What Does it Take to be a Leader in the Church? – Part 1

What do all businesses, schools, non-profits, and churches have in common? They all have leaders. Leaders are important. They are the ones who determine the vision and set the direction for the future. As well they are the ones who make sure everyone is equipped to play their part in the organization. Without leaders, organizations flail. They meander around until they disappear. So leaders, especially good leaders are important.

This is especially true in the church. The last thing God wants is for a church just to meander around until it dies off. He wants His church to accomplish His mission. And He provides leaders to do that.

But God doesn’t just provide any old leader. He provides men who meet certain qualifications and desire certain things. What are those desires? What are those qualifications? What does it take to be a leader in the church?

A Leader in the Church Must See Themselves as an Overseer

Overseer is not just a term I am manufacturing. It’s a term Paul uses in verse 1 when he says,

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Ti 3:1)

One of my friends from seminary contacted me no too long ago. He is not only a pastor but he is also a financial advisor. That’s what he contacted me about. He wanted to see if I would be interested in using his services.

As a financial advisor, it is his job to serve families by watching over and caring for their finances. Since I know him well and trust him, we have allowed him to do just that — oversee our financial future. In a similar way, that is what a pastor does. Except he is watching over souls instead of money.

See Themselves as an Overseer

Anyone who wants to be a leader in the church must see themselves as an overseer because that is exactly what they are doing. They are overseeing the people God has placed under their care.


In that role, an overseer, a pastor, an elder, whatever you want to call them, all those names are interchangeable, is responsible for watching over the church’s doctrine, practice, people, and vision. They do that by teaching, training, equipping, discipling, protecting, leading, and comforting those in the church. That is the general job of an overseer.

If you think about it, that’s a lot for one person to do. And really, should one person do all of that?

Should a church just have one overseer?

I believe when you look at Scripture, it’s clear that it’s God’s intention for a church to have multiple men functioning as overseers. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone who serves as an overseer is paid. Usually, there are a few who are paid. In most churches, that is typically the Lead Pastor, Music Minister, and Youth pastor. While those are usually the ones who are paid, a church should still have other men serving as overseers or elders. They would be considered non-vocational elders.

I believe there should be a plurality of elders for a couple of reasons.

(1) First, when the term elder is used in Scripture, it is often used in its plural form.

I don’t want to belabor this point too long, but I do want to prove my assertion from Scripture, let me list a few scriptures so you can see what I mean.

In Acts 14:23 we read,

“And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” (Ac 14:23)

 Moving a little further in the book of Acts to Acts 20:17 Luke writes,

“Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.” (Ac 20:17)

Paul in Titus 1:5 instructs Titus to follow his example and appoint elders in every town. He writes,

“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—” (Tt 1:5)

In James 5:14, we are told that if anyone is sick they are to…

“…call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (Jas 5:14)

Furthermore, we find Timothy’s name included in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul writes,

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:” (Php 1:1)

Again, I don’t want to belabor the point too much so I will stop there. But as you can see, in each instance, a plurality of elders is mentioned, which I believe tells us that in God’s wisdom, He wants His church to consist of a plurality of elders.

(2) Second, a plurality of elders benefits the church.

It benefits the church because it spreads out the responsibility and it accounts for different gifts and individual deficiencies. Let’s face it, no one man can do everything well, but a team of men who compliment each other can. So for those reasons, I believe a plurality of elders should exist in the church.

Sum it Up

So to sum up this section, if a man wants to be a leader in the church, and a church should have multiple leaders, which should give opportunity for multiple people to function in that role, then that man must see themselves as an overseer — someone who oversees the doctrine, practice, vision, and people of the church.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you believe a leader in the church must see themselves as an overseer?
  2. Do you believe a plurality of elders is biblical and necessary?


Post adapted from my sermon: What does it take to be a leader in the church?


How Can You Honor Mom Every Day?

Mother’s Day came and went this last Sunday. Hopefully, you were able to spend time with your mom, or at least give her a call or send her a card. Mother’s Day is a day to honor mom, but Mother’s Day shouldn’t be the only day you honor her. With that in mind, let’s explore some ways you can honor mom every day.

How Can You Honor Mom Every day?

(1) By obeying her (Eph 6:1)

Right before we read the command to honor our parents in Ephesians 6, Paul says,

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Eph 6:1)

When children obey their mother’s, they honor her. They honor her because they show respect or due regard for her position when they obey.

Now I have to issue a caveat. The obedience we give our mother, parents, or anyone for that matter isn’t blind obedience. What she asks us to do should be in line with God’s Word. If it’s not, then we shouldn’t do it. Our first allegiance and obedience must be to God.

(2) By listening to and living by her teaching (Prov 6:20-24)

In Proverbs 6, Solomon writing to his son says,

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.” (Pr 6:20–24)

As we grow up, inevitable we receive teaching from our mother’s. We honor her when we listen to and live by her teaching.

Again, this is something we should do, as long as it is teaching that coincides with God’s Word. You see, the wisdom Solomon wrote about was God’s wisdom. Since it was God’s wisdom, Solomon counseled his son to not only listen to and live by his teaching but his mother’s teaching as well, which would bring her honor and help keep him from sin.

(3) By seeking her wisdom and help (Job 12:12)

In Job, we learn that,

“Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” (Job 12:12)

This tells us, then, that our mother, who is older than us, should have some wisdom they can impart. If you are a teenager right now, you are probably doing everything you can to not roll your eyes, but it’s true. Most parents have at least some amount of wisdom they can share.

