Title: The Need for Leadership
Purpose: To motivate the church to make a purposeful effort toward growing leadership
Intro: 1. On a trip, we went to go see Scotts Bluff & Chimney Rock in Nebraska
a. The area was called the land of the monuments (Showed pioneers that the
long trip across the Great Plains was about to end)
b. Ruts for Oregon Trail still there and 6 inches deep!
c. People travel the same way time and again wear deep ruts
2. Sometimes we keep going the same way and get stuck in a rut
3. Jack, the Frog got stuck in a rut
a. Out with his friend and got stuck in a rut
b. He jumped and jumped, but could not get out of the rut
c. His friend went to go get help while Jack waited
4. Sometimes we feel like Jack, and we desperately need someone to help
5. This morning I want to talk about a rut that plagues churches across the country
a. This is the leadership rut
b. Many churches fall into a leadership rut and never get out
6. Text: Titus 1:5
a. Written to a Preacher who was instructed to appoint elders
b. Text says to “set in order what is lacking”
7. A church without elders is a lacking church. Why? One or more of 3 Reasons:
I. It lacks maturity
A. A church may be a new congregation
1. A newly planted church relies on the leadership of the evangelist
2. It is obvious that a baby church will not have a mature leadership
B. As a matter in fact, a new Christian should not be a leader in the church
1. 1 Timothy 3:6 - An elder should not be a new convert...
2. A common word for elder is “presbuteros”
a. In classical Greek of Homer, it is “gerontes”
b. In Arabic it is Sheikh
c. It means an “older man” or an “elder”
3. I Kings 12:1-20 - An example of young v.s. older
a. Solomon dies, Reheboam, his son becomes King at Shechem
b. (12:4) Jereboam, a war hero, makes a request to ease up the burden
c. Reheboam said he’d get back to them in 3 days
d. (12:6-11) The counsel
- He did not go with counsel of the elders, but of his
- Typical, we alway think we know what is best & not listen
to our elders
- So the king did not listen to the elders or the people
e. (v.19-20) The result - Divided Kingdom
f. Let me stress -- Only the mature should be elders
4. A church without elders is probably a baby church, but it is fixable
C. Speaking of natural...
1. Sometimes our kids turn up their nose when we are changing their brother’s
diapers or feed them
2. I tell them, “hey, I did it for you, and someday you will do it for yours”.
3. My Dad used to chuckle when he saw me crinkle my nose. “Now its your turn”
4. I look forward to the day I can be the one who chuckles.
5. And so goes the progression. It is natural.
a. I feed them, teach them to feed themselves
b. Soon they will feed their little ones and teach them to
6. That is what maturity is about. Being taught, and teaching someone else
7. Same things happens in a maturing congregation - It will produce leaders
D. So what do you do if you are new planted?
1. Take your feedings and hunger fore more
a. If not know how to feed self, what do you do?
b. A child let’s someone know “I’m hungry”
c. If not, you could starve
2. Learn to feed yourself
a. Invest time in study
b. Invest time in reflection and prayer
-Ps 119:97-100 - Oh how I love they law, it is my meditation
-Ps 119:148 - My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may
meditate on thy word
II. It may lack life
A. Closely related to the first reason
1. A baby church lacks maturity, which is normal
2. I church that lacks life also lacks maturity, but is stagnant, not growing
1. We all know that when you become a Christian, it is only the beginning
a. They are Babes in Christ
b. Heb 5:11-6:2 -
- They failed to be steadfast in their growth
- They were to press on to maturity
c. 2 Peter 3:17-18 - Peter tells how to avoid the rut and be steadfast
-Grow in Grace
-Grow in Knowledge
2. The same is true for a church
a. When a church is planted it is only the beginning, they need to grow
b. If a church is healthy (has air, food, water, etc.) it will grow
-ILL: Like a child, if he is healthy, he will grow
-You don’t command a child to grow, growth it is natural when the
body is healthy and has what it needs
c. (Acts 14:19-23) - Paul in Lystra
-Stoned and left for dead
-After being nursed back to health by Barnabas, GOES BACK to
do 2 very important things:
