How God uses leaders in the church

I was so BUMMED that I didn’t get to go to Catalyst West this year (or ever!). However, I did follow it on Twitter and kind of felt like I was there. One of the things that most caught my eye was that Mark Driscoll had his notes on the Resurgence website even before he spoke (even though he kept telling everyone that he wasn’t sure what the message would be about). My favorite thing about Driscoll is the amount of Scripture he uses to truly be the basis of his topic.

These notes in particular caught my eye as I am dealing with some crap in my life and need some direction from God asap! Maybe they will help you as well:

The basis of the message was “11 Things God Does for Church Leaders.

Driscoll talks about how many ministry leaders:

  1. Burn up – physically
  2. Blow up – sinfully
  3. Give up – practically

I believe that this happens because so many things tell us to rely on ourselves instead of the one who put us there. As I was watching 30 Rock last night, I realized that I constantly tell myself that I shouldn’t be here because I didn’t earn being a BCM director (the episode of 30 Rock was all about “affirmative action” to make sure they hired all the racial discriminations to satisfy the critics! hilarious!). I still struggle with being humble…that’s a whole different post. The contrary is that God places people for His ministry…not ours. Check out the 11 things:

1. Jesus is the Senior Pastor of the church.

1 Peter 5:4 – “And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

2. The Holy Spirit chooses leaders for the church.

Acts 20:28 – “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

3. God gifts leaders of the church.

Ephesians 4:11–12 – “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”

4. God empowers leaders for the church.

1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

5. God encourages leaders in the church.

2 Corinthians 4:1 – “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”

6. The Holy Spirit speaks to leaders about the church.

Acts 13:2–3 – “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”

7. God gives wisdom to leaders over the church.

2 Timothy 2:7 – “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”

8. Jesus joins leaders as they discipline in the church.

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

9. God answers leaders’ prayers for the church.

James 5:14–15 – “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”

10. The Holy Spirit falls on Bible preaching in the church.

Acts 10:44 – “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.”

11. The Holy Spirit says no to leaders of the church.

Acts 16:6 – “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.”

Some good stuff here…what do you think? Which ones do you resonate with/feel empowered by? Which ones do you struggle with?

For me I really struggle with 4, 5, 9 and 11 because I just am so analytical that I need to “see” things. I am so glad that he used number 8 in context! Finally!

I really try to hold on to 1, 3 and 7 instead of working in my own futility!


7 thoughts on “How God uses leaders in the church

  1. This was a great post honey! Praying for you and those #’s you struggle with- remember God’s calling on your life and keep trusting that where He guides, He provides! Love you!

  2. Well, I’d say that that was weak. There were some really bad hermeneutical problems in that “article/sermon”.

    6 is wrong – In the verse quoted, the Holy Spirit spoke to the entire church – not just the “leaders”

    10 is wrong too – he isn’t talking to the church in that verse but to lost people – Gentiles – in Cor’s House! That is when they heard the Gospel for the first time! It’s not “preaching in the church”!

    It’s always a problem when you make points and then try to back them up with scripture – you end up with problems. It’s really bad hermeneutics to do that. It’s also quite weak to make your points and then add scriptures to go along with them… He should let the Scripture speak for itself! You can teach from the Scripture but don’t use Scripture to speak for your points.

  3. anonymous,

    I don’t believe Driscoll made the points first then used verses to supply his human mindset. Number 10 is basically the Holy Spirit telling Paul and Silas “no” when supplied with a situation. The church is not involved here nor those who haven’t heard yet. God was talking directly to Paul and Silas.

    Acts 16:6 – And jthey went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.

    As for number 6 – I agree that it was the whole church but usually the leaders were the ones to “send and lay hands on” others. (James 5:14 is just one example).

    Thanks for your comments, I welcome them and love to discuss what others are thinking however, I have a question why are you coming at this anonymously?

  4. I think you’re confused – I’m talking about #10 and you’re talking about #11 –

    Number 10 is:
    10. The Holy Spirit falls on Bible preaching in the church.
    Acts 10:44 – “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.”

    Paul & Silas aren’t in that story – it’s Peter & Cornelius. In that point, Driscoll says that the Holy Spirit falls on Bible preaching “in the church”. The example he gave was Acts 10 where Peter is with Cornelius was at CORNELIUS’ HOUSE – not in the church. Cornelius was a Gentile and just at that moment believed in Jesus. It has nothing to do with “Bible preaching in the church.”

    #6 – It was the whole church that sent them off and laid hands on them. It wasn’t just the leader. The church was choosing the leaders.
    James 5:14 is an entirely different subject having to do with prayer, healing, sickness, etc. The church in Acts worked together to make decisions – which you can see all through Acts. It is wrong to say that it was just the church leaders. The American Church today is not equipping our people like we should. We are not empowering people. You have to be a “pastor” or on leadership at a church to be able to do anything. Sorry, that was a tangent, but my point was that Driscoll used a verse to show his point, but the verse wasn’t saying what Driscoll was saying – it was bad Hermeneutics.

    I’m coming at this anonymously because I don’t want you to change your relationship with me. Many people idolize people like Driscoll and if I talk “bad” about him, then you may think differently of me. Just because someone is famous for talking about the Bible doesn’t mean that they are always right – but some people put them on a pedestal and treat them as more than human. I don’t know if you’re that way or not, but didn’t want to have you look at me differently if you are.

    • Ha! Wow, how did I miss that one.
      I agree with you on #10 and I also agree with Driscoll. What’s amazing about how God works is that we aren’t robots and we can come to our own conclusions through revelation of the Holy Spirit. Now I know I have to be careful with that statement as many people would take that as it is and run with it. But maybe #10 could be better phrased as “The Holy Spirit falls on those who hear the Word.” That’s how I took the statement because so many times I’m able to share the Word of God with someone who ends up changed as a result of the Holy Spirit (believer or non-believer, in a building/church, or having “church.”). Know what I mean?

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I know many people idolize Christian celebrities and that is something they have to deal with personally (I had to!). But, in the end everyone is still human and has to trust God to get the message out through us. I think that attacking the church is not the problem (I hear it too much as it is!). Instead, I think it is that people are just not willing to do much anymore. As a minister, I get excuse after excuse from people not willing to help out. In the end, I have to do it when no one else will (or sometimes I just let it fail!). I don’t “work” in a church, but I make it a point to serve there and invite others to help me so that they get empowered.

      As for anonymity…if my relationship would change with you because of this conversation then I wouldn’t deserve to be your friend…that’s just plain lame. I think more and more people need to be bold about what they know and believe. Many people who stay anonymous do it just to complain instead of truly desire to help people with uplifting words. Just my two cents (or four ha!)

  5. I think You are right, but I don’t think Driscoll is right. Driscoll misinterpreted the scripture. I definitely agree with you when you say: “The Holy Spirit falls on those who hear the Word” BUT that’s not what Driscoll said.

    I hope you didn’t misunderstand what I was saying. I wasn’t attacking the church (just sort-of attacking Driscoll’s misinterpretation of Scripture). I know the church has problems – but it’s because it’s made up of humans. We should definitely see the problems in the church, but it is important how we deal with those problems. We definitely need to see the problems and then figure out how to fix them instead of complaining, quitting on the church, or starting a new church.

    I’m definitely not staying anonymous just to complain. I hope you didn’t misunderstand what I was saying. I wanted to critique Driscoll and I didn’t necessarily want my name attached with that sort of critique. Some people have such hero-worship of Christian celebrities that they would be upset with me. I’m not as “big” as Driscoll, so my little critique might be taken wrong. I do believe that he misinterpreted the Scripture, and that’s all I wanted to point out.

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