“But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain —and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” Exodus 18:21
Good leadership should always be replicating itself. In Exodus 18 we see that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, knew that as he gave advice to Moses in finding leaders to help with the oversight of the Israelites as they traveled on their way to the promised land. We at Tenth are continually seeking to have the next generation of leaders raised up, specifically elders and deacons. Here at Tenth, God has always been faithful to raise up the next generation. But what does Scripture say about the selection of church officers?
Let us start with the big picture. We know that the church is God’s church (Matthew 16:18), that Jesus has purchased its members with his blood (1 Peter 1:18-19), and that his Spirit is intimately involved in the working and directing of the church (Acts 13:2). We know that his Spirit is the one who raises up the leadership (Acts 20:28). Indeed, in the context of evangelism, Jesus speaks even of himself raising up workers. Matthew 9:37 says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” We also know that God is not going to leave his church without leadership in Jesus’ physical absence. He has left under-shepherds to oversee his church (1 Peter 5:1-4), who will have to give an account of that oversight (Hebrews 13:17).
Therefore, we see that primarily officer selection is a work of the Holy Spirit and that it is to be founded on earnest prayer. Therefore, I am asking our congregation to join the Nominating Committee and current leadership in fervent prayer.
For what should we pray? We know that God gives us desires and gifts. We also know that “…we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). And we know from 1 Timothy 3:1 “that if anyone aspires to the office of overseer (elder), he desires a noble task.”
Therefore, an appropriate prayer would be to ask God to show us whom he has gifted, whom he has given a desire to do this work, or who we see that reminds us easily of the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3. Lord, show us a person who takes their walk seriously, a person who understands that they are to tend God’s children with loving care and gentleness, a person who knows how to handle authority, a person of humility. Show us a person who can be trusted, a person who knows and cherishes God’s Word, a person who prays, or who prays for and with others. Lord, show us the people that you are raising up for the next generation of leadership at Tenth Church.
Please join us in praying that God would make recognizable to the Nominating Committee those whom he has called and gifted to be leaders of his church. In a couple of months, we will look at some specifics of elder and deacon leadership.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Russ Pfeifer. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org