The Church of Holy Water is committed to providing you, our members, with the highest level of biblical leadership so that you can become the effective Christian leader Jesus Christ has called you to be! Let us define biblical leadership so that you can learn what Jesus expects of all believers including us and you. Please study the following message on leadership so that you can become a biblical leader. Leaders must be readers who study God’s Word for the Bible says:
“Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth” (2Timothy 2:15, Amplified Bible). So please read on!
One basic truth must be acknowledged at the beginning of this teaching. All of Christ’s disciples are commanded by the Lord to obey all of His commandments and to teach them to others (Matthew 5:19-20 w/15:7-9,14 w/Luke 6:39-40, Matthew 10:27,13:52,28:18-20; Colossians 1:28,3:16; 2Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 5:9-6:12). By doing so Christ’s disciples become leaders.
The subject of Christian leadership can be approached from many aspects. This brief teaching touches on some of the most important. One aspect deals with the spiritual gifts and offices that God gives to Christian leaders who have received the Holy Spirit. According to Romans 12:6-8, the Holy Spirit gives supernatural ability to certain believers to lead God’s people. This ability is imparted to them by the Holy Spirit when they receive the spiritual gift of leadership. 1 Corinthians 12:31 (NKJV) tells Christians to earnestly desire the best gifts (better gifts-ISV; greater gifts-NASB). In the context of 1 Corinthians Chapters 12-14, the best gifts are those that build up the greatest number of people, and every Spirit-filled believer can earnestly desire and seek these gifts. Leadership is one of these better or greater gifts. The Holy Spirit will then guide each person to grow in his or her leadership abilities assisted by the spiritual gift of leadership. You will have the help you need from God to become a biblical leader.
Therefore, all Christians should earnestly desire the spiritual gift of leadership. Every Spirit-filled Christian is supernaturally enabled by God’s grace with both the determination to obey God’s will and the power to faithfully carry out all of His commandments with the constant goal in mind of pleasing God, and each disciple should act accordingly (Philippians 2:13). Every disciple of Christ demonstrates a life that is centered on divine purpose. Christ’s disciples are committed to doing all of God’s will as a sacred stewardship, and in doing so they become leaders. Therefore, God’s Word implies that Christ’s disciples who are empowered and led by the Holy Spirit always progress to become leaders; and effective Christian leaders are graced by the Holy Spirit with various spiritual gifts, especially the gift of leadership.
However, Apostles Paul and Peter wanted all spiritually gifted disciples to understand that the motive for exercising spiritual gifts must always be sacrificial love for others (Romans 12:4-21; 1Corinthians 12:1-31,13:1-13,14:1-40; 1Peter 4:8-11). In 1 Corinthians 13 Apostle Paul warned that disciples who exercise spiritual gifts without love are nothing, and it profits them nothing. The Spirit of Christ is given to disciples not only to empower them with spiritual gifts but also to make them partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:2-11). The nature of God is love (1John 4:7-16). This means that the progressive transformation of Spirit- filled Christians into Christ-like people will result in disciples who consistently demonstrate sacrificial love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith to all people including their enemies (1Timothy 1:3-7).
Therefore, Christian leaders are not only people who exercise various spiritual gifts, especially the gift of leadership, but they also manifest the sacrificial love of Christ to God, fellow Christians and the lost. Christian leaders should not be most concerned about how many people take them seriously, or how much they are going to accomplish, or whether they can show results to their overseers, but rather they should be most concerned about whether they are consistently demonstrating God’s sacrificial love to others in an unconditional and unlimited way.
In the New Covenant God’s Word commands all Christians to imitate Christ; and Jesus Christ is the greatest example of leadership. These two biblical facts confirm that all Christians must earnestly desire to be Spirit-filled leaders by growing to demonstrate the example of loving and supernaturally gifted leadership shown to us by Jesus Christ. This will certainly require God’s empowering grace, and He will provide it to humble disciples. Therefore, to function effectively it is God’s will that all disciples who are currently working in leadership positions or hoping to do so receive the spiritual gift of leadership and exercise this gift motivated by sacrificial love for others through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. To attempt to lead God’s people today without the ability to manifest the love and power of the Spirit of Christ is not the will of God because complete success will be impossible. Yet, other qualifications are required for the various positions of Christian leadership if complete success is to be achieved.
