Summary: A sermon from Proverbs 28-31 on the benchmarks for the best leaders both in the nation and in the church (Adapted from an article by Bob Russell in the Lookout Magazine called, "What should we expect from our rulers?")
When it comes to the leaders of our nation, individual measure them by different standards. Some base their opinions on appearances. Some base their opinions on their home life. Some evaluate them by their experience. Some rate the ideal leader by their reputation. Some base their ideal leaders on their political party. Some base their opinions on where that leader stands on various issues.
What qualities should matter to Christians when we evaluate our political leaders?
Thesis: Ch. 28-31 of Proverbs give us several insights about what makes a person an effective leader (also in the church)
The best leaders are righteous people.
Proverbs 29:2: When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
To be righteous in a leadership sense, one is just or concerned about being in the right.
Experience, charisma, and intelligence take a back seat to integrity in leadership at any level.
We don’t want incompetent people running the country or anything for that matter, but since righteousness exalts a nation (Prov. 14:34) , integrity should be of utmost importance.
Why can’t we evaluate our national leaders by standards from God’s Word that apply to church leaders?
1 Timothy 3 says, “Now the overseer must be above reproach.”
Titus 1 says, “An elder must be blameless.”
A good indicator of their integrity and righteousness is the state of their home life.
1 Timothy 3 says, “the husband of but one wife, He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)”
Titus 1 says, “the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.”
1 Timothy 3 even describes how their spouse is to be. After all they are in this thing together. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great- Alexis de Tocqueville
The best leaders are people who cannot be bought.
Proverbs 29:4: By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.
Proverbs 28:16: A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.
If a leader is easily swayed by generous donors and is subject to the whims of lobbies and special interests, the country is controlled by the wealthy.
A ruler who puts justice ahead of greed inspires confidence in his leadership and brings stability to the nation, to his family, and to his own soul.
The best leaders have compassion for the poor.
Proverbs 28:3: A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
Proverbs 29:7: The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
Proverbs 29:14: If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.
Proverbs 31:8-9: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Matthew 25:40: The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Too many handouts and get a dependent people. No help then those less fortunate loose heart.
It is interesting that Benjamin Franklin said this: I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.
The best leaders practice self control.
Proverbs 31:4-5: It is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
A person who cannot control his appetites should not be entrusted with leadership.
1 Timothy 3 says “temperate, self controlled, not given to drunkenness.”
Titus 1 says “not given to drunkenness, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.”
That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves- Thomas Jefferson
The best leaders know the Lord.