Big Idea: The leaders of the churches of Jesus are chosen by Him.
What makes a leader? We might provide different answers to this question. Most of us would agree that getting a promotion does not make someone a real leader; John Maxwell says that position is the lowest level of leadership. Just as there are plenty of people with positions who are not leaders, there are plenty of leaders without a position. Then what makes a leader? Is it charisma? Intelligence? Skill? All of these things help a leader to be more effective but are not what makes the leader. Fundamentally, good leaders are followers first. In the church world, a leader is someone who is following God, and to whom God delegates a portion of His leadership. We do not choose our leaders, we recognize the ones God has already chosen.
In Acts 13, we see this in a big way. Barnabas and Saul are chosen to go out as missionaries from the church at Antioch, but it is a strange double-choosing. On one hand, God has selected them, and it is God who is sending them out. On the other, the church at Antioch sends them. But the church at Antioch is not presented by God with a choice about what they would like to do; that is not their role. The task of the church members is to identify what God is doing and to follow in His footsteps. This is true in every decision we make in churches, whether selecting pastors and deacons, choosing a missionary to support, or more mundane things. The question can never be “What do I want?” It always has to be “As I have been serving God and praying, what is God leading me to do?” If we follow His leadership, we will be wise leaders ourselves.
Discussion Idea: Who is someone you want to be like? Why?
Prayer Focus: Pray for the wisdom to see God’s will, and to duplicate His leadership.