Let us first study certain aspects of biblical leadership. We will begin by studying the full definition of the Greek word which is translated into the English word “leads” in Romans 12:8: “he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
The Greek word translated as the word “leads” in Romans 12:8 means “to be over, to preside, to rule, to direct” (1Thessalonians 5:12). By implication it also means “to care for and be concerned about something, to protect, to give aid, to maintain good works for others” (Titus 3:8,14). The notions of leading people and caring for them are not contradictory. The two concepts go hand-in-hand in the Bible. Christian leaders are disciples who lead or direct others in a caring, supportive manner. They act as directors who are also helpful friends, mentors and protectors. Therefore, Christian leaders direct others in ways that feel helpful, caring, protective and concerned to those they lead. Furthermore, people who are being directed by Christ’s leaders should feel as if they are being served in a humble and sacrificial way. This is why Jesus said the following in Mark 10:42-45 (NKJV): (42) But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. (43) Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. (44) And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slaves of all. (45) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
This is the great example of the humble and sacrificial leadership that Jesus gave to the world and to all of us. It is only this example of leadership that clearly demonstrates the unconditional and unlimited love of God to people. This is why God empowers believers to lead in ways that ultimately cause them to serve as the loving slaves of the Lord, other disciples and the lost. Please take a moment to think about that. Therefore, God gives power to Christians to lead others in the hope that His power is used redemptively to sacrificially serve others, whereby people come to truly know the love of God.
Consequently, disciples who are submitted and committed to God to lead and who are trained properly by more mature leaders will function as follows: They will minister as leaders who direct disciples and are over them in authority but who direct them in a caring, helpful, concerned, protective and servant-like way that demonstrates the sacrificial love of God to them.
Please be aware that different responsibilities of ministerial authority are given to apostles, prophets, evangelists, teaching pastors, deacons, small group leaders, worship leaders, leaders of various departments, and all disciples of Christ. Furthermore, it is important to note that certain of these ministry offices and responsibilities require more from God than the gift of leadership. People called to these different positions must be graced by God with certain other spiritual gifts, ministries and offices. This will be discussed fully in other teachings, but please realize that the Church of Holy Water will provide you with leadership from all of these church gifts, ministries and offices so that you will be fully equipped. This is very important because the Bible teaches that it takes all of these gifts, ministries and offices to fully equip you to become a Christ-like disciple (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1Corinthians 12:28-31; 1Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:4-8).
Practically speaking, Christian leaders lovingly watch out for the souls of those they lead by leading them in obeying the Word of God for the ultimate purpose of all disciples being transformed into Christ-like people who love others just as Christ loves them. Christ-like people are controlled by the love of Christ so that they live no longer for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again. The Lord’s goal in this transformational process of producing Christ-like disciples is so that the world will know and believe that God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, and loves Christ’s disciples just as He loves His own Son. This corporate transformation is accomplished by training all disciples to become whole, ministers and teachers of God’s Word who demonstrate sacrificial love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith, which facilitates Christian maturity and perfect unity in the body of Christ; and this perfect unity attracts unsaved people to the love of Jesus Christ and His disciples (John 17:20-26; 2Corinthians 3:18,4:4,6,5:14-15; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1Timothy 1:3-11).
As members of God’s kingdom, God’s Word teaches us that every Spirit-filled Christian should consistently experience righteousness, peace, joy and power in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17; 1Corinthians 4:20). This should especially be true of Christ’s leaders. The word “peace” derives from the Hebrew concept of shalom. Shalom describes the result of God’s activity and presence in your life when you obey the Word of God. Shalom is often translated as “peace” but is also defined as completeness, unity, well-being, harmony, prosperity, health, fulfillment, security, and perfect wholeness. Christian leaders will guide believers to consistently obey the New Covenant, especially the Lord’s commands in the Great Commission, so that they can maintain the presence of the Lord where they can continually experience power, righteousness, joy and shalom in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20: Luke 24:46-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8).
