Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The need for godly men

Here's an excellent article on the need for godly men in church ministry. The pastor does not have the influence, the time, the wisdom, or the authority to lead the flock of God alone. He desperately needs godly men of courage and biblical fortitude to stand with him. This is not to undermine the importance of godly women in church (1 Tim. 2:9-12; 5:3-16; Titus 2:3-5), but let's be honest - God has uniquely appointed men to lead His church.

As Andy Davis says, pastors need "to surround themselves with a group of strong, biblically-astute godly men, to stand with them in the ongoing task of local church reformation...May it please God to raise up scores of modern-day Martin Luthers in local congregations, men with backbones of steel, lion hearts for biblical truth and the tenderness of good shepherds leading lambs. "

Pastors, have you identified, and are you training such men?

Men who are not pastors, are you willing to become this kind of man, who will stand boldly for the truth and help lead God's church? Your help is needed.

3 comments:

David said...

Stephen,

I wonder if we as church's have not given up a Godly model of leadership. In the Bible I see a body of pastors/elders leading the church. We instead often make church a democracy where even the most immature can "out vote" the elders within a body.

I have thought a lot lately about the Biblical role of elders in a church.

I guess I am saying that I think a pastor needs mroe than a core of Godly men, it should also be an offical position within the Body. Obviously the pastor is an elder worthy of "double honor" -- but did God mean for the pastor to lead the church alone?

M.L. McCullah said...

Stephen,

Thanks for the link and your comments. This reminded me of a book that I have been meaning to read "The Life of a God Made Man" by Dan Doriani. In respects to leadership Doriani has some great comments.

He starts the chapter with a quote from Martin Luther. Luther says, in regards to men, "Young fellows are tempted by girls, men who are thirty years old are tempted by gold, and men who are forty years old are tempted by honor and glory."

Doriani goes on to say that most often for men, "leadership is a temptation before it is a calling." I could not agree more. I do not know how many times the thought has crossed my mind, that I need to be in leadership because I want honor and glory. However, Jesus says that to think this way is not God's way (i.e. sinful, evil)(see Matt 20:25-28). In other words, leadership is more about the character of a man than it is about the status it often receives.

So even though I think the church is in definite need of godly men, this work is the work of God in the lives of men. Men need to be striving in practicing the spiritual diciplines, putting their sin to death, and taking every thought captive that is out of sync with God's word; and praying for God to raise up godly men to do the work. Recognizing that the work of godly men in the church is not always (from an earthly perspective) a place of honor and glory, but more than that, and more satisfying than honor and glory, is service to the King of kings. All leaders in the church of Christ are called to be servants to the people.

May God empower us to be men who are not lording it over the people, but graciously, with joy and to the point of exhaustion serving the people because we are men of godly character (1 Timothy 3) and not after honor and glory of the position.

Question:
Should these godly men who are sought after by a pastor/elder be an elder also (not necessarily equal in authority)?

Stephen Jones said...

Thanks for your comments, guys. I believe the most biblical model of leadership is a plurality of elders, i.e. where several biblically qualified men (1 Tim. 3) are affirmed by the congregation to shepherd and oversee the church. Every time the term "elder" is applied to a local church context in the New Testament, it is used in the plural.

Should these godly men who are sought after by a pastor/elder be an elder also (not necessarily equal in authority)?

I would say that all elders and deacons should already be godly men, though not all godly men will necessarily become elders or deacons. If a man has disqualified himself in some way, or simply does not aspire to a formal position of leadership, then he should devote himself to leading his family and exercising his gifts in the church, but should not be forced to become an official elder or deacon.