The Importance Of Leadership

Beginning in August, my preaching plan will involve a sermon series from Acts called “Turning Points.” The Book of Acts shows a series of decisions and events that changed everything. One way to look at Acts is seeing how God worked in Acts to break down barriers.

As I have been studying and planning for the sermons, several recurring points have stood out to me. One of those is the importance of leadership.

Again and again in Acts, God used strong leaders to convey the message of God across nations, cultures, and religions. In the face of unyielding opposition, these leaders stayed the course and proclaimed God’s message. This message changed the world.

In all ages and in every situation, leadership is mandatory. John Maxwell says everything rises and falls on leadership. The truth of that statement is evident everywhere. All you have to do is look around. One business thrives while its competitor languishes. In most cases, it has to do with leadership. It’s the same in most every organization, particularly in churches.

The Book of Acts shows that God chooses leaders. Think of the Apostles replacing Judas with Matthias. One area where leadership comes to the forefront is found in Acts 6. The church had issues related to different groups. The Apostles asked the church to appoint men of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit, and known for wisdom to lead the church through its difficulties as it grew and spread the Word of God.

The New Testament gives two offices in the church. Pastors, also known as overseers, bishops, and elders, and deacons. The primary meaning of the word deacon is “servant,” a word which Paul and others applied to themselves regularly.

In the coming months, FBC Covington will select twelve deacons to serve a two year term of servanthood. At the present moment, the Deacon Nominating team is seeking a slate of 16-18 men of good reputation and filled with the Holy Spirit to serve the church. You can help that process by praying and recommending men to serve. You may turn the names in a plain envelope to the church office.

Please be much in prayer as we seek to find God’s leadership for the church.

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One Comment


  1. Ed Matthew
    Jul 14, 2012

    All excellent points on leadership. Thank you! There are leadership qualities that do not change. However, undermining leadership is an issue Paul addressed repeatedly as did Christ and many others including you. You are in good company.

    There is a leadership style which is built on a reputation of Truth. There is competition regarding what the Truth is and how to achieve it. And, there is an animal/flesh leadership style that is built on knowing where the bodies are buried or exercising a financial advantage, etc. within the realm of social engineering defining relationships and their out-comes. Then there are many combinations in-between the extremes: Spirit God Breathed & flesh. We live in a world where both exist and generally co-exist in war over the battle ground of the soul.

    I have shared with you privately and others publicly in your blog my cross section of leadership challenges, as well as temporal consequences of leadership in Truth when others hold a different “truth” or perhaps a different overarching purpose. How seemingly easily an individual is cut out and dismissed for the “greater good.” Anthropological mores/ folkways of tribal boundaries express themselves. “Go along to get along.” “Don’t focus on the big things, focus on the small things; make small changes.” Timely advice for those who have the thousand year time horizon. When others rub shoulders with you daily, they know you. When they see you once a month (maybe) and have never been through a tight spot with you it is different; the expectations are different. Leadership is relevant on all timelines but is not necessarily expressed the same way. I pray you address these differences, as related to your audience.

    Something to be considered in leadership is the time horizon. The strategy of leadership is affected in areas that involve term limits or short intervals of opportunity. In each such situation is a learning curve as well as a “jumping the shark” moment, as you say into a lame duck role. To be effective in Truth I have learned it is necessary to have like-minded followers who understand and are committed to the stated goal. I believe Romans 12 is the best model. In politics governmental as well as corporate votes matter. Choosing to or not, there are consequences by the very understanding our society (world) is related and interdependent; it is our paradigm. The character of the voter is shown by how much larceny is tolerated as well as willingness to get to the Truth to ask the proper questions. As I was told when I pointed out a True factoid, “You don’t upset the one who signs your check.” Short term, it is a proven “truth.” The Power of the Truth sadly is often unrealized until all the witnesses are dead.

    I’d like to comment on Law and Good News as each generation perceives it. Perhaps you may address the subject again. I will say, we have made our society so complex that knowing how to manipulate the system should make the Pharisees proud. Didn’t Paul (expanding on Christ) have a thing or two to say about the “Law?”

    Since the goal, as it is related to the Gospel, has a corps with many tactical areas within it, the challenge can only be met with God Breathed Efficiency, LOVE. As I have stated before, we are the sum of our experiences; both lived and learned first and second hand experiences. Thus individuals think they understand what is being said, when in-fact, the message sent is far from the message received. That is the part of leadership that must be “Long-suffering & Patient.” Prayer for the edifying of others by the Holy Spirit is a “Long-suffering” prayer. May God continue to Bless First Baptist Church of Covington through its leaders in their faithfulness to Christ’s instructions for His Bride.

    As an example again: Perhaps future generations will have a different image after this year when they hear, “Say it ain’t so Joe! Say it ain’t so.” As it applies to the “alleged” cover up of the actions of Jerry Sandusky. I wonder…

    I look forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit has laid upon your heart with eager anticipation. I look to see Action upon the message taken by those who hear it as such Action, I Believe, will be directed to Glorify The Father through the Son empowered by the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16 (NIV)