“God chose some…. to be leaders.” (I Corinthians Chapter 12 verse 28.) So, why is it being taught these days that we are all leaders when we have these words in the New Testament? It is a blessing to the people of God when “the leaders lead” according to the Old Testament and a disaster when they don’t or when those who are not leaders “lead.” Indeed when true leaders are not leading it is a sign of God’s judgement on His people. Just saying…just wondering… have we left the bible aside to teach some of the things that are being said these days? Leadership is as obvious a gift of the Spirit as speaking in tongues or as evident as the demonstrable fact that a gift of healing is happening, indeed as self-evident as any other gift. It needs no argument to speak for itself though sometimes it requires others to speak for it and make room for it as Barnabas did for Saul, for this reason: the “some” gifted by God with leadership anointing sometimes make it look like God has got it wrong or at least made an unusual choice given that person’s life story and what human eyes notice about them.
So, I believe from the bible it is wrong to tell everyone that they are a leader even if the intention behind such error is one of seeking to give a loving boost to people’s self confidence and sense of value and purpose. What we can do is recognise when and where the gift of leadership is resting upon a person, observe whether it continues to be obvious over time, nurture it and warn “the some” against pitfalls they may meet as their gifting, hopefully, journeys onwards in progress towards greater maturity. The teaching that we are all leaders is gaining ground. It is like a horse already loosed from the stable. I suspect it may take a decade or two to run on until it runs out of its own energy. I am not thinking for a moment that this blog by a retired and not completely healthy minister will make a dent in it, but however out of vogue with Christian fashion or popular teaching fads what I am saying here may be, I feel called to say it so that you can think about it. If you dismiss it then know you are saying that Paul was wrong on this point. I for one am not prepared to say that.
It seems to me that as evangelicals or charismatics we can be guilty of that fault which we like to pin to liberals or “progressive” or “revisionist” Christianity- leaving aside the bits of Scripture that don’t align with what we think or with Christian cultural or secular cultural trends. We might do that with different themes or bible verses than liberals, but we all do it somewhere or other. Paul in Romans tells us it is a common thing for the people of God to accuse others of what they themselves are doing also! Maybe we need to recover the blessing that comes to those who tremble at God’s Word.
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Perhaps it will be a case of waiting for complete spiritual burnout before the understanding of ‘the gift of teacher’ will be reaffirmed and given its correct standing!
Couldn’t agree more Kenny. I know some people who do have leadership qualities but have no sense of any calling on their lives to be so – and they’re right! There are others whom I would never have guessed a long way back would eventually be called into leadership – and it’s right that they now are in that position! God seems to spoil the wisdom of the wise!!?? Hmm 😉🤔
Dear Kenny, Thank you for this post today – it certainly caused some discussion here! When I looked up the passage I didn’t find ‘leadership’ in the verse till I got to the NEV version courtesy of the wonderful Bible Gateway. Other translations seem misleading ‘administrating’ (ESV), ‘guidance ‘ (NIV), ‘governments’ (KJV), where the original Greek is akin to ‘helmsman’. That’s by the by but nevertheless concerning I think.
I wondered what sparked your blog today? Is it the equality ticket that is much misused these days. The idea that anyone can do (or be) anything they want rather than using their gifts and running on the rails the Good Lord has provided? Leads to a lot of frustration and disappointment when the rewards could be so great.
Anyway, thanks again for the post, excuse my ramblings. I hope you have had a good day health wise. BW Antonia
Thanks for this Antonia. I think what sparked it off is a genuine concern that a lot of young people in their late teens and twenties are being told they are leaders. I fear it means a lot of them being disappointed as they are being trained for something that a) they are not and b) being trained for something which there is no opening for once that training is over… I feel that is irresponsible and demoralising ultimately. K
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I so appreciate a mature voice on these issues. It seems the Lord has given you a platform to see, and to give a voice to, what is happening in the Body of Christ. May He grant us all clearer vision and the boldness to occasionly say ” the Emperor’s got no clothes on “…… Thank you Kenny. Blessings to you and Morag.
I wonder if it has to do with how we define leadership. We are all called to make disciples. So I guess that must call for elements of leadership in each of us just by dint of being obedient to Jesus. Maybe that’s what a lot of teachers are meaning when they teach there is leadership in each of us.
Perhaps there needs to be a clearer definition of what the gift of leadership looks like and what it’s function is?
This is indeed part of the problem. “Leading ” a person to Christ does not therefore mean I am a leader…. thanks for this Mary.
What I mean is that we use the phrase “leading” someone to Jesus, therefore that means we are a leader. However “leading” someone to Christ is not really biblical thought. Really we are just being a witness or a sign post pointing to someone… which obviously is a responsibility placed on all believers rather than leadership which is a gifting given to some. Equally the fact that I may explain something about Jesus to someone, which every believer can do, does not mean I am a teacher, or the fact that I help someone does not therefore mean I have a calling to be a pastor…
Thanks Kenny, that’s thought provoking and helpful. I just noticed the Famous Five post which gave me a deeper perspective too.