Summary: Leadership is the most important function in the church. The church will never rise above its leadership. Therefore, selecting the right leaders is vital to be an effective, Christ-honoring, and scriptural church.
SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”
TEXT: ACTS 1:12-26
TITLE: “PRINCIPLES FOR CHOOSING LEADERS”
INTRODUCTION: A. A man is driving with his wife at his side and his mother-in-law in the back seat.
The women just won’t leave him alone.
His mother-in-law says, “You’re driving too fast!”
His wife says, “Stay more to the left.”
After about ten different mixed orders, the frustrated fellow turned to his wife
and asks, “Who’s driving this car? You or your mother?”
B. Jesus is the head of the church but he’s left the driving to designated leaders.
1. An effective, scriptural congregation needs to have effective, scriptural leaders.
2. Sam Stone, How To Be An Effective Church Leader: No church will be greater
than its leaders. Its greatness begins with them. Every great movement started
with great leaders. For the church to do its best work, good leadership is
C. Jesus had told his disciples that they were to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the
1. The disciples took Jesus’ commands to heart
2. Vs. 14 tells us that while they were waiting, they didn’t just sit around twiddling
their thumbs, playing cards, talking about current events, or worrying about
what was going to happen
--They spent their time preparing for what would happen when the Holy Spirit
would be poured out.
3. Preparation meant prayer
a. vs. 14 – “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the
women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
b. Through praying together, they came to a decision.
--there was a slot in the leadership team that needed to be filled
D. In this passage, we the leader-selection process described.
--It should teach us some very important things about how we choose our
leadership and who we choose for leadership
I. A LEADER SHOULD BE SELECTED BECAUSE THEY ARE GOD’S CHOICE FOR
A. Many times we choose leaders because WE think they will make good leaders.
--We need to make sure we have to find GOD’s choice for leadership
1. Vss. 24-25 – the early disciples trusted God to choose because He is the “heart-knower”
a. David’s deathbed admonition to Solomon in 1 Chron. 28:9b – “…for the LORD searches every
heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts…”
b. Jer. 17:10a – “"I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind…”
2. In Samuel’s search for a successor to King Saul, he wanted David’s older brother Eliab because of
the way he looked.
a. He thought Eliab looked like a leader.
b. But in 1 Sam. 16:7, God said, “"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected
him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart."”
B. God is not only a “heart-knower.” He’s also a “mission-giver”.
--vs. 25 – God’s choice was for someone who would be part of “this apostolic ministry”
1. “apostle – “set apart and sent out”
2. In the 1st century, an apostle was someone who was ordained by a superior to carry out a specific
mission on behalf of the superior
3. Jesus had a mission and a ministry for His early church to fulfill
C. The method they used had three parts:
1. The candidate for leadership had to meet certain qualifications
--deal with this in more detail in just a minute
2. The body of believers selected the men they thought best met those qualifications
3. Then they “cast lots”
a. Both names would have been written on small, flat stones and then placed in a container. The
container would have been shaken and then turned over. The name on the first stone to fall out
would be the person selected.
b. This method for discerning divine choice had a long history in Israel
(1). Joshua cast lots to discern which part of the Promised Land went to which tribe
(2). It was the process that was used to decide the divisions of the priests and Levites into their
courses of service.
(3). Prov. 16:33 – “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
D. The very simple teaching is that the choice of leadership is not up to us. It’s up to God
--Our job is to follow His leadership in choosing leaders.
II. A LEADER MUST MEET CERTAIN QUALIFICATIONS
A. As I said earlier, they were some qualifications for those considered to fill the apostolic vacancy
1. Faithfully follow Jesus during His earthly ministry
2. Began that journey of faith starting with the ministry of John the Baptist
3. Still faithfully numbered among those who were disciples
B. Scripture is consistent in this teaching about leaders meeting qualifications