How many times does leader, leaders, or leadership appear in the New Testament?
Please note that these are approximate numbers (they varies depending on what translation you read)
- Leadership : 9 times
- In Christ : 142 times
- One another : 147 times
What teachings and how many have you heard with the above titles?
I wonder if the Church looks at the world for inspiration instead of Christ.
I already asked the question “How many times does leader, leaders, or leadership appear in the New Testament?”
Now let ask it slightly differently; In what context are these words used?
Mark 10:42 – Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 “But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Luke 22:26 – Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.
Matthew 23:10 – Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Acts 5:31 – God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Hebrews 2:10 – And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering,
a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation…
1 Cor 12:28 – … third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, … Notice it is a gift.
So we can see that Whoever wants to be a leader should be a slave or a servant in the Kingdom of God. ( Matthew, Mark and Luke)
There is only one leader; that is Christ the Messiah. (Matthew, Acts and Hebrew)
Leadership is a gift from God. (1 Cor)
The current churches obsession with leadership creates the type of problem where people are trying to “succeed” (a worldly term) and the only way they see success in the church is if they lead their own group. (the bigger the more ‘respect’ you have). So you will have division in the church with this approach. The “Elder” can’t be the “Chief Elder” unless he leads his own group.
It is often said that the people want leader to do the work for them. That is only true if you view the church as a organisation – like most worldly organisations – and not a as a Family, Building, Body and Bride as is described in the New Testament.
This reminds me of the Israelite’s of old in that they rejected God as King and wanted a king like the nations around them.
1 Samuel 8 NASB
1 And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8 “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” 10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. 11 He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12 “He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 “He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 “He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15 “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16 “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 “He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18 “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” 19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
Have the people reject Christ as king? Do they want to be like other nations and have a visible leader?
Do we not learn from History?
Chris wants Followers not leaders. Jesus’ first words to his disciples were ” Follow me”.
Paul Did not say “Follow me even as I lead in Christ’ name”; He said ” Follow me even as I follow Christ”
Lets us look at some scriptures about leadership in the church:
1 Peter 5:3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders(4245) in every city as I directed you, 6 [namely], if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward(1985), not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
From Strongs Concordance
4245 Elder : presbyteros – properly, a mature man having seasoned judgment (experience); an elder.
1985 overseer : (epískopos) has been regarded traditionally as a position of authority, in reality the focus is upon the responsibility for caring for others.
In reality we are always followers. we do not take Jesus to the people but we follow His spirit who is already at work in the world. No one can say I started a ministry. Rather we say we followed the leading of the Spirit to do the work of the ministry with Him who leads us.
A question that I always ask myself.
Do we ever stop been followers of Christ. If so then who leads us?