By accomplishing the preceding tasks, leaders will bear much fruit; and they will help disciples to bear much fruit so that every Christian can gain the greatest level of reward for all eternity when they go to Heaven. Father God is glorified when disciples bear much fruit (John 15:8). To bear much fruit is to both manifest the fruit of the Spirit on a consistent basis, especially love, and to save many souls so they can go to heaven (John 4:34-38,15:1-8,15:9-16:11; Galatians 5:22-23).
According to Romans 12:8 those who are serving in the ministry of leadership are called to function in it with diligence. The Greek word translated “diligence” can mean eagerness, earnest effort, zeal, attentiveness, devotion, commitment. Therefore, Christian leaders exemplify zeal, eagerness, earnest effort, devotion, commitment, attentiveness. This is what it means to be a diligent leader. Of course, this means Christian leaders do not give up. They work through and overcome failures, personal struggles and suffering to achieve success through these hardships; and they help others to do likewise. Diligence is an attribute of love for love suffers long, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1Corinthians 13:4,7,8). The Holy Spirit gave us further details about diligence in 2Timothy 2:1-7:(1) “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (3) You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (4) No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (5) And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (6) The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. (7) Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.” These verses are written to Timothy who is an apostle (1Thessalonians 1:1 with 2:6). Apostle Paul is directing Timothy to protect the apostolic teachings he has learned from Paul by committing them to faithful leaders who will be able to teach others also. Therefore, the teaching responsibility given to Timothy is commensurate with his office as an apostle. Not all Christian leaders have this responsibility, but much of Paul’s instruction to Timothy is applicable to every Christian leader.
Every leader must be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The word “grace” here represents God’s divine empowerment and nature manifested through the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, every leader must be very careful to learn and teach only the original apostolic teachings, which came from Jesus Christ and were passed on to Christ’s first apostles and then to Paul who passed them on to Timothy who passed them on to faithful leaders who passed them on to others also. This is why we have God’s unadulterated Word today.
Verses 3 and 4 tell us that all Christian leaders are called to be good soldiers of Christ because they say “no one” engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, and every disciple is engaged in warfare (Ephesians 6:10-12). Good soldiers endure hardship, which comes as leaders struggle against opponents of the Gospel. Nothing should distract leaders from pleasing and following Christ. Christ’s leaders must give themselves wholeheartedly to Christ and His orders. So even if leaders work at secular jobs like Apostle Paul did making tents, they must not let the affairs of life distract them from service to Christ. Christ’s leaders must serve Christ with unentangled service and be willing to bear suffering to make sure the truth of God’s Word is actuated in the lives of others. Christ’s leaders live like soldiers who are at war. This demonstration of duty and loyalty are further attributes and expressions of love.
Christian leaders, like athletes, follow the rules of self-sacrifice and discipline to win the prize; but Christian leaders compete against everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2Corinthians 10:3-6). Christ’s leaders live like athletes striving to win souls.
The farmer is rewarded because of his great devotion and hard work, and he is the first to partake of his crops as his reward. Likewise, Christian leaders who work hard should expect to bear fruit that remains, which bestows upon them great eternal rewards for the souls they saved starting with their households! Christ’s leaders live like farmers sowing and reaping to gather fruit for life eternal.
The Holy Spirit calls leaders to carefully consider and understand what He has said in 2 Timothy 2:1-7. The examples given here help us to understand the diligence expected of Christian leaders in Romans 12:8. They consistently display disciplined, vigorous, undivided service to God, fellow disciples and the lost which is richly rewarded. These examples in 2 Timothy help you to better understand the synonyms given for the word “diligence” in Romans 12:8 including zeal, eagerness, earnest effort, devotion, commitment and attentiveness, and their relationship to the demonstration of Christ-like love.
As I mentioned, biblical leaders of God’s people include apostles, prophets, evangelists, teaching pastors, deacons, small group leaders, worship leaders, leaders of various departments and all disciples who rule, lead or facilitate in any capacity including as heads of households. All Christian leaders in the congregation share in the responsibility of shepherding all members of the congregation. Even though they may not have the same ministerial authority as do apostles, prophets, evangelists or teaching pastors, all of Christ’s leaders still share in the responsibility of teaching all believers and equipping them to be Christ-like people. As examples of Christ, good leaders give their lives for the sheep (John 10:11,15:12,13). Therefore, those disciples who are striving to obey Christ’s command to be like Him will grow to become leaders; and one test of their leadership is their willingness to give their lives for the sheep. This is another attribute and expression of Christ-like love which Jesus confirmed when He said “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus emphasized this fact and requirement again when He spoke to Apostle Peter in John 21:15-17 (please read).
