There are no great men nor women of the Bible, there are no
great evangelists, elders, ministers, or teachers in the world, there are no
great congregations or Christian groups on earth. There are only those whom God
does great things through (Jn 3:21, Mk 10:26-27).
There were only two, though they were sinners, who found favor with the Lord
God. Enoch (Ge 5:18-24, Heb 11:5) and Elijah (2Ki
2:11-12) were taken home to Heaven without physically dying here on earth. The
rest of mankind, no matter how great we consider some to be or have been, have
all fallen short of completely pleasing our God (Ro 3:23). Adam listened to Eve
(Ge 3:19), trusted his own reasoning, disobeyed God
and sin was brought into the world (Ro 5:12). Abraham, the man of faith (Ro
3:4), was afraid to face a powerful king, had his wife pretend to be his
sister, almost causing her to commit adultery (Ge
12:10-20). Moses was not a good speaker, most likely had a speech impediment
(Ex 4:10), an unlikely person to talk to Pharaoh (Ex 4:11), but God used Moses
to bring His people out of
Jesus chose twelve men to be his disciples, twelve men with no
formal religious training (Mk 3:13-14, Ac 4:13). For the love in oneís heart, a
humble attitude is more important than being a master theologian (1Cor
1:18-26). Jesus could have picked the most knowledgeable Pharisees of that day,
those lawyers and teachers who knew the Scriptures forwards and backwards (Lk 11:52-53). But even with all of their human knowledge,
without accepting Jesus, the Pharisees could never understand the truth in
Godís Word (Jn 12:37-43), sought only earthly rewards
(Mk 12:38-40). Jesus tells us that the least of all believers, those who can
now receive the Spirit after Christís death on the cross, are greater than any
in the Old Testament (Matt 11:11-13). Because the Spirit makes us one with
Christ, brings us into the spiritual
Following the Lord, being a Christian leader is not easy (2Cor 6:4-10). Peter gave in to political pressure when Jesus was first arrested, denied he knew Jesus (Mk 14:66-68). Three times that morning Peter did not have the love, the courage to stand up for Jesus, more worried what others would think, what others would do to him (Mk 14:69-72). Only later when Peter was given a manifestation of the Spirit did he have the faith (Ac 2:1-4), the love to stand up for his Savior (Ac 4:5-12), die by crucifixion for his Master (Jn 21:17-19). Saul persecuted Christians, he tried to destroy the
Paul was an apostle, for Jesus appeared to him (Ac 26:12-18). Paul was also an evangelist called to bring the Word to the gentiles, establishing new congregations of believers (Ro 15:15-17). Today we still need evangelists, missionaries to spread the Word to all people (Matt 24:14). They should be supported by all believers, by individual congregations (Matt 10:40-42, 1Cor 9:14). Once congregations are started they need to choose elders (also called overseers, shepherds, bishops, pastors) to lead and guide the church as a group (Tit 1:5, 1Ti 5:17-20). The elders are to be Christian fathers who are strong in their faith, their love of Jesus, who are not recent converts, but have proven their loyalty to their Lord. Elders are to be patient men who have kept their marriage vows, who have kept their children in the Lord, who are respected by all, who desire to serve the Lord (Tit 1:6-9, 1Ti 3:2-7). Congregations should also appoint dedicated men, deacons (Phil 1:1) to assist the elders (Ac 6:2-4). Deacons should be men worthy of respect, who are honest, tested, have but one wife, and have managed their family well (1Ti 3:8-13). Normal, everyday Christian fathers who are strong in the Lord need to step up, help lead local congregations as elders, as deacons (1Ti 3:1). When they are competent, feel confident with the help of the Spirit, they should lead a Bible study, give a message, baptize or give the Lordís Supper. Ministering whenever and wherever they have the opportunity to talk to others about Jesus (Mk 16:15), sustain believers in their Savior (Ac 20:27-29).
Elders should lead the family of God with love, as servants, with respect and humility (Col 3:12-17).When the congregation gathers, the elders should chose two or three in orderly fashion to speak about our great God (1Cor 14:3, 14:29-31). What each speaker says should be weighed and judged by all, to make sure it is Godís Word (1Cor 14: 29, 1Thes 5:19-22). For all spiritual leaders, the educationally elite, to the faithful fathers, should want all, you and me, to consider, discern what is being said (Rev 2:2), and gladly discuss it with us (Ac 19:8-10). They should use all the resources of the individual members within the family of God, never trying to run everything on their own, through elite groups (1Ti 5:21). For each believer has a call to be a holy child of God (1Pe 1:15), a call to bring the Good News to all nations (Lk 24:45-49), a call to help the needy (Lk 14:12-14), a gift from the Spirit to use (1Cor 12:7). The Christian leadersí greatest endeavor is to keep all of Godís children in the Spirit (Col 1:9), allow the Spirit to unify all in the love of the Lord (Eph 4:11-13).Then use this love, this unity, in praising our God, in spreading the Word, in helping others, in helping all live holy lives as members of the family of God (Eph 4:14-16). Never worrying about who is the greatest or who is the least. Just using whoever can best be utilized by the Spirit to lead, teach, proclaim, administer, help, or any do any other duties to the glory of the Lord (1Cor 12:11). For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted (Matt 23:11-12).
A good Christian leader, elder, or teacher always follows under the footsteps of the Great Shepherd, Jesus (Heb 13:20-21). Striving to follow the example our Savior gave us including:
God is love (1Jn 4:16)!!! Jesus loved us enough to give His life for us, was humble enough to become man to save us (Phil 2:5-11). One should feel the love of Jesus, radiating through the leadersí hearts, see Christís humility in their lives (Phil 2:1-4). Yet a leader should use this humble love to stand up for their God at all times, never backing down from teaching the truths of His Word (Matt 10:32, Ac 4:31). † Jesus told all to spread the good news of salvation to the world (Matt 28:19), to help the poor and needy (Lk 12:32-34). Leaders should use everyone, for each has a gift, a purpose, is important in our Heavenly Fatherís master plan of salvation (Ro 12:3-8, 1Cor 12:12-26). This includes everyone from babies who perfect praise to the Lord (Matt 21:16), to sons and daughters who will prophesy and old men who will dream dreams in the last days (Ac 2:17).
Jesus will hold those who teach His Word to a higher standard, they will be judged more strictly (Ja 3:1). Christian leaders must desire to be humble servants of the Lord, of fellow believers (1Pe 5:1-5). Teaching all of Godís Word, letting the Spirit reveal spiritual truths to us as we grow in Christ (Eph 1:17-23). Leaders should be content in serving the Lord, not using their work as a means to financial gain (1Ti 6:3-11). Be responsible for what they teach, how they live (Lk 17:1-2).
Jesus told us there will always be false teachers (Matt 7:15), more will appear towards the last days (1Ti 4:1-5). Even some who have even healed in the name of the Lord, will not see the gates of Heaven (Matt 7:21). We must always use Godís Word in context to confirm what is true, that the truth is being taught (Ac 17:10-12).†††
The greatest in Godís Kingdom are all who humbly use the gifts our Heavenly Father has given them, to the best of their ability (1Pe 4:7-12). They gladly do Godís work not as an obligation, but out of love for our Savior (1Cor 13:2). Helping others as though they were helping Jesus himself (Matt 25:37-40), while never desiring any earthly glory (Phil 3:7-10). Though they may not be considered the greatest, the most renown here on earth, their glory will be in Heaven (Mk 10:29-31, Lk 9:46-48). They will be astounded at the blessings awaiting them in their eternal home (Matt 5:1-12).
Copyright 2008 by Ron Borkey