God’s Word, as found in Scripture, is sacred and holy. As ministry and marketplace leaders, we must follow what is written so that we can, with integrity, lead others to follow all that is found in the Bible.
Every leader must consider the following passage and decide for themselves whether or not this statement is true: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) If this is true, which I believe it is, then it should impact our leadership in every way, shape, and form.
Many ministry and marketplace leaders have shaped their belief system to conform to what they believe to be true, without a deep understanding of what God’s Word has to say. You may rightfully ask how any Christ-follower could do this. Here is how this is possible: We can love the ministry (if we are vocational ministry leaders) or the marketplace (if we are there), more than we love God’s Word, which informs us exactly how to conduct ourselves in that sphere of influence.
LOVE FOR THE MINISTRY
Sadly, many ministry leaders love the “ministry” more than God’s word. They love the identity as a “minister”, “pastor”, or any other title that communicates a special designation of distinction. They love the acts of preaching, teaching, and leading. They love the relationships that form in fellowship around their ministry. What is missing is a deep love of God’s word, to such a degree that it is followed, first in their own life, and then in the life of the ministry they lead.
If this is you, God is calling you to repentance. Seek His forgiveness. You will find it. Dig into God’s word for guidance on how you should run your life, family, and organization. Love God with all your heart. Love God’s word with all your heart as well. They are one and the same, for: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2 NIV) Jesus Christ is the Word. The Word is Jesus Christ. As Christ-followers called to leadership, we must stay true to God’s Word and obey all that is written in Scriptures. Amen?
In summary, love your role in vocational ministry less, and love God and His Holy Word more.
LOVE FOR THE MARKETPLACE
Equally sadly, many marketplace leaders who say they follow Christ think that they are somehow exempt from the same mandates that God’s Scriptures lay out for vocational ministry leaders. They compartmentalize their work and their faith. This is one of the greatest and most successful schemes of Satan and his demons: convince marketplace leaders that they are of less importance than vocational ministry leaders are, to the fulfilling of the Great Commission. Not so at all!
We are equal in God’s sight. Ministry and marketplace Christ-followers are under the same guidelines found in 1 Timothy: “Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1 NIV) The vast majority of Christian theologians have too narrow an interpretation of this Scripture. If God has called you to be a Christ-follower and has gifted you with leadership abilities and opportunities, then you are an overseer of those entrusted to you.
As CEO of your company, for example, you are the senior pastor of that church. They are your congregation. You are their shepherd and overseer of the souls placed under your care. I don’t have time here to delve into the theology of work, but all of us have been called into full-time ministry. No one is exempt. As a Christ-following leader, if you are not leading in vocational ministry, you are called to lead in the marketplace, such as in a business, government, or non-profit organization.
In summary, love your role in the marketplace less, and love God and His Holy Word more.
THE OVERSEER STANDARD
Today may be the first time you have ever considered the possibility that you are, in fact, an Overseer. It is a heavy responsibility. I encourage you to read 1 Timothy, Chapter 3, and other passages of Scripture that lay out the qualifications. I believe God wants any leader in any leadership role to live up to the standards found here. If I am wrong, and you live up to these standards as if I am right, the fruit that you will bear is increased holiness and better leadership. So, as I see it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by surrendering to the “Overseer Standard.”
As a Christ-following leader, you are called to full-time ministry. Some are called to vocational ministry, while most are called to the marketplace or a bi-vocational combination. Wherever you find yourself, your leadership must be predicated on God’s Word, as found in His holy Scriptures. Love God’s Word. Study it. Meditate on it. Above all, follow it, and lead others to do likewise.
In the words of this famous and favorite passage of Scripture: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2 NIV) May the love of God’s Word fill you, by the power of the Holy Spirit. And, may you multiply yourselves through your leadership position, as you base your life on the love of God’s Word. Amen.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
December 28, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.