Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Selecting Leaders

What do the following Biblical characters have in common?

  • Mirian and Aaron in Numbers 12
  • Abimelech in Judges 9
  • Ish-bosheth in 2 Samuel 2
  • Absalom in 2 Samuel 14-18
  • Adonijah in 1 Kings 1
  • Jereboam son of Nebat in 1 Kings 12
  • Zimri in 1 Kings 16
  • Omri in 1 Kings 16
  • Athaliah in 2 Kings 11
  • Shallum in 2 Kings 15
  • Menahem in 2 Kings 15
  • Herod
  • Diotrophes in 3 John

There may be others, but those are the ones I can think of quickly.

Answer - they are the people I can think of who put themselves forwards as leaders over God's people. All of them persuaded others it would be a good idea. And all of them are judged for it.

Now how do we go about getting leaders for churches?

I hadn't thought this through as clearly when I was going through selection for ordination in the C of E. But I knew I didn't want to put myself forwards. On the other hand, however, the vicar at my church was fairly new and hadn't got round to setting up a group or anything to ask people if they would think about ordination, and it was pretty clear he wasn't going to ask anyone to think about it just yet. It took me ages to get to the point where I felt compelled to ask him if he thought I would be suitable, and even then I felt horribly guilty for asking, but it felt like I had to do it.

This post arose out of a conversation I had a few days ago with a leader at a local church. He said he got people involved if they volunteered rather than asking them. I think that's the wrong approach.

Leaders should not volunteer. They should be selected.

Of course, there is still plenty of scope for "we need 5 people to help out at this event" or conversations along the lines of "Have you thought about getting involved with any groups in the church?" // "I'd really like to help out with the children's work" // "Oh - that's great."

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