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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Jesus on Leadership

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Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210

 Jesus on Leadership

There are a wealth of books out today on 'church leadership'. Often times the books emphasize these points: an ability to communicate, able to influence people toward their vision, a good manager & administrator, etc.

Yet, what I find interesting is these are not at all the things that Jesus emphasized when the topic of leadership ever came up.

It seems like we have neglected the clear teachings of Jesus concerning leadership.

What exactly did He say?

Luke 22:25-26 'The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors. LET IT NOT BE SO AMONG YOU; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as One Who serves.'

Interesting. Jesus explains to His disciples the Gentile mode of leadership - one that was built on 'having authority' over other people, a chain-of-command. Yet He explicitly says 'let it not be so among you'. In other words, don't lead this way!

But is this not the way we see modern day leadership? The leader has the vision, and is at the top of the pyramid structure. He dishes out commands and we are to be obedient to those commands, otherwise we are in 'rebellion'

When Jesus gave the picture of the waiter at the table, and showed that the greater one in society is the one 'being waited upon', yet He demonstrated the One Who served... I ask again, is this what we are seeing? Do we not instead see the congregants waiting upon the senior leader? Are we not the ones that are waiters at the table while the senior leader is being seated?

Jesus was a 'servant' to all men. When a need arose, He was there.

Not only that, consider Matthew 23:8-10 where Jesus said not to be called 'rabbi' or 'father' or 'teacher' because only He is to be esteemed by such titles, and we should instead see one another as brothers, not position or titles.

Yet we call people 'pastor' so and so all the time? Is this not placing men in positions rather than as mature, servant-hearted brothers?

 2010/1/3 15:14Profile

Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057

 Re: Jesus on Leadership

hello Mattie

I think this is a really interesting topic. I read a teaching a while ago about not using titles as we do today. I am not sure why we use titles for certain positions and others we don't. For instance why is it Dr. Jim Smith but when we talk to the nurse, its just Sara(who happens to be a nurse) we don't say Nurse Sara. We don't say this is lawyer Steve so why do we say this is Senator Thomas?? Not sure why its always Pastor Mark instead of just Mark, maybe it has something to do with the human ego and liking to hold position or to stand out...something to think about?

God Bless

just an after thought if I can find that article I will post it :)

Edit: I could not find the article but I did talk with my husband and he shared with me some excepts from some teaching discussion on this topic. I thought I would include them. The first talks about titles or the lack there of in the New Testament. The second talks about a distinction between Functional Titles vs Religious Titles.

Now as good scientists—and that is my education—let’s test these things. Yes or no: is animal sacrifice anywhere in the New Testament? Are titles? “Pastor Paul,” “Pastor Timothy,” “Reverend Silas”…is there anything anywhere here that says that? Let me give you an example. In Acts 15:24, some men came to the church and were teaching false doctrine. Read verses 24 through 26 and listen carefully for the words “pastor” or “reverend.” Read verse 27 and see if you read the word “pastor” there. “We send our dear friend, Paul. We send our dear friend, Barnabas.” We’re sending Judas, not “brother Judas.” We’re sending Silas, not “missionary Silas.”

These men were just brothers together and did not need titles. Paul is a better man than I am. Silas is a better man than I am. If they didn’t need titles, why do I need one? I only need a title if I’m blind to the scriptures, if I’m disobedient to Jesus who forbids titles in Matthew 23, or if I’m very insecure and need people to pat me on the back and make me feel important. But the truth is that the Bible does not support a “holy man” with a title.

Let’s say you are a doctor and we are here together in this room. I would not under any circumstances call you “Doctor” and then your last name. I would not do that because you’re my brother! You are part of me and we’re family. Would your children or your wife call you “Doctor So-and-So”? If they were playing with you and making a joke they might! But that wouldn’t be your title to your family.
Then let’s say we were together at your place of employment—your doctor’s office. I would probably then call you by your doctor title. However, if there wasn’t anybody else in the room, I’d probably call you by your first name. But if I was with your employees, I want them to respect you, so I would probably honor that position that you have in the world. That would be true whether it’s a principal or a doctor or a lawyer. But a religious title—that’s very different. If it is a spiritual application, we should be very careful about anything that isolates, separates, or elevates, no matter where we happen to be.

 2010/1/3 16:47Profile

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