The Submitted To Godly Leadership Church

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The seventh mark of a healthy church is a church filled with leaders who are being led by Jesus, leading like Jesus, and leading to Jesus.

1 Timothy(3), Acts(12), Hebrews(3), Luke(10), Mark(4) (Part of the 8 Marks Of The Church(8) series)
by Stuart Johns(184) on March 13, 2022 (Sunday Morning(259))

Humility(4), Leadership(1), Submitting(3)

8 Marks Of The Church

The Submitted To Godly Leadership Church

 

INTRODUCTION

Urban Legends

 

Carey Nieuwhof shares 5 dumb myths every leader should abandon.

  • Success will happen overnight – “Who hasn’t fallen for this? ​​ And if you don’t believe it, you’ve secretly wanted it, haven’t you? ​​ Yet there are few overnight successes. ​​ Or as my wife has pointed out, it was a very long night.”

  • Smart work, not hard work, will win the day – “. . . smart work is no substitute for hard work. ​​ Working smarter doesn’t mean you can put in a few hours, hit cruise control and coast to victory. . . . When you stop growing, so do the people around you.”

  • I will get universal buy-in – “There will be a day when I become a good enough leader that I will announce our next move and everyone will applaud wildly, right? . . . Conditions will never be perfect. ​​ ‘Everybody’ will never buy in. ​​ Sometimes you just need to lead.”

  • There’s a silver bullet – “So there’s one thing that will turn everything around right? ​​ A silver bullet? ​​ A model I can just embrace and press play and everything will magically be wonderful. ​​ Right?”

  • One day I will arrive – “No, you won’t. ​​ And if you do, you’ll arrive to learn you’ve missed the point. ​​ Effective leaders keep growing. ​​ They never stop.”

 

[https://careynieuwhof.com/5-dumb-myths-too-many-leaders-believe/]

 

I love to read. ​​ Years ago, I would read three books at a time. ​​ One was a leadership book, another was a spiritual development book, and the third would be a “fun” book (historical fiction, etc.). ​​ I was always looking to grow in my spiritual walk and leadership knowledge. ​​ Today, I read a lot for spiritual growth through commentaries and other books. ​​ I read books on prayer and some leadership stuff.

 

There are many common myths about the church that are misguided at best and dangerous at worst

 

BODY

  • Myth

    • You can have subjective standards for church leadership and be a healthy church

    • This myth, if believed, can be dangerous because:

        • If the leaders of the church are not subject to the objective standards of leadership in the church, the people of the church won’t be subject to the objective standards of discipleship in the church

        • This confuses the church, exposes the church, and robs the church of its sense of security

    • We know this is a myth because Jesus said a clear mark of a healthy church would be a church filled with leaders who are being led by him, leading like him, and leading to him

 

Let’s pray

 

  • GOD

    • MARK: ​​ The Submitted To Godly Leadership Church

        • The Submitted To Godly Leadership Church and the Teaching of Jesus (Mark 3:13-15; Luke 22:24-27)

          • Mark 3:13-15

            • Background

              • The corresponding passage in Luke 6:12-16 tells us that Jesus had been up on the mountainside praying all night

              • In the morning He called the disciples up on the mountainside and chose the twelve apostles

            • Appointing the Apostles

              • Most scholars agree that the number of Apostles is probably significant, because there were twelve tribes of Israel (that number is important throughout Scripture)

              • Jesus designates the twelve as “Apostles”

                • This was a change from simply disciple to apostle

                • A “disciple” is one who learns by doing; our modern equivalent might be an “apprentice.” An “apostle” is one who is sent on official service with a commission. Jesus had many disciples but only twelve apostles, His special “ambassadors.” [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Diligent, BE Series Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010), 46.]

              • Purpose in appointing them

                • They might be with him

                  • Wiersbe and Grassmick agree that being with Jesus was for the purpose of training them

                  • The twelve apostles would learn from Jesus’ example

                  • Once they were ready, He would send them out

                • He might send them out to accomplish two things

                  • To preach

                  • To have authority to drive out demons

                  • Mark 6:6-7, 12-13, Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. ​​ Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. . . . They went out and preached that people should repent. ​​ They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

              • Application [J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. Accordance electronic ed. (London: Wertheim, Macintosh, & Hunt, 1857), paragraph 1932.]

                • “Like the apostles, the faithful minister ought to keep up close communion with Christ.”

                • “Like the apostles, the faithful minister ought to be a preacher. This must ever be his principal work, and receive the greatest part of his thoughts. He must place it above the administration of the sacraments. (1 Cor. i. 17).”

