Is it Possible to Find Anyone that is a Biblical Leader?
They are a work in progress, just like the rest of us.
While some may want to argue that leadership isn’t Biblical, others may feel it just isn’t practical. Others are not opposed if leaders only serve with no authority (which is a bit of a nonsensical stance).
“Therefore, I exhort the elders among you…shepherd the flock of Yah…”1 Peter 5:1-2
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At The Weightier Matters, we seek to promote Biblical leadership that is both practical and servant-hearted. Without this kind of leadership, we see group after group filled with strife, division and eventually an ugly split. Let’s talk briefly about each characteristic of leadership needed for Home Assemblies within the Hebrew Roots, Messianic and Christian movements. Where does spiritual gifting come in when discussing Biblical leadership? What about charismatic guru type leaders? What are the needs of home fellowship, and what are the unique needs in leadership for Hebrew Root or Messianic assemblies?
Discontent members of an assembly would do well to take an academic and spiritual look at the Word of Yah. What does it say on elders, teachers, preachers, leaders, administrators and the gifting of the Set-Apart Spirit?
Biblical Leadership – What does it look like?
First, what is Biblical leadership? What does it look like and what does it do? How do you know when you have it and how do you know when you don’t? Whether you look in the Old Testament or the New you will find quite a bit of information on what Biblical leadership is and how it should be implemented.
“You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases to God. 20 You should also teach them the laws and the teachings, and show them how to live their lives and what work they should do. 21 But you should choose from among all the people competent men who are God-fearing, honest and incorruptible to be their leaders, in charge of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Normally, they will settle the people’s disputes. They should bring you the difficult cases, but ordinary matters they should decide themselves. In this way, they will make it easier for you and share the load with you. 23 If you do this — and God is directing you to do it — you will be able to endure, and all these people too will arrive at their destination peacefully.”Exodus 18:19-23
Unsure if Leadership if Biblical?
“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Ruach ha Kodesh has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of Yah which He purchased with His own blood.Acts 20:28
We encourage you to do a Bible study with a heart to hear Yah and let the Ruach lead you. Most often, a lack of respect for leadership stems from past hurts and/or situations you may have endured. We encourage you to prayerfully consider if there is any rebellion in your stance. Leadership is such a deeply Biblical institution that it takes some real mental and spiritual gymnastics to come to a conclusion that overseeing is unbiblical.
Indeed, one can hardly get through a chapter in the Bible without an example or advice that pertains to leading, elders, overseers and the like. For example, this post on Ministry Advice goes through fifty Bible verse on what Biblical leadership.
In addition, read Focus on the Family’s article on Biblical Leadership here.
Certainly, it is understandable to be in a situation where there are no obvious leaders. But to outright decide leadership is not Biblical appears to be an illogical and uneducated position.
Practical Leadership for Home Fellowships
By practical leadership we are referring to the type of leadership that keeps things flowing, takes care of issues that arise and is available for counsel and other ministry areas. Practical guidance is necessary for the home fellowship if and when you grow past a few families meeting together. Chaos quickly reigns if your numbers increase, but there are no accepted or appointed leaders.
Practical leadership should always be provided by those with the gift of pastoring, leadership, teaching or administration. Preferably the first two.
” the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”Romans 12:8
One problem many home groups run into is folks not desiring to serve in their area of gifting, but desiring what they feel is a ‘more important role’, like leadership. It stems from a desire to be significant, however, this is a dangerous and flawed reason to seek a leadership position.
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”Matthew 20:26
Servant Hearted Leadership – Carrying Burdens
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Mark 10:42-45
Servant Leaders are gifted (called) to this position and are willing to sacrifice for the good of the group. Others are generally drawn to them and they naturally fall into place as the Practical leader. Servant leaders are generally not willing to settle for the status quo but will seek to draw the assembly into a closer and more Biblical appropriation. For example, if a man has been relied on to be the Practical leader, if He is servant hearted, he will seek to move to a more Biblical method when one man is not in charge, thus lessening his authority.
Biblical Leaders Serve
Servant leaders will empathize, encourage maturity and growth and listen to others thoughts and ideas. And they will follow Messiah based on the Written Word of Yah with the Ruach’s direction. They will make mistakes and sometimes cause hurts. A servant leader is not perfect, they are not Yeshua, but they are following after Him. And it is His esteem they seek, not man’s.
How do you know who is gifted with Biblical Leadership?
Often it will be pretty clear and a servant leader will naturally come to the fore. However, there can be issues if others are promoting themselves for the privilege in a vie for power or recognition. If a group is struggling with leadership issues a good place to start is doing a study on the gifts of the spirit as a congregation. As individuals discover and embrace their gifting it will become easier for them to accept other’s giftings as well. This will only remain true for genuine followers of Yeshua, filled with the Ruach ha Kodesh. Without that criteria we are just goofed up selfish humans.
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages’ “1 Timothy 5:17-18
In addition, no matter how strong or capable a leader is, Biblically, Practically and Servant-heartedly – if the fellowship is not willing to set aside their pride and diligently seek to become the body of Messiah serving together for Yah’s glory – the group will, in time split.
