Key Players – Leaders
Leaders, by definition, are different than the rest. Leaders give direction, they mentor, they inspire, and they are the ones that keep going when all else says to stop. But another important role played by church leadership is in the area of assessing and making correction. And this is not always an easy thing to do.
In the sixth chapter of the gospel of Luke we find the curious story of the man with the withered hand. It is curious in the sense of being so public. Jesus made no attempt to keep this miracle quiet as He did with so many others. This was done in plain view of everyone in the synagogue that day. In fact, before healing the crippled man, Jesus first asked him in verse 8, “Rise up, and stand forth in the midst.” Then in verse 10 He commanded him, “Stretch forth thy hand.” We do not know how long the man had been in this condition. Perhaps from his birth he had learned to accept life in a compromised sort of fashion, not having the full use or strength in both of his hands. Perhaps he kept this deficient hand out of view of the public most of the time. Perhaps it had even become a badge of shame for him. We don’t really know. But we do know that on that fateful day when he would receive this wonderful and miraculous touch of the Savior, he first had to stand in the midst of the crowd and reveal his handicap before the rest. So it is with leadership. Someone has to be willing to stand forth and take an honest look at the present state of the believers, whether at a national level, or in the local assembly. Someone in leadership must be willing to confess that where we are may not be where we should be. If the saints will be healthy enough to realize true revival, leaders first of all must know what condition they are presently in.
Some are ashamed to admit the truth concerning their part of the church’s condition. Others think that they would be displaying a “negative” attitude by admitting that much is lacking. Sometimes the subject of revival or harvest becomes a sensitive one; to admit that we are not in the midst of it sounds like doubt and unbelief. But in reality, we have to be honest and willing enough to see where we presently are in order to be able to take the necessary steps to move further in the right direction. That’s a price that leaders must pay. It is one of the key roles they play in this end time movement. Without a doubt, the Church will be the medium of the revival and the recipient of the harvest, but we must see it like God sees it to be effective and useful in His hands. This is a ministry of leadership that must be active at every level of responsibility and authority. At whatever level of responsibility we find ourselves, we should commit to making the necessary assessment in our realm of ministry. Are the saints evangelistic? Are they making new contacts regularly? Are they being the witnesses that the Holy Ghost wants them to be? If not, why not? What is lacking in the leaders’ ministry toward the body that has caused this breach? Are the saints involved in the ministry of edification? Are they fulfilling their personal responsibilities in helping to build up the body as they should? Are they showing a commitment to others and a dedication to making new disciples of the contacts the church has made? Sometimes the sad truth is that they are not. It isn’t always easy stretching out the hand of weakness in confession of true need, but the miraculous healing that comes afterwards is certainly worth it!
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