                • “Like the apostles, the faithful minister must labour to do good in every way. Though he cannot heal the sick, he must seek to alleviate sorrow, and to increase happiness among all with whom he has to do. He must strive to be known as the comforter, the counsellor, the peacemaker, the helper, and the friend of all.”

                • “Like the apostles, the faithful minister must oppose every work of the devil.”

            • Jesus chose twelve men to be His apostles, these twelve men were going to lead the founding of the church

            • In their humanness, the Apostles struggled with the worldly idea of greatness, which Jesus had to address

          • Luke 22:24-27

            • The apostles were arguing about which of them was the greatest

              • The significance of what Jesus was sharing with them at the Last Supper was lost on them

              • “When you are interested in promoting yourself, it doesn’t take much to start an argument.” [Wiersbe, 128]

            • Worldly greatness/leadership

              • Characterized by selfishness, arrogance, and doing whatever it takes to make it to the top

              • Some kings in the ancient world gave themselves the title of “benefactor,” but it was not necessarily a true representation of who they were and what they did

            • Spiritual greatness/leadership

              • Youngest

                • In the culture of the day, the youngest person was the one who was considered the least

                • They did not have rank or position, especially as it pertained to family units

                • The first-born (eldest) would be the one who had rank and position within the family – he would inherit everything

                • “The senior leader with the most experience must adopt an attitude as if he were the youngest with no experience, no leadership responsibility, and no honors expected.” [Trent C. Butler, Luke, ed. Max Anders, vol. 3 of Holman New Testament Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2000), 370.]

              • One who serves

                • Servant leadership is what Jesus was telling them to do

                  • Philippians 2:3, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, in humility consider others better than yourselves.

                  • John 3:30, He must become greater; I must become less.

                • Jesus’ example

                  • Jesus is the One who is serving the bread and the cup at the supper

                  • Jesus gives them an example of what servant leadership looks like by taking a towel, wrapping it around His waist, and washing His disciples feet

                  • “Usefulness in the world and Church; a humble readiness to do anything, and put our hands to any good work; a cheerful willingness to fill any post, however lowly, and discharge any office, however unpleasant, if we can only promote happiness and holiness on earth,—these are the true tests of Christian greatness.” [Ryle, paragraph 7786]

              • “You must make a choice. Will you accept the world’s oppressive way of honoring greatness? Or will you follow Jesus’ example of becoming a servant and seeking the best for the “family”? Will you be part of the last who will become first? Or must you be first now?” [Butler, 370]

          • Jesus teaches us that He is the One who establishes spiritual leaders and that spiritual leadership is remarkably different than worldly leadership

        • The Submitted To Godly Leadership Church and the Teaching of the Early Church (Acts 2:42; 6:3-4)

          • Acts 2:42

            • They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (NIV)

            • As we saw in the previous point, Jesus had chosen the twelve apostles, trained them, and sent them out to preach and teach

            • Acts 2:42 shows us what happened after Jesus sent the apostles out – the day of Pentecost happens

            • The 3,000 who were added to their numbers on Pentecost, plus those who were already followers of Jesus devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles

            • These believers were submitting to the godly leadership of the apostles

            • As the number of believers continued to grow, there had to be the delegation and sharing of leadership responsibilities, as we will see in Acts 6:3-4

          • Acts 6:3-4

            • “Ministry is everyone’s responsibility, but different ministry tasks require different ministry qualifications.” ​​ [Kenneth O. Gangel, Acts, ed. Max Anders, vol. 5 of Holman New Testament Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 1998), 92.]

              • The seven that were to be chosen needed to have two primary qualifications

                • Full of the Spirit (controlled by)

                • Full of wisdom

              • They were given the responsibility of waiting on tables

                • This certainly has the idea of serving food to the widows

                • It can also have the idea of a manager’s table where funds for food are distributed

                • Acts 4:34-35, There were no needy persons among them. ​​ For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

              • While the very important task of providing for the needs of all widows was delegated to seven men, the apostles dedicated their time to two things

            • Apostles’ priorities

              • They gave their attention to the prayer and the ministry of the word

                • The prayer that is being talked about here is public prayer

                  • Leading others in public prayer

                  • They certainly had their own quiet time of prayer also

                • Ministry of the Word

                  • In Mark 3, we saw that this was one of the primary things that Jesus sent the apostles out to do

                  • While ministering to the physical needs of the believers was important, the primary responsibility of the apostles was to the spiritual needs of the believers

                  • They needed the necessary time to prepare and teach God’s Word

              • That is not to say that they didn’t still help with food or money distribution, but that was not their primary role

          • The early church teachings help us understand that the spiritual leaders were tasked with leading believers in corporate prayer and the teaching of God’s Word

        • The Submitted To Godly Leadership Church and the Teaching of the Apostles (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-13

          • Hebrews 13:17

            • Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. ​​ They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (NIV)

            • Obey your leaders

              • “The reference here is to their religious teachers, and not to civil rulers.” [Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, Accordance electronic ed. (Altamonte Springs: OakTree Software, 2006), paragraph 29886.]

