Dr. Lee Roberson is popularly noted for saying on many occasions: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This is a tremendous truth! It is extremely important that the leadership of the local church be spirit-filled, servant leaders that set the example for all believers to follow. Here are five things that are necessary for local church leadership.
1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” First and foremost the local church leader must be a person of Christian integrity. Staff members, deacons, teachers, must be people of God who are the example in Christian behavior and character.
1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” The local church leader must be committed to a genuine walk with God. Paul told Timothy to be faithful to reading, preaching, and the study of our Lord Jesus Christ. Too many churches fill leadership positions with people who do not have a consistent walk with Christ. This is a grave mistake to any local church. We must be people who are daily inspired by our walk with God.
1 Timothy 4:14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” Paul’s challenge is for Timothy not to neglect the responsibility he has as a local church leader. I am convinced that the one thing that could change our churches is for people to take initiative; to be a servant. Local church leaders shouldn’t have to be asked to wash dishes after a fellowship, run a vacuum cleaner, clean the church buses, etc. Local church leadership that does something for God are people who take the initiative to fulfill their responsibility.
1 Timothy 4:15, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” Paul challenged Timothy to think (“meditate”) upon his responsibilities and then commit himself wholly to the ministry ahead. How often have I preached in churches where the deacons didn’t go soul winning or the Sunday school teachers didn’t come back to church on Wednesday night. Something is extremely wrong here! A local church leader is to commit himself to total involvement. If it’s on the church schedule…you ought to be involved!
1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” Why leadership? Leadership is not about position, it’s about influence. We have leadership to impact those who follow. We must take heed of ourselves and be the leaders God desires for us to be, because our lives our impacting others. I tell our church leadership often, “Our church will never be any more closer to God than those who lead it.” What a thought! We must lead as God would have us to lead, because people are watching us and we are impacting their lives for good or bad.