Christian leaders are found in the field with the sheep. They are focused on their assignment–to care for and direct God’s people as Christ did. This implies that all leaders must be relational. This is very important because disciples require a sharing relationship, which the Bible calls fellowship, to grow up in all things into Christ (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 4:11-16). Therefore, Christian leaders must strive to have fellowship or a sharing relationship with each person they lead. They must cheerfully work to develop ever-deepening relationships with those under their leadership. Leaders must be diligent in fostering positive Christian relationships so that each person they lead knows and trusts them and obeys their instructions, which always must be based upon the Word of God. Christ’s leaders will effectively nurture relationships when they consistently act in a Christ-like manner and do what is necessary to advance the well-being, maturity, unity, prosperity, holiness, completeness, health, teaching ability, security, wholeness, effective ministry, and peace of those they lead, which exemplifies Christ-like love.
From this foundation of secure relationships, a Christian leader’s primary responsibility is to make sure all disciples under his or her leadership are properly fed with the accurate knowledge and understanding of God’s Word so they can fully obey Christ’s teachings, minister effectively, experience true peace (shalom), manifest sacrificial love as Christ did, continue to perfect holiness in the fear of God thereby establishing their hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints, and attain to eternal life with great reward (Jeremiah 3:15; John 8:31-32, 17:3,17-26; 2Corinthians 7:1; 1Thessalonians 3:12-13; 1 John 2:3-4).
As mentioned, each Christian leader must share in the responsibility of training each disciple to be a Christ-like person. Since Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1,14: Rev. 19:13), disciples become Christ-like by “becoming” the Word of God (John 4:14,34,6:27,33,35,50-58,7:37-38,8:31-32,15:3-11,17:8,17,22; Romans 8:29; 2Corinthians 3:18, 4:4,6; 1Peter 1:22-25; 1John 3:2,9). This occurs as disciples learn and obey the living, unadulterated Word of God through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which enables them to truly know God in an intimate, experiential relationship (Jeremiah 9:23-24,31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Hosea 4:6,6:3 (compare Genesis 4:1 and Luke 1:34); Matthew 11:27; John 17:3; Titus 1:16; 1John 1:6,2:3-4,3:22,24,5:3; John 17:3).
Therefore, leaders of God’s people must work together to make sure each disciple does their best to learn and obey all of God’s Word from their hearts (God’s Word is also known as the Holy Bible, the Gospel, the Apostles’ Doctrine, the teachings of Christ and the New Covenant). This is of primary importance because only those believers who fulfill the biblical requirement to keep the New Covenant between themselves and God will continually experience God’s presence, power and love, and receive answers to their prayers, which will enable them to be fully equipped and fully effective for God in this world by becoming whole, ministers, teachers, mature, and united. Furthermore, only those believers who strive to obey God’s will are qualified to go to Heaven when they die (Matthew 7:21-27, 28:20; Mark 3:35; Luke 6:40,46; John 15:1-14,17:20-23; Philippians 3:7-21; Hebrews 5:9; James 2:14-26; 2 Peter 1:1-12; 1 John 3:22; Revelation 2:26, 3:2, 22:12-14).
This means that biblical leaders must always demonstrate radical, immediate obedience to God’s Word themselves so that those they lead will have true role models to imitate. Leaders should strive to mature to the point where they can say to others, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1).” Consequently, Christian leaders consistently demonstrate that they have considered the cost of discipleship and are committed to paying it’s price which requires them to sacrificially love God, fellow Christians and the lost including their enemies by following these commands from God’s Word: denying themselves; taking up their crosses daily; following Christ’s example; losing their lives for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s; never being ashamed of Christ and His words; hating (loving less) their fathers and mothers, spouses and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and their own lives also in comparison to their love for Christ; forsaking all that they have; abiding in Christ’s word; hating their lives in this world; putting to death the deeds of the body; serving God first and foremost in all things rather than serving both God and material wealth as God’s stewards are commanded. This includes giving generously and sacrificially to God’s work, with the biblical principle of tithing (10% of one’s income) as a benchmark serving as a minimum goal; living godly in Christ Jesus; pursuing holiness; being humble as a little child; faithfully teaching, preaching, witnessing and sharing God’s Word with others; etc. (Matthew 10:27-33,13:51-52,28:18-20; Luke 9:23-26,14:25-35, 16:1-13; Mark 8:34-38; John 8:31,12:25-26; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:13; 2Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 5:12, 7:1-28,12:14; Matthew 18:2-4,23:23 with 5:19-20; etc.).
