Recently at a seminar I was speaking with a visitor from another state. She began to weep as she recounted some of the trials brought on her home congregation because of a serious lack of good leadership in that church. She talked about leaders that were unwilling to sit down and discuss spiritual issues with members. She talked about ugly attitudes in both elders and members and the eventual split that has disgraced that church in the community. A “church split” is a more benign way to say a “ripping apart of the body of the Lamb of God–of Jesus.” It’s a painful thought for any Christian.
The worst thing about the above scenario is that, while one occurrence is too many, it is simply far too common. While the devil can throw many factors into the mix when he’s busy destroying the unity in churches, the buck generally stops at the feet of the elders. Great leaders can anticipate problems before they occur and do some important feeding of the flock–feeding that just may safeguard the church from division. When difficult days come, godly elders are courageous in confronting sin and leading in the commanded discipline to keep the church pure and strong.
I don’t want to be pessimistic about the church’s future, but, as we travel around and speak, Glenn and I can’t help but notice that we, in the body at large, are experiencing a dearth of godly and courageous leadership. Somehow, the last generation has failed to cultivate in men of the body those Titus 1 and I Timothy 3 qualities (most of which should be cultivated in all Christian men) that make mere men capable of leading the bride of Christ. How very sad that we have raised our boys to be successful engineers, educators and businessmen, but not faithful leaders in the body of Christ.
“But, Cindy Colley,” you may be asking…”Why are you telling women that we need better leaders? What can we do about it? We can’t very well rise to the occasion.”
Well, the first and obvious thing we can do is put the honor of the eldership in the hearts of our boys. We need to stop with the criticism (especially in front of our children) of the men in the office and do our best to make our little boys want to be elders. Then we can train them in the specific qualities listed by the Holy Spirit. “Headed to the Office” by Glenn Colley offers some great and practical tips to help parents put the desire and qualities for great leadership in their boys.
Secondly, sisters…why not give your elders or the men of your church a dvd that will help them implement an elder training program? Many churches we see are only a few short years away from losing their current elders to sickness and death and finding themselves with no qualified men to replace them. Based on a model that we have seen work, Glenn suggests a program that could practically prevent your congregation from going through a volatile period without elders. Sometimes Glenn presents this material at leadership seminars or elder retreats. Thanks to World Video Bible School, the idea is now presented in a new dvd format for a low cost.
Each year, The Colley House offers a holiday bundle at a reduced price for someone on your list. This year, the bundle is for the elders or aspiring elders that you appreciate. Click here to see this year’s special. We hope it is ultimately helpful to your congregation.