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ZekeO
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Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 The Authenticity of Biblical Leadership

Biblical Leadership

Leadership! The word conjures up so many different connotations. Dictatorship, authoritarianism, charismatic superstar, promotion. However, what ever our own interpretation is, it must be juxtapositioned with Scripture. Is our own interpretation true? Is it biblical? Undoubtedly leadership is one of the most misunderstood ministries in the body of Christ. Some clamour and grasp for it, others shun it like the plague.

So many present leaders are disillusioned and hurt because their energy and efforts have seemed to produce so little. Many do not know whether they are truly called to the task, and are not sure how to equip and release new leaders to help them. I trust these posts will help to clarify and bring into focus biblical principles and truths that will encourage us to “teach others to teach others.” It goes forth with my prayer that God will “water it and bring forth the increase”.

Adapted from Dudley Daniel’s manual ‘Leading the Church’ Part 1 July 1989


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/12 6:42Profile
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 The Church is a family

Quote:
Notions of hierarchy are built into everything human and church history and even our bibles versions have been infected with that concept.



Leadership Foundation
The Church is a family:

[b] The Church is to be seen as family, not an organisation of institution, according to Hebrew thought: [/b]

Eph 2:19 ‘…and members of Gods household.’
John 1:12 ‘…he gave the right to be children of God.’
Rom 8:15, 16, 29 ‘…you received the Spirit of sonship…we cry Abba, Father…16 that we are Gods children…29 that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.’
Rom 9:26 ‘…they will be called sons of the living God.’
Galatians 4:5,6 ‘…that we might receive the full rights of sons…6 because you are sons…’
Eph 3:15 ‘…from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.’
1 Cor 4:14, 15 ‘…my dear children…father…’
1 Cor 4:17 ‘…Timothy, my son…’
Heb 2:11 ‘…are of the same family…to call them brothers.’
1 Peter 4:17 ‘…with the family of God.’

[b] Our understanding of church must be rooted in family. [/b]

Bob Mumford: [i] ‘The New Testament is Hebrew thought in Greek language. Therefore it must be interpreted by Hebrew thought.’ [/i]

Hebrews thought in a completely different way to others.
In the early 1900’s all theology fell into the hands of German theologians who, generally speaking, were anti-semetic.

The result is an anti-Hebrew model of church. And church leadership is a classical example of this.

The term ‘Elder’ in the New Testament is carried over from the Old Testament. In the Old Testament elders were like ‘City Fathers’ – they ‘sat at the gate of the city’. Deut 21:18-21
Prov 31:23 ‘…is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.’
Cities had walls around them to protect the people in that city

The elders ‘sitting at the gate’, the only way in and out of that city, were part of that protection. They were ‘protection’ and had tremendous authority as well.

Deut 25:5-10 (N.B. vs. 8) ‘… the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him.’

You could not just stroll in and out of the church (city) as you pleased. You went through them. When you said the word ‘leader’ to a Hebrew he immediately thought of a ‘father’. But to those who think with a Greek or Gentile mentality, ‘leader’ means a Managing Director, President, etc. And so in the church we have leaders who have set up their church structures just like a business!

This is an anti-Hebrew, anti-Scriptural model of church leadership. A leader is to be a ‘father’, who exercises his authority out of concern for the individual family member, not out of concern for his reputation!

1 Cor 4:14, 15 ‘…but to warn you, as my dear children. 15…you do not have many Fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your Father through the gospel.’

1 Thess 2:11, 12 ‘For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God…’

Out of our presupposition (assume beforehand, imply) and the influence of German theologians, we see the church as a corporation or club!

[b] What about salvation? [/b]
Jesus said, John 14:6, ‘I am the way…no man can come to the [b] Father [/b] except through Me’. The church, when evangelising says. ‘No man can get to [b] heaven [/b]’. A place, instead of family.

The Church must be rooted in family!


