We get the leaders we deserve. We as a people need to be more diligent when choosing leaders in our churches, communities and country. For leadership within the church there is a clear guideline of qualities necessary for anyone who aspires to lead the people of god.
1 Timothy 3 vs 1- 13 sets out the standard for men who would lead his people. The elder is the highest office within the church, and the position is only spoken of in plurality. There cannot be one elder overseeing a congregation neither is any one elder above another, all are equal. They are not handpicked by some overseeing body but by the very people they live with in the same community.
On occasion of the 21st Movement I was thinking about our national leadership and found it wanting, confirming my initial thought that we have the leaders that we deserve.
Now if the standard is set so high for leaders who will oversee a fairly small group of people? How much more for political leaders who have to oversee a whole country!? Shouldn’t we also hold them to a high standard since our welfare depends on it? While its my democratic right to vote, I have used this list of qualities to determine if a candidate is worthy of my vote.
Since this list is derived from the biblical standard of church leadership which only specifies men in position of leadership, these can be reversed for the opposite in relation to leadership of the country where either gender can lead. The principles still apply.
Do you aspire to be a good leader or are you looking to choose some one to lead you? Measure yourself or your next leader against this standard and see how they fair. If you don’t know the answer to most of these characteristics about the person you want to choose, then you don’t even know this person, and you want him to lead you? If we accept a leader who meets 30% or 60% of the requirements set above then we must accept that we are taking a chance with those we are entrusting to lead us.
If we set the bar low, then we deserve what we get in regards to the delivery of sound leadership. Its us who make the first compromise and then we want to blame the leader we have chosen when he fails to carry out his duties because he lacks half the qualities that make a good leader in the first place. Yes some may change after being thrust into leadership but if we exercise due diligence we are less likely to be disappointed. The more of these characteristics we compromise in choosing our leaders the more compromised type of leader we will get.
The Good Leader – 1 Timothy 3vs1-13
1. Desire – Have the desire to lead and be a good leader
2. Above Reproach
3. Husband of One wife – Must be faithful to one wife. A leader who has many wives/girlfriends will not have the respect of even the most liberal societies.
7. Given to hospitality
8. Able to Teach
9. Not a drunkard
10. Not Violent
11. Not greedy for dishonest gain
12. Must be Gentle
13. Not quarrelsome
14. Not a lover of money
15. Able to manage his own household well – If he can’t manage his own house how can he manage the community, village, country?
16. Not be a recent convert – Or in this case too young less he become puffed up, not having life experience or a novice
17. Must be well thought of by outsiders – Even the opposition, though they may hold differing views must still hold him in high regard
18. Be dignified
19. Not double-tongued
20. Let them also be tested first
This list does not only end with the leader themselves but also demands that a high standard of the man’s wife. The wives of these men must also be considered as well as they obviously hold a large sway on their husbands actions and how effective they will be in carrying out their duties.
1. Be dignified
2. Not slanderers
3. But sober-minded
4. Faithful in all things