              • “When a servant of God is in the will of God, teaching the Word of God, the people of God should submit and obey.” [Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Confident, BE Series Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010), 176.]

              • My desire and practice has always been to be in the will of God and teaching the Word of God

              • My prayer is that this desire and practice are evident to you all

              • There have been times when leading Idaville Church has felt like a burden, but those times are few and far between

              • During those times, I reflect on the calling that God placed on my life over 13 years ago and I am encouraged and find hope

              • The vast majority of my time here has been joy-filled

              • I love you all and I love to serve together with you

              • “A disobedient Christian will find on that day that the results of disobedience are unprofitable, not for the pastor, but for himself.” [Wiersbe, 177]

            • Keep watch and give account

              • The leadership of Idaville Church is genuinely concerned for the spiritual growth and salvation of those that God has placed in our care, to shepherd

              • Each board member has a group of individuals/families that they are responsible to connect with and check up on

              • We take this responsibility very seriously, because we will have to give an account when we stand before the Lord

            • While the writer of Hebrews exhorts the people in the church to obey the leaders, Paul writes to Timothy to share the qualifications of those who serve in positions of leadership

          • 1 Timothy 3:1-13

            • Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13

            • Overseer

              • Being an overseer is a noble task

              • Qualifications

                • Positive

                  • Above reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, gentle, manage family well, good reputation with outsiders

                • Negative

                  • Not given to drunkenness, not violent, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, not a recent convert

                • When people tell me they don’t meet the qualifications of an overseer, I encourage them to work on the areas where they feel they don’t qualify, so they can qualify

              • Paul also lists the qualifications for a deacon

            • Deacon

              • Qualifications

                • Positive

                  • Worthy of respect, sincere, keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience, husband of one wife, manage children and household well

                • Negative

                  • Not indulging in much wine, not pursuing dishonest gain

              • They are to be tested

              • Their wives are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers, temperate, and trustworthy

          • The teaching of the Apostles helps us to understand that when qualified leaders are following God’s will and teaching His Word, that they should be obeyed and followed

        • We not only see this mark proclaimed to us through teaching, but also through a picture

    • METAPHOR: ​​ The Flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-4)

        • Fellow elder

          • Peter does not use his position as an apostle to elevate himself above the other elders

          • He positions himself as a fellow elder that was privileged to witness Jesus’ sufferings and share in the glory that will be revealed in future

        • Shepherds of God’s flock

          • “To ‘shepherd’ means ‘to lead, to guide, and to rule.’ . . . According to that psalm [Psalm 23], the tasks of a shepherd are to lead (v. 2), to provide spiritual guidance and feeding (v. 3), to offer comfort (v. 4), strengthening (v. 5), and correction (v. 2).” [Max Anders, I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude, ed. Max Anders, vol. 11 of Holman New Testament Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 1999), 89.]

          • John 21:16, Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” ​​ He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” ​​ Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

            • This was the second time that Jesus asked Peter this question, after His resurrection

            • The same Greek word is used in John 21:16, by Jesus, that Peter uses in 1 Peter 5:2 – he hasn’t forgotten what Jesus exhorted him to do

          • Shepherding/Taking care involves two relationships as Wiersbe points out

            • Being among the people (know their needs/problems)

            • Being over the people (lead them and help solve problems)

        • Attitude of a shepherd

          • Willingness, not a task/duty

          • Not greedy for money, but certainly worthy of his hire

          • Eager – with enthusiasm, excitement, and energy [Anders, 89]

          • Being an example to the flock

        • “Just as a flock of sheep follows their shepherd, we follow Jesus, our Shepherd. ​​ Just as a flock of sheep are submitted to and obey their shepherd, we submit to and obey Jesus and the under-shepherd’s He has appointed for us.” ​​ [Matt Kyser]

        • So, how does this apply to our lives?

    • APPLICATION (how will we know if this mark of The Church marks Our Church?)

