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August 4, 2012

Church Leadership: Four Critical Concepts

by LDI Global Missions

We must realize every born again believer is part of the body of Christ.

Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “you do not lead by hitting people over the head; that’s assault, not leadership.” It is imperative that we honor and protect “the body.” Col 2:19b … the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and kit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (NKJV) 1 Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. The best way to gain and hold the loyalty of your followers is to share interest in them and care for them, by your words and actions in everything you do. Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and let him know you trust him. Trust is the emotional ‘glue’ that binds followers and leaders together.

We should recognize that every Christian has a function in the body.

1 Cor. 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. We are collectively parts of Christ’s body and are individually a member of Christ’s body. Each has their own distinctive place and function. Rom. 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. We have different gifts, but cannot function in isolation. We are individual but not independent. All of the organs work together for the whole, for growth and sustenance of the entire body. We each have our uniqueness/position, but are mutually dependent on one another. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (1 Cor. 12:15-16). To paraphrase President Harry Truman: “There is no limit to what the body can do if the individual members do not mind who gets the credits.” God does not prefer one gift above another; He rewards faithfulness and not position. The psalmist in Psalm 84:10B I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. 1 Peter 4:10-11 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability to which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Cor. 12:24-25 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

We must release and encourage ministries, abilities, talents, and functions.

Eph 4:11-13 (NIV) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. God gave these gifts with the intention of perfecting, fully equipping the saints to do the work of ministering and building up the body of Christ, the church, for edification, for evangelism. It is imperative that we promote this concept to those we lead, and practice it! John Quincy Adams said: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader.

by G.A. Mangun

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