The Mark Of A Leader

The Mark Of A leader

Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you. (Numbers 17:5)

Read: Numbers 16:41-18:32, Mark 16:1-20, Psalm 55:1-23, Proverbs 11:7

Relate: Three thousand four hundred eighty-six. That is the number of American churches in my denomination who did not report a single conversion in the year 2014. That is the number of American churches that are wasting their member’s time and money. That is the number of ministers who need to retire or be sacked. They are in the wrong profession. Am I being too harsh?

I firmly believe that the mark of a leader is that they actually lead people. Maybe that is too demanding but if someone has a title, or the position, or the “authority” to be a leader then they should take stock. Look around. If nobody is following you, I don’t care what your title is or where you are getting your salary, you aren’t leading. If a pastor’s primary is to lead people to Jesus, yet nobody is coming to Jesus, then that tells me one of two things: either they are not equipped to be a leader, or they are leading people in the wrong direction. Am I being too harsh?

Most churches have two services each week. That is over one hundred services each year not counting other ministries. Do you mean to tell me that with over one hundred opportunities not a single person made the decision to become a follower of Christ? What are they preaching? It certainly isn’t the gospel, because the Holy Spirit can break through even the poorest presentation. It isn’t scripture because God’s word will not return void. Although you might not  win somebody every time, if you have failed one hundred consecutive times… I’m sorry, shut your doors. The people attending your club need to get out and find themselves a real church to go to.

React: When Moses and Aaron’s leadership was brought into question, God confirmed it with growth. He sealed it with new life. When Korah attempted a coup, God killed them. When Dathan and Abiram passive aggressively rejected Moses’ leadership they died as well. When the people rebelled a plague broke out. Then God said, I will settle this once and for all. Each tribe was to appoint a representative. Each was to leave their staff, the symbol of their leadership, in the Tabernacle. God caused Aaron’s staff to bud. New life came from dead wood.

We are not responsible to create new life. That is God’s job, but it is also His confirmation that we are walking in His calling. If there is no growth, if there is no new life springing up, then perhaps it is time we step aside and let the one God has called to step up. Maybe we are called to lead in some other way or at some other time. As long as we insist on masquerading around in the wrong position, we are wasting our own time as well as everyone else’s.


Dear God,
You have called us to ask the Lord of the Harvest to raise up workers. God, more than ever before we need people in the harvest field. We are desperate to reap the many, many people who who need to hear of You. What is worse, there are people loitering about in the fields calling themselves foremen. I pray that You would confirm those You have called with growth and new life. I pray also that You would give those You have not the wisdom and courage to step out of the way so that the right person would be in the right place at the right time. The world is too desperate for us to be wasting our time and money in doing anything besides pointing them to You.


17 thoughts on “The Mark Of A Leader

  1. Excellent post with sad statistics which verify the decline of attendance and commitment. The church I left several years ago seemed more like a status church. Sermons seemed to have been given over and over, delivered without a conviction for conversions. Your post provides encouragement that we are all called! My prayer is that we each do our part.

  2. Excellent and timely post. No harshness,only much needed but seldom heard truth. What’s the difference between a shepherd and a hireling? A shepherd loves and tends His flock,while a hireling loves and tends himself. The end result of which is the shepherd bears much fruit while the hireling is fruitless.

  3. Truth–no matter how harsh–is still truth! Great post that should bring conviction to those who read it and are not being led by Holy Spirit in their vocation. If He leads, people will follow!

  4. Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    Are you fulfilling your leadership role in the church ? Take a rein check from this blog and do the necessary – passionately lead with God’s leading or step aside. Do seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance whatever is decided with courage.

  5. What has happened to the days where someone, filled with God’s Holy Spirit, could just start preaching the gospel? Think about how Charles Spurgeon started. It wasn’t like today. Fill out this application, where did you get your degree from?, etc. We need to get people who are filled with God’s Holy Spirit in front of the people. That doesn’t come from attending college, and being good at applying for jobs, and whatever hoops today’s corporate “churches” want their potential minister to jump through.