When we go to our mother and ask for her advice during difficult times, major life decisions, or work related projects, we honor her. We honor her because we recognize she has wisdom. Wisdom we want and need.

(4) By considering her advice and disagreeing respectfully 

When it comes to wisdom or help your mom offers, you may not agree. You may not use her wisdom or advice. Even so, you can honor her by at least considering her advice, by not just writing it off the moment you hear it. When you spend time thinking about and considering your mom’s advice, you honor her.

And you know, after thinking about it for awhile, you might even find her advice to be better than you first thought. But even if you don’t. Even if you decide her advice isn’t quite right, you can still honor her in the way that you disagree.

You see, there are two ways to disagree with someone:

  • (1) One way denigrates them and shows no regard for their feelings or position.
  • (2) The other is exactly the opposite. It lifts them up and it takes into account their feelings and position.

So even if you disagree with and decide to not use your mom’s advice, you can still honor her in the way you disagree.

(5) By supporting her

By support, I don’t mean financial support. We will get to that point next. Instead, I have in mind physical and emotional care, especially in her old age.

I know you have all heard a parent say,

“Whatever you do, don’t lock me away in a nursing home.”

Parents make that comment because they know that’s a real possibility. And no one wants to be forgotten just because they are old and can’t do what they once could. David, one of the greatest kings in the nation of Israel, had this same feeling. He says in Psalm 71 to the Lord,

“Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.” (Ps 71:9)

You see, no one wants to be forgotten. And they shouldn’t. Pastor and Author Kent Hughes says,

“Even if parents have no financial needs, “there is still a Christian obligation for hands-on, loving care. Nurses may be employed, but there must be more—the care cannot be done by proxy. Emotional neglect and abandonment is not an option, for such conduct ‘is worse than an unbeliever.’”[1]

So when we both let our mothers know we won’t forget her and show that we haven’t forgotten her when she grows old, we honor her.

(6) By providing for her financially

When we are willing to sacrifice our finances to help our mother, we show her honor. As a Christians, caring for our families financially isn’t an option. It’s a mandate. In 1 Timothy 5, Paul writes,

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim 5:8)

Those are strong words, and they are meant to be. Paul wants us to recognize the obligation we have to our family, especially our mother’s. They sacrificed and cared for us when we couldn’t care for ourselves, so we should do the same. When we do, we honor them.

(7) By forgiving her

Let’s face it, no one is perfect, not even our mother’s. They are going to make mistake and do things that aren’t right. They’re going to sin against us. When that time comes, we should be willing to forgive.

As Christians, we can forgive because we have been forgiven. In Colossians 3, Paul tells us that we should,

“[bear] with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Col 3:13)

You see, we can and should be willing to forgive others because we have been forgiven. Not just for something little, but something great. We have been forgiven for all out rejection and rebellion against God. If God can forgive us, certainly we can forgive our mother’s.

Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to a mother’s actions. There certainly are, but we can still extend forgiveness to them, and we can do that because we have been forgiven. When we forgive, we honor our mothers.

(8) By remembering her gratefully

For most of us, our mother’s have done a lot for us. They have taught us; sacrificed for us; exercised immeasurable patience; extended grace, mercy, and love to us; and much, much more. By remembering and thanking your mother for all she has done, you show her honor. Even if she isn’t here. Just by remembering her and all she has done for you, you show her honor.

I hope this last Mother’s Day you spend some time honoring your mom. But don’t just let Mother’s Day be the only day you honor your mom. Make it a point to honor her each and every day.

Question for Reflection

  1. How do you honor your mom?



[1] Quote From Tim Challies articles found here: https://www.challies.com/articles/5-practical-ways-to-honor-your-parents

Some parts of this post were adapted from  From Tim Challies articles found here: https://www.challies.com/articles/5-practical-ways-to-honor-your-parents

The Gospel Frees Women to Glorify God and Not Self

In verses 9 and 10 of 1 Timothy 2 Paul, speaking to the women, says,

“likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Ti 2:9–10)


Now, before we go any further, you have to know that Paul never intended his letter to be a one size fits all guide for what women should wear in all places and at all times. He was dealing with a specific situation in the church at Ephesus.

The Situation

The women in the church at Ephesus dressed in a way that not only drew attention to their beauty but also their social status. Their dress was causing problems in Ephesus.The men were having trouble paying attention. God wasn’t the main focus, their looks and beauty were. As well as those of a lower status felt inferior.

Connection to Today

In some sense, these things haven’t changed today. Women still dress too provocatively. And they still use fashion as a way to get attention and show off their social status. So while Paul never meant his letter to be a one size fits all fashion guide for women, the guidelines he provides are still applicable to Christian women today.

What does Paul tell these women?

He tells them that they need to operate under a different set of values from the culture. Instead of using clothing and jewelry to highlight their beauty and social status, they should dress modestly and allow their good works to make them beautiful. Doing that would not only help the men focus during worship, but it would also put the focus back on God. As well as it would keep other women in the church from feeling inferior.

Gospel Freedom

While Paul’s ideas are definitely counter-cultural, it’s possible for Christian women to live them out because the gospel has freed them to glorify God and not self.

Question for Reflection

  1. Whose glory are you seeking – your glory or God’s?



Post adapted from my sermon: What Frees the Church to Operate as God has Called and Designed for Us to Operate?