Leadership#1. “It starts with desire.”

Leadership#1. “It starts with desire.”

It is a trustworthy statement: “if any man aspires to the office of overseer” (1Tim.3:1).

Dennis Walton was an Elder in the Lord’s church in Azle, Texas. He has since gone on to his reward. When I was around Dennis, I was around a great man of God. I knew I was blessed to be in the presence of a man who put the mission of Christ and the church first. To this day I praise God that I am a better Christian for having known this man who helped to shepherd God’s church.

Every parent who claims the Lordship of Christ must raise their sons in the shadows of such great men. Men of God who, because they first aspired to be like Jesus, aspired to be Elders in the Lord’s church.

Yes, some evil men have become Elders. Men who should never have as much as spoken of it. Oftentimes the damage they wrought upon the church was helped along by others. Enabling brethren, though knowing better, naively believed that they could somehow ‘take up the slack’ where these unqualified men fell short. The end is that they all marched on to mutual destruction.

I would speak with less concern if we were talking about a secular venture, but we are here speaking of the Body of Christ—The Church. Those who destroy the church will themselves be destroyed.

It is because of the grave responsibility of Eldership that many brothers eschew the thought altogether. Admittedly, they are to be commended for understanding the gravity of the Shepherd’s role, but equally, it is recommended that they ask themselves what their lack of ‘desire’ says about their vision for the church.

Not every man of God is able to meet all the Biblical qualifications for an Overseer. Some are not qualified because they are not married, others because they do not have believing children, and others who are new converts. But all men can, and must, desire the spiritual qualities that God lists in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

If all the brothers ‘desired’ the Christlike qualities of a leader, the church would be transformed within a generation. And from those men would come an army of brothers who “aspire to the office of overseer.”

May God raise up such men.

John Staiger


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