Summary: In the selection process of church leaders we must see the importance of purpose as well as process.
Back in the 90’s there was a President of Harvard University named Neil Rudenstine. Now, one of the major roles of college president is to raise money for the institution so they can pay the salaries and other financial responsibilities of the organization. And Neil Rudenstine was very good at meeting that need. For three years - since he became the school’s president - he methodically raised a $1 million a day for Harvard..
The reason he was so successful was that he was passionate about every facet of his job. He focused on both the big and small things in the college. Besides spending twelve hours a day on a demanding job, he fretted banquet menus, argued about his $10-15 medical co-pay and, wrote notes to the football coach, the editors school newspaper, the various staff as well as the dorm house masters.
But one morning in November, he overslept and just couldn’t manage to make himself go to work. When he went to the doctor, he was diagnosed with “severe fatigue and exhaustion.” The directors insisted he took an indefinite leave of absence to recover.
So he did.
And he didn’t return for the next seven days.
In fact, he didn’t return for the next seven weeks.
In fact, he spent the next seven months recovering from his fatigue. (Courtesy of Victor Yap Sermoncentral.com based on stories from Newsweek 3/6/95, U.S. News & World Report 12/12/94)
2. Leadership is a difficult task – especially in church circles
a. Best size of a group to lead – 12
b. Our elders each try to work with more than 125 people
3. In signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin quipped, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Maybe we should adapt this to: “We must all pull together, or we shall assuredly pull apart.”
4. Ephesians 4.11-13
I. Leadership Roles Within the Church
A. Core Leadership
1. Apostles – Missionaries
2. Prophets – Preachers
3. Evangelists – Outreach
4. Pastor-Teachers – Elders/Shepherds
B. Special Leadership – Deacons – Acts 6
Justin Martyr (early 2C) – early community of God’s actions when they came together:
On day called “Sun Day” believers gathered in one place [day of Helios – Greek Sun god]; writings of apostles or prophets are read; then when reader has ceased, the President instructs to imitation of these good things; prays; bread and wine and water brought; President in like manner gives prayers and thanksgiving; people say amen and distribution to each; to those absent a portion is sent by deacons; give according to what they see fit; President gives to those in need – widows, orphans, sick, in bonds, strangers, etc.; but Sun Day is when we hold common assembly because it is the day when God changed darkness to create world; Yeshua rose from dead Yeshua crucified before day of Saturn and appeared to disciples on day of Sun (Justin Martyr); [3 days and nights – any part of day = whole day]
C. Synagogue Basis
• Nasi – President of the Assembly -- Administrator
• Shlechim – from word which means to send – sent out from congregation as public announcers – “apostles”
• TSkanim – from world which means “old” and we translate it into English as Elders; not necessarily the older men but the more experienced in spiritual maturity;
• Gabahai Tzedekah – in Hebrew; in Greek = diakonos; English = deacon/Minister; Gabah = Tax Collector – people of synagogue are/were taxed according to income = donation, payment to be part of congregation; funds collected and distributed to those in need
• Bat Lanim – 10 in each synagogue to be a functioning synagogue; literally a man of leisure who had financial means to dedicate 100% of his time to the study of God’s word;
• Magid – from Hebrew word for Tell/Relate – Evangelists – gave message/sermon; gifted orator
• CHazzan – Superintendent/Cantor – Chants; had been the one to mete out stripes by court of Jews;
• Shamash – “Caretaker” or “Custodian” of physical structure
• Rabbi – functions as the wandering prophet of OT; 1-2 C, BC and CE did not have position in synagogue as today
II. Leadership Purpose Within the Church
A. The Purpose Is NOT:
1. Dictatorial Demands; Aloof Directors
2. Our Doormats
1. Leaders make decisions that lead us to green pastures and still waters
2. Leaders are involved in teaching
a. Classroom and more – OJT as the Rabbis
[Field Trips – Sermon on the Mount (behold the lilies of the field); Caesarea Philippi; Parables (Sower); Missionary Journeys
b. Bible Knowledge is Essential – we are not just to be busy doing “stuff” we are to be doing Spirit things