This is a re-post from several years ago. Although I might have written slightly differently today, I still fully agree with the point…especially the thought that we are not called to use our gift of leadership to become excellent leaders, but rather to fulfill the mandate of the church with passion. Too many leaders are flexing their leadership chops with little positive effect towards the the mission of the church. Lots of scripture to back up the premise: (original link here: Church Leadership)
I have heard it said that: "I believe the local church is the hope of the world and its future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders." No matter how hard I try I can't see how that as a statement would honour God. To me the hope of the world is Jesus Christ, and the future of Christ and His church rests in the hands of God the Father. I understand that Romans 12:8 (or a portion therein) talks about leading with diligence, but I would posit that is referring to people who are gifted in an area, say like teaching or playing in worship, and are also gifted to lead in that area. I do not think it is referring to the gift of diligently leading in leadership. Within your gift, lead with diligence. Serve God and be used by Him to create His prevailing church with the gifts He has bestowed on you for the edification of the body. Perhaps this is splitting hairs, but I think that is putting the emPHAsis back on the correct sylLAble. My biggest struggle with this is that I love the heart of the quote and the quotee. It makes no sense that the church today would not operate organizationally with excellence, in fact it certainly honours God to do so. I simply think that the primary message of the church ought to be the message of the cross and the fact that Jesus Christ is our hope, not that the church is the hope of the world. Psalm 25:3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, Psalm 25:5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long Psalm 25:21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. Psalm 31:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD . Psalm 33:18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, Psalm 71:5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD , my confidence since my youth. Psalm 119:74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. Matthew 12:21 In his name the nations will put their hope."[ 12:21 Isaiah 42:14] Romans 5:2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[ 5:2 Or let us] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Colossians 1:23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. I think you get my point. By the way, I did not find a scripture yet that says or intimates that the hope of the world rest in church leaders. There are plenty that put their hope in the true head of the church, Jesus Christ.