A brief description of a Christian leader’s primary responsibilities before God is as follows:
Every Christian leader must actively share in the responsibility to make sure that each disciple becomes whole (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually), a minister (consistently doing good works that benefit others and give God glory), a teacher (of the elementary teachings of Christ-Hebrews 6:1-2), mature (Christ-like) and united (in belief, heartfelt obedience and mission), which requires that all disciples strive to fully keep the New Covenant between themselves and God as their lifestyle. Certain key details of this process include the Christian leader’s diligent efforts with other co-leaders to learn Christ’s teachings and then do the following things. Christ’s leaders will seek to make sure each disciple understands and then obeys Jesus’ commands as his or her priority including Jesus Christ’s commands:
to repent, to believe in and obey Jesus Christ as the Lord God Almighty who came in the flesh, to be baptized in water and the Holy Spirit and fire, to receive and develop and demonstrate the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit, to function effectively in a ministry utilizing his or her spiritual gifts for the benefit of others, to go and make disciples baptizing them and teaching them to obey all of the Apostles’ Doctrine (Acts 2:42) summarized in the commands to love God with all of their being and to love others just as Christ loved them, to persevere through sufferings as they are baptized in fire (which will test and purify them), to have fellowship with other disciples on a consistent basis to create and maintain a culture that demonstrates Christ-like community, to regularly break bread together (meaning to have both communal meals and the Lord’s Supper (Communion), which is to be understood as a “Remembrance of Both Christ’s Sacrificial Love and Our Commitment to Imitate Christ’s Sacrificial Love”), to pray, to give, and to worship, while the Christian leader strives to set a Christ-like example in all of these things for them to imitate.
The Church of Holy Water will provide Bible curriculum to help our members to learn and to follow the Lord Jesus Christ’s teachings. We will also provide materials to our members to help them determine their progress through self-examination (2Corinthians 13:5; 1Corinthians 11:27-32). Christian leaders are also life coaches who consistently expect God’s best from those they lead. This means that Christ’s leaders warmly instill in each disciple the conviction that they can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). Christ’s leaders consistently impart to those they lead the attitude that they can successfully carry out God’s will. Christian leaders impart this conviction by always vocalizing a positive expectation that each disciple will succeed. Therefore, a leader’s encouraging, vocal expectation of those he or she leads becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Christian leaders have an expectation that each of the disciples they lead will succeed in all godly endeavors especially the number-one priority of being a Christ-like person in this world, who sacrificially loves God, fellow Christians and the lost in a consistent and demonstrative way. This expectation must be held and communicated by Christ’s leaders and experienced by those they lead. Disciples must know that their leaders have high expectations for them. Disciples must have the consistent impression that their leaders expect them to succeed in becoming a Christ-like person. Christ’s leaders must demonstrate what they expect disciples to accomplish. This means that Christian leaders do not only speak about where things need to be, but they also provide an authentic picture of where things need to be through the example of their own lives, which consistently demonstrate the sacrificial love of Christ.
As coaches Christian leaders should constantly assess the training needs of those they lead. Through their dual roles as directors (leaders, rulers, facilitators, teachers, prophesiers) and loving care-givers (helpful friends, servants, mentors and protectors), Christ’s leaders must be willing to do all that is necessary to make sure each disciple becomes whole, a minister, a teacher, mature and united and continues to progress in manifesting sacrificial love, prophesying truth, and experiencing shalom (complete wholeness). They need to work together with other co-leaders to help disciples experience God and manifest Him to others by expecting and equipping each of them to demonstrate the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in ministering to the Lord, the body of Christ and the world. When co-leaders work together to lead each disciple to meet these goals, empowered and led by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, they will help each disciple to be truly Christ-like in this world.