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/12 6:48Profile
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 Re: The Importance of Good Leadership

The Importance of Good Leadership

[b]God uses People (Human Beings) to maintain what He does. [/b]

God’s three main ‘channels’ are His Spirit, His Word and His Man. This takes place consistently throughout His word. Gen 1:2,26 ‘…[b][u] Spirit [/b][/u]…[b][u] God said, [/b][/u] let us make [b][u] man [/b][/u]…[b][u] to rule [/b][/u]…

A great Christian leader has said: ‘The Spirit prepared, the Word produced, and the man preserved. God did not bring order out of chaos without a man to maintain order. Adam was given authority over everything, he was leader of all that God formed here on earth.’

[b]God channels the working and operation of His Spirit through people[/b].
Two examples of this are found in:
Isa 59:21 ‘As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.
Jn 20:21,22 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

We often underplay the importance that God places upon human instrumentality.
Humans are those who represent His work and Kingdom here on earth. Without an ambassador He has no agent to work through.
2 Cor. 5:19c-20 ‘…and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf…’

[b]People need leadership[/b]
They are sheep and need to be led.
John 10:3-5 ‘…and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice…’

Without leadership they cannot function together in order (as a united group) – they revert back to ‘chaos’.
Zech. 13:7 – ‘…smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.’
That is why if you will not lead, they will make their own leader, or leave the church.

Sobering,


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/12 6:51Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Hi ZekeO
Thank you for starting this thread.

Quote:
God’s three main ‘channels’ are His Spirit, His Word and His Man. This takes place consistently throughout His word. Gen 1:2,26 ‘… Spirit … God said, let us make man … to rule …

(not sure about your references?) Absolutely, which is why it is essential to get the meaning of the word ‘rule’ from our bibles, not from our dictionaries and certainly not from history.

The word used [b] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and [u]let them have dominion[/u] over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [/b](Gen 1:26 ASV) is
raw-daw'
A primitive root; to tread down, that is, subjugate; specifically to crumble off: - (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule, (-r, over), take.
This is an ominous start, and particularly that preposition which follows the verb; [i]over[/i]. Is God’s idea of rule then someone who is ‘over’ someone or something else? The problem is that we are seeing a definition of the word ‘rule’ as it has become known to us, rather than in its first innocence. The natural mind has no concept of ‘rule’ other than ‘rule over’ and this is where many of our snares lie.

Let’s see if we can re-define ‘have dominion’ from the clues that surround it. I don’t know where Adam was created, but after his creation he was ‘taken’ from that place where God had prepared him and ‘put’ into a garden in Eden. This man has been secretly prepared, under the hand of God, for his God-given role. This must always be part of the way that God’s authority works in a man and those to whom he is sent. Then he is placed, literally rested, into the place of God’s choosing. This is exactly what the word ‘ordination’ (as in John 15:6, for example) means; to position something in a precise spot. So we are building quite a picture of ‘god’s man’. Secretly prepared, precisely positioned, and not an election in sight! Now, what is his function?

[b] And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.[/b] (Gen 2:15 KJV) His job-definition was nice and clear. He is to ‘dress it’ (KJV) and ‘keep it’ (KJV). Have you ever seen the Youngs Literal translation for this? [b] And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, to serve it, and to keep it.[/b] (Gen 2:15 YLT)
1. to serve it! It is the old testament equivalent for ‘doulos’ the bond-slave. The Hebrew is ‛âbad and the noun can be seen in one of the titles of Christ; Ebed Yahweh – the Lord’s Servant; (Isa_41:8; Isa_41:9; Isa_42:1; Isa_42:19; Isa_43:10; Isa_44:1; Isa_44:2; Isa_44:21;)

Adam was to exercise his ‘dominion’ towards the creation by ‘serving it’. True spiritual authority is always the authority to be a bond-slave. Behold man, as he was intended to be.. [b] Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. [/b] (Joh 13:3-5 KJV)

What kind of a world would we have had if man’s dominion had been exercised as a servant on his knees? There are times when a great grief wells up inside me as I look on this brutalised creation; what might have been? [b] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. [/b] (Rom 8:19-23 KJV)

What kind of church would we have seen on earth if its servants had served on their knees rather than from their thrones?

2.to keep; to guard and protect. Literally, to be a hedge around it. (with all the thorns turned outwards!) True spiritual leadership is never prickly towards those it is protecting.

