What should our daily lives look like-Christians?

Discussion Board Forum # 7 Leadership 510 Spring 2015 @ Liberty.edu

Do the qualifying criteria for elders and deacons, as listed in the writings of Paul (Howell, ch. 23), relate to other leadership positions in Christian organizations? Why or why not? If not, what alternative criteria should be given thought as leaders are recruited?

Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife,temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,  not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)  He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.  He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap (1 Timothy 3:1-7 NIV).

The qualifying criteria for elders and deacons do relate to other leadership positions within a Christian organization regardless of the organization.  An organization’s integrity and reputation is at risk if its leaders’ reputation with others is fractured or fragmented.  When people do not trust the entity’s leaders, the organization loses its credibility.  Even leaders in a non-Christian context lose credibility when trust is violated.  According to Stephen Covey, Almost everywhere we turn, trust is on the decline. Trust in our culture at large, in our institutions, and in our companies is significantly lower than a generation ago. Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information. Consider the loss of trust and confidence in the financial markets today. Indeed, “trust makes the world go ’round,” and right now we’re experiencing a crisis of trust.[1] Aubrey Malphurs declared, “A Christian leader is a servant with credibility . . .”[2]

Malphurs proposed that character, “is the essential ingredient that qualifies Christians to lead others (see Gal. 5: 19 with vv. 22– 23 and 1 Peter 1: 13– 16).”[3] Reggie McNeal identified the criterion of self-management as one of the disciplines of great spiritual leaders.[4]  Don Howell classified the sub-area of the family under the position of “deacon” as a criterion for that particular leadership position. [5]  However, McNeal supported the argument that the importance of a spiritual leader belonging to his family and maintaining his relational integrity within the family structure by stating, “For spiritual leaders what’s happening at home plays a huge role in supporting their leadership.”[6]

With regards to ministry, Malphurs proffered the construct that “Competent leaders are knowledgeable leaders. They have the knowledge and intelligence necessary to accomplish their God-given tasks. Most often they know what to do, either intuitively or because they’ve learned it. Regardless, they have the knowledge that it takes to lead a church in the twenty-first century.”[7] Therefore, spiritual leaders possess the ministry skills needed to minister in their area of responsibility. McNeal presented the discipline of aloneness as a need for spiritual leaders to spend time with the Lord to identify areas of weakness and strengths, as well as spiritual rejuvenation.

Do the qualifying criteria for elders and deacons, as listed in the writings of Paul (Howell, ch. 23), relate to Christians who are not in leadership positions?

Let’s answer this question with questions that pertain to the qualifying criteria for deacons and elders:

  1. Now the overseer is to be above reproach [Should a Christian be above reproach? (Ro 14:16 & 18)].
  2. Faithful to his wife (Should a Christian man be faithful to his wife? (Romans 13:9)] .
  3. Temperate, [Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)].
  4. Self-controlled [Fruit of the Spirit ( Gal 5:23) ].
  5. Respectable [(Luke 15:25-31)].
  6. Hospitable[ (Heb 13:2)].
  7. Able to teach (Spiritual Gift Ro 12:7)].
  8. Not given to drunkenness [(Romans 14:21Ephesians 5:18)].
  9. Not violent but gentle  [Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)].
  10. Not quarrelsome [(Proverbs 21:19)].
  11. Not a lover of money [(Matthew 6:24)].
  12. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him.  He must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? [(Eph 6:1-4)]. 
  13. He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.  
  14. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap [(1 Pet 2:12) ].

[8] To conclude, research indicates that the title of positions does not negate the criteria for spiritual leadership in a Christian organization.

What is your answer to the question my dear friends? Each of us, every born again Christian represents Christ as we live our lives each day.

Bibliography

Covey, Stephen M. “How the Best Leaders Build Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey @ LeadershipNow.” How the Best Leaders Build Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey @ LeadershipNow. May 12, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2015.http://www.leadershipnow.com/CoveyOnTrust.html.

Howell, Don N. Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003.

Malphurs, Aubrey. Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003.

McNeal, Reggie. Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

Notes


[1] Stephen M. Covey, “How the Best Leaders Build Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey @ LeadershipNow,” How the Best Leaders Build Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey @ LeadershipNow, May 12, 2014, Section 1, accessed April 27, 2015, http://www.leadershipnow.com/CoveyOnTrust.html.

[2] Aubrey Malphurs, Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), 49, Kindle.

[3] Ibid., 18-19

[4] Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006), Location 719, Kindle.

[5] Don N. Howell, Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003), 290.

[6] Location 2200.

[7] Aubrey Malphurs, Being Leaders: 58.

[8] Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness: Location 2200.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bueller
    May 13, 2015 @ 22:47:37

    It never ceases to amaze me at the “criteria” it takes to lead a church. Naturally there are different “criteria” considered when placing a pastor, deacon or other individuals in their positions. As a Catholic, the term Deacon is used differently I believe than in other churches. The reason I say that is because I only know what criteria it takes to be a deacon in the Catholic Church. He must be someone who either is married or a widow with no intention of ever remarrying. Even married at the time of becoming a deacon, once his wife dies he must continue to live a life pretty much as a priest is supposed to. I know our deacons actually go to classes for two years before being made a deacon. So, the answer to the question for me in the religion I know is that yes, all the criteria shown in the above is a MUST for any man to become a deacon in the Catholic Church and I really can’t see there being a difference in any other religion. How they get to the point of being a deacon may be different but they do need to be above reproach.

    Reply

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