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3 Principles of Being a Qualified Church Leader
First, exalt and bear witness to God when serving God.
In all matters, we must put God first in our hearts. Whether preaching, assisting brothers and sisters or sharing our personal experiences, we must worship God and exalt God in our hearts. We must say as much as we understand to lift God up and testify to God to the greatest extent that we can. During our work, if we don’t talk about God’s intentions or our real experiences but boast and speak of letters and doctrines, if we only talk about those good aspects, such as what we have suffered, how the Lord has bestowed grace on us and so on, but never expose the corruption and rebelliousness that we revealed in our work, unknowingly, we will make our brothers and sisters falsely believe that we pursue the truth and have great faith and good humanity. As a result, they will look up to and worship us for the wrong reasons. If so, what we have done is not raising God up or bearing witness to God, but instead, we are exalting ourselves and witnessing ourselves and bringing our brothers and sisters before ourselves. With such work, we will never attain the approval of God. Instead, we would be condemned by God. So, our hearts must be in the right place when working. In addition, during our service, we should learn to look upon God and rely on God all the time and have reverence for God. When we do each item of church work, we must rely on Him, look up to Him and have His words be our guide. We should carry out His words and bring our brothers and sisters into His presence so that they can look upon to and rely on God and act in accordance with His intentions when they encounter problems. If this effect can be achieved and we often practice in this way, we are truly lifting Him up and serving as His witnesses. Only this kind of service is in accordance with His will.
Second, cooperate harmoniously with co-workers.
The Lordonce said, “Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them” (Matthew 18:19–20). From this we can see, collaborating harmoniously between co-workers is indeed crucial. This is a necessary condition for the church to receive God’s blessing. If there is no harmonious collaboration between the leader and co-workers—the leader does everything based on his own accord; the co-workers do not obey the leader or deal with the work according to their own thoughts; neither of them humbles themselves to accept the other’s suggestions—the church work won’t be carried on as normal and it is easy for co-workers to divide the church by separating into factions. God most despises this kind of service and the Holy Spirit doesn’t work in this kind of church.
God says, “You must achieve harmonious cooperation for the purpose of the work of God, for the benefit of the church, and for spurring the brothers and sisters onward. You coordinate with him and he coordinates with you, each amending the other, arriving at a better work outcome, so as to care for God’s will. Only this is a true cooperation, and only such people have true entry.” From these words, we can see that God’s intention is for church leaders and co-workers to cooperate harmoniously. When serving God, we should learn from each other, help each other, and draw on others’ advantages to make up for our own shortcomings. When having different opinions, we should communicate with each other and discuss it. As long as what our co-workers say is in accordance with the truth, God’s intentions and requirements, and is beneficial to the church, we leaders should accept it modestly. Only in this way can we conform to the Lord’s will and fulfill His commission.
Third, lead those brothers and sisters who pursue the truth to know how to read God’s words.
A very important duty of a church leader is to lead brothers and sisters who pursue the truth to learn how to read and ponder God’s words, and experience God’s work to enter into the reality of the truth. Just as God says, “Church leaders should be able to lead all brothers and sisters in knowing how to eat and drink of God’s words. This is the responsibility of all church leaders. … Nowadays, most feel that they cannot live without eating and drinking of the word of God, and whatever the time, they feel that His word is novel. Then does man begin to set upon the right track. God uses the word to work and supply man. When all yearn and thirst for the word of God, they will enter into a world of His word.” We can understand from the words of God that it is very important to know how to read God’s words. Therefore, as leaders of the church, firstly, we should know how to read God’s words. We should often make prayers in our hearts for this and repeatedly contemplate God’s words, compare ourselves to His words, reflect upon ourselves and train in practicing the truth in real life. If we practice in this way, we will be able to understand the truth. If we put God’s words into practice, we will understand the truth more clearly and be able to fellowship what we know and have experienced from the words of God. After hearing our communication, our brothers and sisters will understand God’s will and gain some knowledge of God. Then, when they encounter some situations in their daily life, they will be able to know how to experience God’s words so as to understand the truth and have some knowledge of God. When working in such a manner we can attain the fruit of exalting God and witnessing God. On the contrary, if we leaders do not know how to read God’s words and do not carefully contemplate God’s words, we won’t be able to experience God’s words in real life. When gathering, we will only be able to say some letters and doctrines according to the literal meaning of God’s words or preach some rules to our brothers and sisters. This sort of work and service cannot lead our brothers and sisters into the reality of the truth. Instead, it will only lead them astray or they will simply adhere blindly to regulations. Just as the Lord, “They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Clearly, as a leader, it is very important to know how to read and practice God’s words. It is connected to whether or not our work can satisfy God’s heart and whether we can obtain His approval. Besides, the Lord said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). As long as we thirst for God’s words, we can receive the work of the Holy Spirit. If, moreover, we experience and practice God’s words, we can lead our brothers and sisters to read and experience God’s words so that they can know God more.
The three principles above are what we leaders should carefully put into practice. In this way, we can bring our brothers and sisters before God and our service will be praised by God.
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