-Strengthen the new disciples
-Appoint elders in every church
d. But wait, they were gifted churches, they had The Holy Spirit
-I don’t believe that, the Corinthian church was full of
miraclulous gifts of the Spirit, but were highly immature
-Yes, there may have been other factors as to why so soon they
-Don’t use it as an excuse to justify not having elders for 1/2
3. What does this say about those churches Paul worked with?
a. They were healthy churches, not sick ones
b. They were growing churches, not dying churches
c. They were maturing leader producing churches, not stagnant overgrown
baby producing churches
d. They were not sitting still in a rut, but were pressing on constantly
C. ILL: Trip to aquarium tunnel at Henry Doorly Zoo
1. Sharks swimming overhead
2. They are always moving. Why? Will suffocate if they do not
3. That is how it is with a church:
a. If church is not pressing on, not moving, it will suffocate and die
b. Only a growing healthy moving church will produce leaders
c. A church that does not produce leaders is suffocating
D. Which are we? Like the growing shark, or like the frog in the rut?
1. First place to look is at yourself
a. Am I a growing vibrant Christian?
b. Do I feed myself? (If you only eat once a week, you are starving)
c. Some of you will be leaders if you grow
2. WAIT what if I don’t want to be a leader?
a. God has a place for you, you may have yet to discover it
b. But don’t be like Jonah who ran from God.
- Don’t argue with God, Can do it the hard way, or the easy way
3. Second place to look is the church
a. Are others growing and healthy?
-2 things you can do if they are not
-Can tear down
-Can build up
b. What can I do to help them to grow and be healthy?
-All things are to be done for edification
-Share and Confess together
III. It lacks protection
A. A church without elders is vulnerable to wandering into a den of wolves
1. May be humerous when we watch Wile E. Coyote nab a sheep
2. Not funny when you think about a soul that becomes prey to the work of Satan
B. It is an unacceptable situation for churches to go on and on and never have elders
1. Paul’s appointed elders on the first missionary journey, not years and
2. Wrote letters to 2 preachers, Timothy and Titus telling them to appoint
3. Why is this such a priority?
a. (Acts 20:28-32) Speech to Ephesian Elders
-Be on gaurd for self and for the flock
-They were to “Shepherd” the church (talk more about that later)
-Thier job as shepherds was to protect the flock
b. (Matt 9:35-36) - Jesus looked with compassion on the multitude
-Why did Jesus have compassion on the people?
-They were harrassed and downcast, like sheep without a
c. God never intended for his sheep to be shepherdless
4. God wants his flock to have good shepherds
a. He gives standards and instructions concerning shepherds
b. We will be looking at these in the weeks ahead
C. ILL: God has designed elders to look after his children
1. Much the same way that we watch over our own children
2. At Memorial park with ours and other kids.
3. One of them started up over the hill. Mom calls after him using first and
middle name, of course.
4. What would happen if Mom wasn’t there?
a. Wander off and get lost
b. Hit by a car
D. So you see the important of having elders?
1. God doesn’t want his children to be a prey for the predators
2. We must be making intentional moves to having elders.
1. Why? Because a church without elders is a lacking church
lacks maturity - lacks life - lacks protection
2. So what do we do?
b. Look to self as to your spiritual health
- If not healthy, confess and pray for healing
- Make a commitment to get more than a once a week feeding
- The more spiritually healthy Christians there are in the body, the more healthy
the body will be as a whole
c. Encourage those that have the wise shepherding potential to pursue it
d. Read the notes that I hand out to you
e. When it comes time to select elders, everyone will be an active part
3. We can get out of this 50 year old rut
a. ILL: When Jack’s friend came back, he found Jack sunning himself on a log
b. “Who got you out?” “No one” “Then how did you get out?”
c. “A car was coming and I had to get out!”
4. If we see the need and the urgency, we CAN get out of the rut with God’s help