What about Charismatic Leaders that seem almost Guru-like?
Some people are almost magnetically attracted to these leaders. Others see these figures as prideful. It can be a stumbling block when a man is followed in an almost god-like manner. When most conversations of their followers include or mention the guru-like leader. And when their supporters show no discernment in regards to their guru’s teachings or choices it becomes equally difficult to respect the situation.
On the other hand, no man is perfect. Consider David and pretty much all other leaders of men from the Word. And while the blind, almost worship like appreciation of some may turn others off, we need to be very careful in regards to our attitudes and words. That prideful man may very well be one of Yah’s Davids.
Quietly Leave Leadership if You are Not Comfortable
If you find yourself in a position of being in a gathering whose leadership makes you uncomfortable, for whatever reason, leave quietly. Do not undermine the leadership or attempt to get others to follow you. He may be a David or a Paul. You don’t want to be guilty of disloyalty. You don’t want to be an Absalom.
“Loyalty must be voluntary, for as soon as it is coerced, required, or demanded, it ceases to be authentic..”Loyalty by Bob Sorge
In Loyalty, Bob Sorge walks the reader through David’s life – sin and fraught with heartache. It is clear in David’s story that God allows His leaders to undergo betrayal of the most heart-wrenching form. His very son. Indeed, what Absalom does, is the norm for disloyal son’s, he goes through the land seeking others to join him in his betrayal. Gaining co-conspirators.
Indeed, disloyalty happens even when the leaders have been righteous and good. It is part of the fallen nature we live in. (think ha satan’s disloyalty)
This is not to say all leaders are anointed of Yah. But it is to say, that you want to step very carefully in judgment in this area. Sin is sin and you should call brothers (including leaders) out on it. But if your grumblings and murmurings are due to your ego or wanting things to go a different direction, it may be you that needs to change or leave.
Loyalty, Humility, Faithfulness, Uprightness and Truthfulness
If you want a godly leader, look for these qualities. Without a doubt, he will have other flaws, but with these five characteristics, you have found a leader after Yah’s heart.
What are the Unique Qualities Needed in Home Fellowship Biblical Leadership?
Home settings are not the norm within traditional Christianity. While they may be the norm within Hebrew Roots, Messianic’s tend to have that middle ground of both meetings in homes and buildings. And having traditional leadership or homegrown.
The Way of the Weightier Matters is seeking to serve the home assemblies, that is what we will discuss here. The majority of home assemblies do not have heads that have gone to seminary or have a degree in religion or pastoral studies. Indeed, they are electricians, farmers, and car salesmen. What they have in common is a passion for the truth. A desire to glorify Yah and often a willingness to open their homes for meetings.
Since home groups come in every flavor imaginable, these are just generalizations. Often though, it will be the passionate, gifted leaders with the ability to be hospitable that become the leaders of home-based assemblies.
Hebraic Roots Leadership Teams Face a Whole Variety of Issues
Hebrew Roots attracts independent thinkers that are willing to go against the status quo. Some say they are rebellious by nature. Others simply feel they are personalities that do not make “good churchmen.”
Amongst those that have crossed into Hebraic thinking, there is a strong temptation to become puffed up with knowledge. We initially have our eyes opened in a way that seems like scales have come off. The Word of Yah is fresh and surprising seeing it with our new Hebrew eyes. We learn we grow, and we make hard choices that affect our family and our daily life. But the blessings are there and worth every hardship.
Allowing Bitterness to Control Us?
Perhaps it is in a desire to keep that level of excitement in our lives. Or maybe, it is a bitterness in our heart that now brings forth distrust o every level. We feel a need to prove things to ourselves. We look with suspicion at teachings and traditions. We are concerned we will be duped. As we feel we were by the church prior to our coming into Hebraic understanding.
Sadly, we often end up passionate but angry and bitter people. Our groups have difficulty accepting individuals that see or understand differently than we do. We fail to focus on the Weightier Matters of Faith, Justice, and Mercy.
In Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch fleshes out the concept that plurality of eldership is the Biblical standard. He works through Biblical passages on leading through practicalities, qualifications, and day to day functioning, according to Scriptures.
Bible things in Bible Ways
“…appoint congregation leaders in each city — those were my instructions. A leader must be blameless, husband to one wife, with believing children. Who do not have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. For an overseer, as someone entrusted with God’s affairs, must be blameless — he must not be self-willed or quick-tempered, he must not drink excessively, get into fights or be greedy for dishonest gain. On the contrary, he must be hospitable, devoted to good, sober-mindedness, uprightness, holiness and self-control. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy Message that agrees with the doctrine. So that by his sound teaching he will be able to exhort and encourage, and also to refute those who speak against it.”Titus 1:5-9
In conclusion, the subject of Biblical leadership in home fellowships is of utmost importance. If we desire to be His body, we need to start with His Word and follow hard.
Please note: some links are affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you. If you purchase an item from the link I may receive a small compensation. Keeps The Weightier Mattes running. 🙂