Adam was really Eden’s elder, and God was his. And the word that God used when He commissioned Adam might almost have been the ones He used through Paul to the elders at from Ephesus; [b] "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.[/b]
(Act 20:28 NASB)


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Ron Bailey

 2004/11/12 8:28Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
People need leadership
They are sheep and need to be led.
John 10:3-5 ‘…and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice…’

Without leadership they cannot function together in order (as a united group) – they revert back to ‘chaos’.
Zech. 13:7 – ‘…smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.’
That is why if you will not lead, they will make their own leader, or leave the church.

Sobering,

Well they might need leadership, but do they need leaders? The New Testament does not really give us a pattern for the perfect church; it was never intended to do so. It is an account of the way in which the Spirit of God continued to lead them in His will. I seriously question whether there is anything like a contemporary Christian leader in the New Testament. Leadership is more an event than a role in the New Testament. The notion of a resident leader is absent, unless we look back with a later perspective. The unit of ‘leadership’ in the local assemblies was ‘the oversight’; a body of elders, although in the some churches there is no mention of such.

When we start to use this kind of language we have to be sure that we have a biblical definition and not a denominational one. The Bible never says that a local church has to have ‘elders’ but Paul risked his life to ensure that the churches he had seen emerge had them. What are elders? The first elders in the Bible are Egyptian elders; [b] And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, [/b] (Gen 50:7 KJV) There are two groups of ‘elders’ in this verse, Pharaoh’s house-elders and the nation’s elders. They just appear on the scene without introduction. This verse describes a state funeral and they obviously represent Pharaoh’s own household and the nation itself. The first time we meet elders they are seen in a representative capacity; this is a bit of information to save for later.

Eldership is the original form of government. In simpler society elders are still a fact of life. One of our problems in the west is that our patterns of government are very different to biblical cultures. If you ask an ordinary westerner what an elder is he will have no idea. Visit an African village and ask the question and they will have a very clear idea. Elders develop. They will need to be recognised formally perhaps at a later stage, but they will be recognised as elders because they are elders; not the other way around. It is not possible to ‘make someone an elder’ although this is the language we westerners use all the time. Elders are recognised, not made. The first Bible elders are Egyptian and the last are heavenly; [b] And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"[/b] (Rev 19:4 NASB) I don’t want to force this into too narrow a point but apparently heavenly authority functions with elders; not an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or pastor/teacher to be seen.

It’s not just ancient cultures that develop ‘elders’, the web has developed them too. I discovered this when reading of the development of the internet. [i] "We reject kings, presidents and voting. We believe in rough consensus and running code." David Clark (MIT)[/i]. The statement was created by Clark at a 1992 IETF meeting and is now informally known as the IETF Credo and has been expounded thus; [i]This maxim can not be read as stating that Internet culture has no authorities. Individuals of respect and standing play an important role in the aggregation of individual preferences and development of consensus within the community. Internet rulers can be most likened to Elders: those who through merit, contributions, and experience became or built institutions that affect the Net.[/i] Of course, I’m not suggesting that we get our definition of elders from the IETF, but the organic development of the internet has created a virtual community and the virtual community has recognised its elders. Of course, this disturbs the ‘control freaks’ who would love to be able to legislate in all kinds of ways; but organisms are much more difficult to control than organisations.

The family of Abraham had no elders. Families don’t need elders; they need Mums and Dads. When ‘Israel’ went down into Egypt they had no ‘elders’ just heads of families. When the time came for their deliverance they numbered over 2 million and those kinds of numbers require something different to Mums and Dads. A structure developed whilst in Egypt; [b] And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; [u]every one head of the house of his fathers[/u]. [/b] (Num 1:1-4 KJV) It is an interesting image. We are so used to it now that we have stopped thinking about it. We speak of the head of De Beers or Shell and forget that heads are always connected to the body that they serve. Do you have the slightest feeling of your ‘head’ bossing your body about? This image is organic; this head is part of the whole body and the relationship is mutually necessary. [b] And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.[/b] (1Co 12:21 KJV)