As Christian leaders strive to carry out all the actions mentioned above, they will grow in their personal ability to set the example of being a Christ-like person, which those they lead must follow. The very opportunity of leadership that God gives all disciples is a primary means through which God calls the disciple to maturity. A leader’s ministry is one of God’s primary tools for his or her spiritual development (Romans 12:1-8; 1Corinthians Chapters 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1Peter 4:1-19). Due to their commitment to Christian maturity, Christ’s leaders will project God’s sacrificial love, power and divine order through their sacrifices, humility, prophetic voice, direction, courage, concern, holiness, commitment, integrity, protection, encouragement, loyalty, edification, comfort, admonishment, vitality, caring relationships, freedom, etc. In short, they will demonstrate authentically biblical faith, hope, and love, which comprise the essence of being a true disciple, of being a Christ-like person, and by so doing will keep the New Covenant with God enabling them to call upon God’s help in every situation (1Corinthians 13:13; 1John 3:22).
Christian leaders must do all things previously mentioned as well as those that follow with diligence. To demonstrate diligence, Christ’s leaders must exemplify eagerness and zeal. What does this practically mean? This means they must demonstrate lots of positive energy, which is the outflow of a person who consistently demonstrates faith, hope, and love. Christ’s leaders need to energize others by loving them (through sacrificial love) and inspiring them with humble servanthood (through works of faith) and high expectations (through patient hope). They need to convey a positive, faith-filled and hope-filled attitude that says all things are possible through Christ. However, this attitude must be conveyed in a humble, broken way that demonstrates self-surrender to God not self-promotion, self-reliance or self-righteousness. Christ’s leaders should not appear to be negative, mediocre, complaining, needy, bland, critical, judgmental, prideful, carnal, weary, dull, spiritless, unmotivated, divisive, immature, selfish, or behaving in ways that are not Christ-like.
Christian leaders need to execute. They need to set goals with deadlines and get the job done. They need to press through each obstacle until victory is achieved. They must not be passive, defeatist, lazy, procrastinators or shrink back from responsibility. They must prove to be steadfast, faithful and loyal, which are attributes and expressions of love.
Christian leaders need to manifest passion for God, fellow Christians, and the lost. They need to show strong, heartfelt excitement about their work and life in Christ. This means that Christ’s leaders need to constantly convey genuine care for others. They need to demonstrate this care through observable acts of faith, hope, and love. Every disciple under the direction of leadership should feel that their leaders deeply care for them.
Christian leaders should demonstrate integrity. They must tell the truth, take responsibility for mistakes and shortcomings and strive to correct them, and show fairness without partiality at all times. They need to value all others as equals. They must be good listeners, able to maintain confidentiality, teachable and not prideful. Christ’s leaders must consistently demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit with an emphasis on sacrificial love to all others, especially their spouses and children.
Christian leaders should demonstrate both intellectual and emotional intelligence, which will develop over time through experience. They must learn what their position requires them to know and be able to show that knowledge in a positive way. They must continually grow in using their natural and supernatural abilities to demonstrate maturity, self-control, self-awareness, discernment of people’s hearts, and proper responses in every situation. Christ’s leaders must learn to handle difficulties with gentleness and poise, enjoy success with humility, be boldly confident, be all things to all people. They must rule, lead or facilitate people wisely and keep them accountable. This level of intelligence comes through a close walk with the Holy Spirit and experience in life and ministry (1Corinthians 2:12-16; 1Timothy; 2Timothy; Titus; Hebrews 5:14).
Christian leaders must show loyal dedication. This is another aspect of diligence. They must be loyally dedicated to God, sacrificial living, worship, prayer, Bible study, teaching others, giving, being humble and tender-hearted, Christian maturity and unity, holiness, and the goals of the ministry and its overseers that are based upon the Word of God. Christ’s leaders who are loyally dedicated to these things will allow God to use them as He desires. They will not compete with others or compare themselves to others. They will not demand their rights (2Corinthians 10:12; Philippians 2:1-5).