        • We can clearly see the leaders in our church being led by Jesus (John 21:22)

          • Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? ​​ You must follow me.” (NIV)

          • Jesus is talking with Peter by the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection

          • He has shared with him about the kind of death he would experience and Peter asks about John, who was following them

          • Jesus wanted Peter to follow Him regardless of what would happen to anyone else

        • We can clearly see the leaders in our church leading like Jesus (Mark 8:34-35)

          • Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ​​ For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (NIV)

          • Our desire as leadership in the church is to daily deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus

          • We want to lead like Jesus, so that when you follow you will be following Jesus

        • We can clearly see the leaders in our church leading to Jesus (Colossians 1:28)

          • We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. (NIV)

          • Pastor Marc and I strive to admonish and teach you with all wisdom

          • Our desire is to be able to present you perfect in Christ

        • We can clearly see the people of our church joyfully submitted to their leaders (Hebrews 13:17)

          • Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. ​​ They keep watch over you as men who must give account. ​​ Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. (NIV)

          • We already addressed this verse under the teaching of the apostles

        • Our desire is to have a church filled with leaders who are being led by Jesus, leading like Jesus, and leading to Jesus

 

  • YOU

    • Idaville Member Survey from RESTOR Renewal Ministries

        • There were two of the five survey questions that were in the top fifteen of the least difficult for us as a church

          • “I’m confident that the leaders in our church are biblically qualified leaders as outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.” (8 out of 10)

            • This is so important

            • If the leaders of the church did not meet those qualifications, we would be in trouble

          • “The leaders in our church are clearly submitted to Jesus and His leadership of our church as explained in Scripture and empowered by the Spirit.” ​​ (11 out of 15)

            • This is also important

            • Pastor Marc, the board, and I look to Jesus as our Shepherd

            • We look to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction in how and where to lead the congregation for the future

        • One of the remaining three questions was in the top 15 of most difficult for us

          • “I desire to lead others the way my leaders lead our church.” ​​ (12 out of 15)

            • It is hard to determine from the survey why this scored in the top 15 of the most difficult for us

            • When we look at the two previous survey questions it is clear that the leaders are biblically qualified, submitted to Jesus, and empowered by the Spirit

            • So, I’m at a loss as to why individuals in the church do not desire to lead others the way the leaders of our church lead

            • Some people do not want to lead at all, but rather serve behind the scenes

            • Others feel like they do not qualify to lead

          • That leaves two final questions

        • The two remaining questions fell in the middle

          • “Our leaders are the kinds of leaders I desire to submit myself to.”

          • “I will joyfully follow the lead of our leaders in the next season in the life of our church.”

          • If the leaders of the church are biblically qualified, submitted to Jesus, and empowered by the Spirit, then as the flock of God, here at Idaville Church, we should:

            • Want to lead others the way the leaders of the church lead

            • Desire to submit ourselves to the leaders

            • Joyfully follow the lead of the leaders in the next season in the life of our church

    • Next Steps

        • Leaders

          • We need to make sure that we are being among the people, so we will know their needs and problems that they face

          • We also need to be lead well by helping them to solve their problems

          • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Commit to connecting with the people of Idaville Church, so I can lead them well.

        • People

          • As the leaders of the church commit to connecting with you all and leading you well, then we should submit to them and joyfully follow their lead

          • This is does not mean that we will always agree with them, but if they are biblically qualified, submitted to Jesus, and empowered by the Spirit we can have confidence in their leadership

          • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Submit to the leadership of Idaville Church and joyfully follow their lead for the future.

        • Everyone

          • Our theme this year is “love one another”

          • Romans 12:9-10, Love must be sincere. ​​ Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. ​​ Be devoted to one another in love. ​​ Honor one another above yourselves.

          • If both leadership and the people strive to follow these two verses, then everything will work out for God’s glory

          • My Next Step Today Is To: ​​ Love sincerely, hate what is evil, cling to what is good, be devoted to my brothers and sisters at Idaville Church, and honor others above myself.

 

  • WE

    • Vision

        • Core Values

          • “We live, model, and share the importance of being Biblically grounded.”

          • “Our leadership strives to be led more by Jesus, to lead more like Jesus, so we can lead more to Jesus.”

        • Growth Strategy

          • Three+ Uniques – “Preaching and teaching God’s Word.”

    • Traction

        • “Begin a leadership development program.”

 

CONCLUSION

I want to open the altar this morning for anyone who would like to commit to the next steps outlined in the message today. ​​ Every one of us is probably guilty of not doing something that we should be doing.

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