There were 12 tribes and presumably 12 heads of families, but when Moses approached Sinai he took with him 70 ‘out of the elders of Israel’ (Ex 24:1) I wonder how many elders there were? Again we see these elders acting as representatives of the whole; [b] And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and [u]gather the elders of Israel together[/u], and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: [/b](Exo 3:15-16 KJV) It was to the elders that the Sinai Covenant was offered; [b] And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. [/b](Exo 19:7 KJV) Apparently there are some things that are too important to be left to the elders ;-) and the whole congregation gave their response; [/b] And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. [/b](Exo 19:8 KJV)

The significant thing in all these Old Testament origins and in the New Testament is that there is never a single elder; they always function corporately. Apparently you can have leadership without a leader. Interesting isn’t it?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/11/12 16:16Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
Apparently you can have leadership without a leader. Interesting isn’t it?



Very much so. :-D My appologies Ron, time is in the next couple of days going to become very scarce, so i can't reply in detail to your points. If anyone else has some meat and vegetables for us, a good potjie has lots of ingredients. But, to let you know I have read them and am rather keen to supply some more helpful/useful :-? info.

As I have picked up from TV program,
Keep it real! ;-)

p.s. For some background on potjie vist http://www.3men.com/Potjiekos.htm . We're so funny. :-D :lol:


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/12 23:58Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
(not sure about your references?)


Can find the info here: http://www.blueletterbible.org

Quote:

Secretly prepared, precisely positioned, and not an election in sight! Now, what is his function?



I am sure that you are looking already, but if you had to take those same truths and transpose them over the New Testament you would get a heart as to what God was doing in the church.

Quote:

to serve it! It is the old testament equivalent for ‘doulos’ the bond-slave...Adam was to exercise his ‘dominion’ towards the creation by ‘serving it’. True spiritual authority is always the authority to be a bond-slave.

Our understandings are getting closer and closer to what it actually means to lead, and be a leader biblically.

Quote:

What kind of a world would we have had if man’s dominion had been exercised as a servant on his knees?

That is truely the heart of any leader, If you are a true leader, you would never ever have to defend, qualify our hold onto your 'position' because it is ultimately given by God.

Our ideas on this particular topic are running pretty much along the same lines.


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/13 1:58Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Hi ZekeO
Yes, I don't expect any major differences as regards the disposition of leadership or its necessity. My differences will surface when the principles are developed into a methodology. BTW did you read Austin Sparks on 'leadership'? His comments on Deborah are particularly interesting.

Does your group have the same outlook on women in authority as Terry Virgo and the NF Churches?

Quote:
I am sure that you are looking already, but if you had to take those same truths and transpose them over the New Testament you would get a heart as to what God was doing in the church.

Yes, I am looking ahead. God's principles are eternally relevant or eternally irrelevant. You quoted the 'Hebrew' context of the OT. I think the Edenic (pre-Hebrew) context is even more important. Much that was 'Hebrew' was due to the hardness of men's hearts and 'was not so from the beginning'. I believe the church is intended to be God's new beginning.

Quote:
philologos wrote: (not sure about your references?)

I meant your reference “God’s three main ‘channels’ are His Spirit, His Word and His Man. This takes place consistently throughout His word. Gen 1:2,26 ‘… Spirit … God said, let us make man … to rule …’ ” I hadn’t realised you were itemizing each ‘channel’. Sorry.

That SA cooking cauldron looks interesting. I love 'bhoti'? BTW.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/11/13 4:59Profile
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 Re: Leadership



Zeke writes:
“If anyone else has some meat and vegetables for us, a good potjie has lots of ingredients.”


Try adding a dash of “World Domination or Dominion” (Austin-Sparks’)


http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001343.html





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Roger P.

 2004/11/13 5:24Profile
ZekeO
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Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
His comments on Deborah are particularly interesting.

Does your group have the same outlook on women in authority as Terry Virgo and the NF Churches?


Please excuse my ignorance but what is their outlook? All I know is that woman in leadership is allowed/tolerated/condoned by the team of NCMI.

p.s. What is 'Bhoti' :-?


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/14 8:09Profile





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