As Christ’s leaders consistently exemplify Christ by striving to carry out all of the actions previously mentioned as well as those that follow, they will continually nurture biblical relationships in Christ’s body where sacrificial love, godly order, collective body ministry, and a strong emphasis on the Great Commission develop and thrive. This will help to create true Christ-like community (fellowship) and an apostolic culture. One of the primary jobs of Christian leaders is to create true Christ-like community (fellowship) and an apostolic culture, which are essential elements needed to develop and maintain Christian maturity and unity.
Christian leaders must also strongly fight for the one faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3):
They do this by continuing steadfastly in the Apostles’ Doctrine and by working for doctrinal unity in the body of Christ, which is another essential element needed to develop Christian maturity and unity. Christian leaders work for doctrinal unity by helping to protect and teach the Apostles’ Doctrine (the original teachings of Christ, the Gospel, the unadulterated Word of God) to all disciples (Matthew 20:18-20; Acts 2:42; 1Timothy 1:3-5,10b,11,4:16; 2Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 6:1-2).
Denominationalism (sectarianism) is a sin. The Apostles’ Doctrine includes an important teaching that directs all Christian leaders to maintain a unified biblical government and structure in the body of Christ to establish God’s order. Biblical government and structure are also essential elements needed to develop Christian maturity and unity. True Christ-like community (fellowship), biblical government and structure (God’s order), collective body ministry, and a strong emphasis on prayer and the Great Commission are important parts of the Apostles’ Doctrine. Only by teaching and following the Apostles’ Doctrine can Christian maturity and perfect unity occur, which are both commanded by Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:48, 28:18-20; John 17:20-26; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1Corinthians Chap.1-3; Acts 2:42; etc.).
Therefore, Christian leaders have the primary responsibility to establish Christ-like maturity and perfect unity in the Lord’s body by equipping all disciples to deny themselves and to be Christ-like people through the full understanding and application of the Apostles’ Doctrine; the consistent expression of sacrificial love to all others; the orchestration of collective body ministry; a continuing emphasis on prayer, holiness, and the Great Commission; and the establishment and maintenance of biblical government and structure (God’s order) and true Christ-like community (fellowship). Maturity and perfect unity will not occur in the body of Christ apart from bold and humble Christian leadership that achieves these God-given goals. These acts of obedience to God’s Word by all of Christ’s leaders are needed if all of Christ’s disciples are to obey all of God’s Word for the purpose of being transformed into Christ-like people; living in true righteousness, joy, peace (shalom) and power; consistently demonstrating sacrificial love to God and to all people including enemies; and attaining to eternal life with great reward. Christ’s leaders must learn, believe and diligently carry out these God-given commands with sincere devotion and love for God, His disciples, and the lost so the greatest possible number of people can go to Heaven (Matthew 5:19-20,48, 28:18-20; etc.)
Since all disciples are called to be leaders, they need many opportunities to grow in their ability to lead. One such opportunity is in the small group setting. In light of God’s Word and our mission we have chosen to call these small groups, “Holy Water Home Stations,” which will be small assemblies that promote the Bible’s emphasis on helping people to receive physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health through the life, light, love and truth of God. These stations will serve as neighborhood evangelism, healing and training centers where people can receive Bible teaching, divine health information and prayer in a relational setting where outreach and discipleship can best occur. Prayer moves God on behalf of people, and evangelism moves people on behalf of God. Every disciple of Christ should eventually lead a Holy Water Home Station where divine health, fellowship, prayer, evangelism and discipleship are the focus because Jesus Christ has commanded every one of His followers to collectively carry out His Great Commission, which is a teaching and healing commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8).
In preparation for leading a Holy Water Home Station disciples should first serve as interns under trained leaders. To facilitate this training process apostolic training guides, progress reports and other materials have been developed to promote discipleship, leadership, prayer and evangelism. Every Christian is called to serve the Lord with all humility. God gives grace to the humble empowering them to lead in the place God has called them. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
May all leaders of God’s people (including apostles, prophets, evangelists, teaching pastors, deacons, Holy Water Home Station leaders, worship leaders, department leaders, heads of households, and all disciples) be anointed by God to succeed in equipping all believers for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV, NIV).