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Leading from the Second Chair (part 3)


The third observation I would make about how the post resurrection disciples viewed spiritual leadership is from Acts 1:23-26. Having nominated Barsabbas and Matthias, they “all prayed, ‘O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.’ Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.” (NLT)

The disciples used an Old Testament process for making decisions, that of casting lots. This was a practice that had been in existence from the time of Moses, so it would have been familiar and comfortable (cf. Proverbs 16:33). Obviously, after the Spirit came at Pentecost, this practice was no longer utilized as the disciples learned to listen to and move with the rhythm of the Holy Spirit. The point is that they assumed that God had a vested interest in the leadership selection process. So the observation is this: Leaders were selected by discerning God’s will.

I wonder what would happen in our churches if our leadership selection processes were more committed to finding God’s will than plugging holes and twisting arms? Sometimes I hear desperate complaints from people who can’t fill leadership voids because, “people are just uncommitted.” While we may feel that we have problems filling leadership vacancies, God does not have a problem filling leadership vacancies. It begins with prayer. It continues with a Scriptural understanding of the task at hand. It involves valuing a person’s character and walk with God more than their talents and skill set, and concludes with discerning God’s will. This certainly takes a little more time and energy, but doing things right usually does.

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