Larger font
Smaller font

The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    The Requisites for Leadership

    Men of Spiritual Power

    The primary qualification of all who accept leadership in God’s cause is that of spiritual character. The great apostle to the Gentiles certainly stressed this when he said:BSPC 172.1

    “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1.BSPC 172.2

    This thought was emphasized also to the Jews of old. Concerning the counsel Jethro gave to Moses in the appointment of leaders, we read the following in the Scriptures of truth:BSPC 172.3

    “Moreover thou shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.” Exodus 18:21.BSPC 172.4

    The same principle was stressed concerning the choice of the seven who shared in responsibility with the apostles. The counsel given was:BSPC 172.5

    “Wherefore, brethren, look you out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Acts 6:3.BSPC 172.6

    These scriptures should be prayerfully pondered by every leader in the church. Vital principles are expressed in these passages of Holy Writ.BSPC 172.7

    Some of the translations throw meaning on certain words. For instance, in the afore-mentioned scripture, note the expression “of honest report.” In the translations, however, this is rendered “of good standing” by Williams, “of attested character” by Spencer (R.C.).BSPC 172.8

    Then instead, of the phrase “full of ... wisdom” the Williams translation gives “of good practical sense.” These are essential qualities, and we need ever to remember that “in choosing men and women for His service, God does not ask whether they possess worldly wealth, learning, or eloquence. He asks, ‘Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?’BSPC 172.9

    “God can use every person just in proportion as He can put His Spirit into the soul-temple. The work that He will accept is the work that reflects His image. His followers are to bear, as their credentials to the world, the ineffaceable characteristic of His immortal principles!”—The Ministry of Healing, 37.BSPC 172.10

    When we turn to the Old Testament record and observe the qualifications outlined in the book of Exodus, as given previously, mention might be made of one of the expressions that is used.BSPC 173.1

    It is that of “hating covetousness.” In the Menge translation of the German Bible this reads, “men who cannot be bought or sold with bribes.” Another translation gives, “haters of unjust gain.”BSPC 173.2

    The counsel given in the Testimonies quite forcefully expresses the great need of today in the following words:BSPC 173.3

    “The greatest want of the world is the want of men,—men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”—Education, 57.BSPC 173.4

    Men of Purpose and Conviction

    God calls for leaders today who have courage (Acts 15:25, 26), who are men of conviction (1 Chronicles 12:32), and men who work with steady purpose (2 Corinthians 8:10, 11). Moffatt has an interesting and illuminating translation of these verses from 2 Corinthians:BSPC 173.5

    “It is to your interest to go on with this enterprise, for you started it last year, you were the first not merely to do anything but to want to do anything. Now, carry it through, so that your readiness to take it up may be equaled by the way you carry it through.”BSPC 173.6

    It has been well said: “God, give us men! A time like this demands
    Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and willing hands;
    Men whom the lust of office cannot kill;
    Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
    Men who possess opinions and a will;
    Men who have honor; men who will not lie.”
    —Josiah Gilbert Holland
    BSPC 173.7

    Other Requisites

    God calls for men of practical ability for His service. Let us observe the following characteristics:BSPC 173.8

    1. They Must Have the Gift of Leadership.BSPC 174.1

    This is an indispensable quality for all who expect to succeed as leaders in God’s cause. They must know how to “rule,” and yet rule in love. (Romans 12:8.) They must know how to organize and lay plans; they must know how to work with others. Leaders must of necessity at times give commands (2 Thessalonians 3:4, 6), and they need to learn how to do this with sympathetic regard for those who labor under them. Leaders of God must be willing to take counsel. We read concerning David that he “consulted ... with every leader.” (1 Chronicles 13:1) The direction given to us by the Lord is clear on this point:BSPC 174.2

    “We must move discreetly, sensibly, in harmony with the judgment of God-fearing counselors; for in this course alone lies our safety and strength.”Testimonies for the Church 9:257.BSPC 174.3

    “Brethren, you will have to wrestle with difficulties, carry burdens, give advice, plan and execute, constantly looking to God for help. Pray and labor, labor and pray; as pupils in the school of Christ, learn of Jesus.... It is in the order of God that those who bear responsibilities should often meet together to counsel with one another, and to pray earnestly for that wisdom which He alone can impart.”—Gospel Workers, 417.BSPC 174.4

    2. They Should Be Men of Good Judgment.BSPC 174.5

    Men called to positions of responsibility need good, sound judgment. This counsel has been given to the children of God many times through the centuries. We read:BSPC 174.6

    “Thou shall not wrest judgment; thou shall not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shall thou follow, that thou may live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God gives thee.” Deuteronomy 16:19, 20.BSPC 174.7

    This counsel was renewed in the days of Jehoshaphat. (2 Chronicles 19:6, 7, 9.)BSPC 174.8

    The following pointed counsel comes to us through the writings of the gift of prophecy:BSPC 174.9

    “It is of great importance that the one who is chosen to care for the spiritual interests of patients and helpers be a man of sound judgment and undeviating principle, a man who will have moral influence, who knows how to deal with minds. He should be a person of wisdom and culture, of affection as well as intelligence. He may not be thoroughly efficient in all respects at first; but he should, by earnest thought and the exercise of his abilities, qualify himself for this important work. The greatest wisdom and gentleness are needed to serve in this position acceptably yet with unbending integrity, for prejudice, bigotry, and error of every form and description must be met.”—Testimonies for the Church 4:546, 547.BSPC 174.10

    3. They Should Speak Well of Others.BSPC 175.1

    The leader should learn to speak well of his colleagues in service, and especially of those who preceded him in office. It is so easy for anyone to belittle the work of the person who occupied the position before him. The example of Paul is commendable. Note the way in which he referred to Apollos, who differed with him in one of his plans:BSPC 175.2

    “As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but lie will come when he shall have convenient time.” 1 Corinthians 16:12.BSPC 175.3

    Moffatt’s rendering of this verse indicates that Paul recognized the hand of the Lord in the delay, for we read:BSPC 175.4

    “I urged him to accompany the other brothers on a visit to you; he will come as soon as he has time, but for the present it is not the will of God that he should visit you.”BSPC 175.5

    Larger font
    Smaller font