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September 13, 2013

TISCIONE: Where are the leaders?

By LOU TISCIONE

The fundamental issue in the church is leadership. Church history testifies to the essential need for godly leadership. Likewise, the church in the Old Testament experienced the disasters associated with ungodly leadership. Current events have led me to observe the principle that what is true is true for all. That is, biblical truth not only applies to believers but all people are subject to the word of God.

The Bible has much to say concerning leadership. Both testaments contain God’s principles for godly leadership. The Apostle Paul gave instructions to both Timothy and Titus concerning the critical nature of selecting men to lead local churches.

Perhaps the most striking example of God’s revealed principles for leaders is Exodus 18:21: “Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.”

God revealed these principles through Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro. Jethro observed Moses’ leadership of the people of Israel and told him that what he was doing would wear him out. Jethro recommended that Moses find men who would be able to lead the people with him.

Jethro gave four characteristics of the kind of men Moses should select. Here are the four characteristics given by Jethro to Moses: able, God fearers, trustworthy and those who hated bribery. Each of these characteristics requires further explanation.

First, he should choose men from among the people. That is, those chosen should be recognized by the people as men who have a history of accomplishing assigned tasks. We can understand this as men who had resumés of accomplishments that demonstrated their abilities. Note that they should be chosen from among the people. That is, Jethro intended that their resumes could be verified as genuine. These men were known to the people whom they served.

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