Summary: A sermon on leadership (Material adapted from Daniel Overdorf's book, What the Bible Says About the Church: Rediscovering Community, chapter 11 Purposefully Designed, pgs. 277- 287)
Have children come up front and do children’s minute with them.
Do you have a role model? "What's a role model?" you might be asking? Well, a role model is a person that you respect, admire, and want to be like in some way. It might be a famous person such as a great athlete or a movie star. It might be someone you know personally like your favorite teacher. It might be a church leader. It could even be your mom, dad, or a brother or sister. Whether we realize it or not, we all have role models.
I am going to show you some pictures of people that most of you will probably recognize and you can tell me if you think that person would be a good role model. (Show the pictures and give the children the opportunity to talk about them.) It is important that we choose our role models carefully, isn't it? If we choose someone as our role model just because he or she is rich and famous, we will very likely be disappointed.
Who are some good role models from the Bible?
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV. Paul is gone. We can find some things from the Bible about him but it is good to have a living role model. Jesus Christ is the best role model and we can find a lot about Him in the Bible but He has gone into heaven. Need to have some good role models. Look out into this crowd. Some good role models out here. Let’s pray. (Adapted from http://www.sermons4kids.com/role_model.htm)
Last time we talked about the church, God’s community, as the body of Christ. Each member has a duty to perform their function for the good of the body. We are all dependent upon each other because everyone lacks in some way. Each member of the body is important, and no member is more important than any other member.
From this some might conclude that we do not need leaders in the body. Christ is the our leader, our head, so human leadership is not needed. There is something to this. “For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11, NIV. In this sense we are all followers of Jesus Christ, centered upon Christ, built upon Christ. Cannot have 2 or more heads in the body.
On another angle, those who advocate no leaders in the church miss the mark in 2 ways:
1. This goes against human nature.
Paraphrasing Luke Timothy Johnson, Common sense and sociology tell us that humans beings need human leaders. Analyses of communities have show that they cannot survive much beyond a few years without strong boundaries, mechanisms for decision making and social control. Leadership provides boundaries, decision making, and control.
Take for instance why we have the government. Romans 13 tells us why we have governing authorities. Vs. 3 to commend those who do right, vs. 4 to punish those who do wrong. Without government, it would be the law of the jungle, might makes right. No, we have government to keep order, to make decisions, and enforce the laws.
Even with the body idea for the church, we find that God has gifted people with leadership. “if it is leadership, let him govern diligently” Romans 12:8, NIV. If we are to have no human leaders, then why...? Some lead and some follow, happens in every group
2. Ignores numerous NT references to leaders and leadership structures
“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” Ephesians 4:11, 12, NIV.
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17, NIV.
The many references to elders. “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” Acts 14:23, NIV. Not long after these churches were establish they appointed elders. Why? So that the church would have recognized leaders. Same reason why Paul told Titus- “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” Titus 1:5, NIV. Talk about elders specifically next week, talked about deacons when Steve Bailey was set apart as a deacon.
“I am scared of leaders in the church because I’ve seen so many leaders abuse their position and commit corruption in many different ways.” I appreciate the honesty, but the church cannot be in a state of anarchy so we need leaders.