    • Moses was one of the best educated men of his day. Getting an excellent education is not the primary qualification, God’s annointing is. But having that education can only help.
      The primary failure of most of the “pastors” I am talking about is apathy and laziness, not too much education.

  6. The statistics may need interpreting. Those churches that practice an altar call keep a head count tally but many ministries don’t keep a record of conversions. I minister to teens in detention and always give kids an opportunity to come into faith, but do not ask hands raised for a head count.

    Could the story of the budding staff be a foreshadow of the new covenant? The law covenant could not bear fruit as the covenant of the Holy Spirit does.

    This is still an important lesson on leadership. We just need to affirm our dependence upon God’s Spirit. Glory to God.

    • The numbers I gave (not necessarily the ones in the Keith Green clip) come from my denomination’s Annual Church Ministries Report. That number reporting no conversions is a small percentage of the overall churches, but it is about the same percentage of churches that also reported no growth or decline over the same year. I think it would be safe to assume most guilty in one category are guilty in both. Although I can access a more in depth report, it isn’t public and so I wouldn’t share it here.

  7. I am going to offer a little mercy to our pastors here. Pastors pastor – they tend the flock. It’s our job as the flock to be bringing people to Jesus. The pastors are part of a bigger flock too of course, but no-one is exempt from making disciples. If your church has had no converts take a look at yourselves, what are you doing to bring people to Jesus? When was the last time you invited an unsaved friend along so the gospel your pastor preached could reach them? Or better when was the last time WE preached the gospel to that friend by words, by our lives so that they could meet the Saviour?

    I agree too many churches are dead and thus failing in the work of the Kingdom but let’s not just blame the leaders – last time I looked I am part of the church too, my job is to do more than fill a seat and give money.

  8. I have considered moving on, but during my convalescence, the Lord gently nudged me: “You’re the leader, so lead.” An explosive split had taken place a few years back and the concussion set me reeling. I lost my music team, the board and many key families followed. I went numb inside, and shifted to neutral. Oh, I was the perfunctory head, but nothing more. Others attempted to step up and fill the gap, but led in directions–well, not the direction of Jesus, let’s say. About a year and a half prior to this explosion, the Lord clearly said: “Preach the Gospel!” I taught on how to live the Life of Jesus, but rarely how to initially enter in and begin following. So I adjusted my preaching to do so. Wham! Pow! (To borrow an old TV phrase). It is interesting. The people that moved on were good people, but it is interesting , especially Jules’ comments above. I almost too often say, “Alway preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words” (adapting St. Frances). I have a lot of shy, reserve people left, and yet something is happening. One by one, new saints are being born. We know have a cross on the platform. On it are precious pray requests for family & friends. When they come to Jesus, we remove them and place them at the foot of the Cross…. Like I said, something rather quiet is happening. Three baptisms this Resurrection Sunday is but a small exclamation to this. We haven’t had any in years. Bless you for your constant heart-felt Love of encouragement. Shalom.

    • As I was reading this, my mind went back to a church split that happened while I was in high school. Although it was not my church, I had very close friends on both sides and it was an incredibly hard situation. As time went on, a lot of healing needed to happen… and it did. Today, twenty years later, both churches are large and vibrant and healthy and bringing many people to God. He can take even the ugliest things and use them for His glory.

  9. When you see standing in the Holy place….. (Matthew24:15)
    Could it be that we are reaching a day where the vision of God is being lost right in the middle of our sacred churches? Shall we all pray that we could catch a glimpse of Him still? If we could see again a vision of His size, His love and His sacrifice to bring us together again, would it bring us all to our knees? Shall we pray for His glory to pierce the darkness of even our day? Could we do with a little more Light to enter our hearts? Is Jesus still our only hope? Let us pray for the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the Presence of our Saviour and the thrill of coming to know God to come to us all before we lose our chance to make a difference!

  10. Pingback: Links To Motivation And Leadership Articles (3-30-2016) – My Daily Musing

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