confidence based on evidence. Hebrews 13: 7 (ESV) says it this way, “Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
Today’s lesson discusses how to search for a Shepherd.
For the print version of this lesson, click here.
For the complete list of Healing Help videos click here.
If you want to know more about how leadership should function in a local church, try my book on the subject: “How to Run a Sheep Shed.”