One of the most critical needs in the church today is that of leadership. Whether or not a congregation is able to effectively serve the Lord is largely dependent upon the leadership. Few congregations rise higher and accomplish more for the Lord than the leaders who serve them.
Leaders have always been used by God to accomplish his work. Moses, prophets in the Old Testament, and the apostles are just a few that should be mentioned. When the Grecian widows were being neglected in the daily ministration, seven men were chosen to see that this work was accomplished successfully (Acts 6). God wisely arranged for elders to guide and shepherd local congregations. Deacons are appointed to serve in special ways.> The qualifications of elders and deacons are listed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
I recently finished a book entitled, Lincoln on Leadership. It is interesting to observe that Abraham Lincoln, as well as others who serve in leadership positions, practice principles of leadership that God set forth in his holy word. Whether it is being an elder, deacon, preacher, Bible class teacher, personal worker, etc., there are some qualities that make good leaders in the church: (1) biblical knowledge is essential to maintaining doctrinal purity, (2) effective communication with the congregation so that everyone feels involved and excited about the work, (3) visionary oversight in order to provide future strength and direction for the congregation, (4) courage and boldness to successfully meet the challenges of the present, (5) a progressive attitude that allows for changes in this changing world without compromising the truth, and (6) compassionate shepherding on the part of elders so that every member is properly fed spiritual food and protected from the wiles of the evil one. My prayer is that the Lord's church will be served by effective leaders until Jesus comes.