Summary: Can everyone become a leader in the local church? The writer of Hebrews is bemoaning that after so much time the saints were still immature. Is that the case of the church today? Everyone is expected to be and can be a leader!
The fervor of the early church was already dwindling by the time of the writing of this later book of the New Testament. Persecution was causing many to fall away. The writer is bemoaning the fact that by this time many of them should have been teachers. They were still spiritual babes. Could this be the situation of the church today? It is time that we arise to the vision of every believer becoming a leader.
I Why can Everyone be a Leader?
i) Time: v 12, by this time ….. A lot of time had passed since they came to Christ. They were not new believers so they had plenty of time to be trained to be leaders. Leaders are not born but made.
ii) Elementary Truths: These truths were already taught. They had the building blocks for leadership but had not developed on them. As a result they had to be taught them all over again.
iii) Part of God’s original plan: Gen 1:26, Adam was created in the image of God to be a leader. He had to look after the garden, name the animals and have dominion. God created our first father with great leadership potential.
iv) Seed analogy: Every seed reproduces after it’s own kind (Gen 8:22). We can all be leaders because God’s seed is in us (1Jo 3:9). God is our spiritual father; hence we can be spiritual parents. In a family all the children are expected to grow up become parents and have their own families.
II Why is Everyone not a Leader?
i) Living on milk: v 13 you can’t grow up if you only live on milk. Living on milk is easy, involves no risk, no change, no hard work. Some babies like to suck on the bottle for a very long time. To become a leader we must graduate to solid food. Jesus food was to do the will of his Father and to finish it.
ii) Growth involves putting the Word into practice: v 14. The mature constantly use the Word. Growth comes not just by passive reading or studying but by putting it into practice.
iii) We have the wrong paradigm of Church: When Christianity became a state religion, there was a separation of the clergy and laity. The effects of this are still seen today. Hence many in the church do not think that is their job to be leaders.
iv) Poor equipping: In many churches today there is no clear equipping track for believers to become leaders. We need to change that. Role of the 5-fold ministry is to prepare God’s people for works of service (Eph 4:12)
v) Bad habits: Immaturity can be a bad habit that is hard to change. It is easier to learn a new skill than to unlearn a bad habit.
III How can Everyone become a Leader?
i) Be convinced that it is God’s will for you: There is no other way but to rise up to leadership. We only have one life to live we will not get another chance to be fruitful. We are all on life’s path with some ahead of us and some behind us.
ii) Repent of being spiritual infants: Spiritual infancy is a sin we need to repent from. If we are not bearing fruit we are in danger of being cut off from the vine. We need to get engrafted back into the vine (Jesus).
iii) Prepare yourself for leadership: Seek God for souls, study to be able to teach your new disciples, get experience under another leader as you prepare to start your own cell group.