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Leading from the Second Chair


Americans love to talk about leadership. From the President of the United States all the way down to our son’s little league baseball coach, we evaluate and assess the leadership qualities that people possess. Evidently Americans love to read about leadership. Amazon.com, for example, yields nearly 62,000 book title matches from a simple search for “leadership.” Even more amazing than that, Amazon.com boasts 72 new titles on the subject of leadership that have been released in the last 30 days. That’s two new books per day for the last month!

Leadership concerns are not new. The disciples in the upper room were also concerned about leadership. In the midst of their prayer meeting, Peter rose to address a leadership need: finding a suitable replacement for Judas Iscariot.

There are several important observations we can make from Acts 1:15-26 concerning leadership for the early church that we can apply to today. For example, Scripture was the basis for their leadership decisions. Acts 1:15-16 states, “During that time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David’.” (NLT)

Implied in those verses is that the disciples prayed with their Bibles open. They were sensitive to God in prayer, and informed by God through the Scriptures in their prayer. Their leadership decisions were informed by and based on the Bible. I think it’s very important for churches today to follow the same practice. After all, the Bible is not silent on the subject of leadership. The lives of people like Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, and Daniel provide excellent role models for leadership from the Old Testament. The New Testament is not void of leadership either, and speaks much of the qualifications for spiritual leadership. But more about that later.

If the Bible is to be our authority for faith and practice, then it makes sense that the Bible should inform our leadership decisions in the church.

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