You don’t choose leaders with a committee.
JUNE 28, 2021
You don’t choose leaders with a committee. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace, grace that has dirt under its fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now, but if you’re hungry for the truth, that’ll make you free. Welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you were listening, by the way, I hope you had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the book of Acts, and we’re going to spend a long time in the book of Acts. I mean, it’s my program and I can do with it as I want. And actually, I’m not going to hurry and we’re going to take our time as we go through the book of Acts, because it’s so important. Luke is the writer and we spent some time looking at Luke and who he was and where he came from. And Luke’s the writer of Luke. They needed a PR agency to think of a better title, but Luke works. Luke was the writer of the biography of Jesus, that was about him. Acts is church history and that’s about them and it’s also about us. And so as we go through Acts, we’re going to find people who are sinners. We’re going to find church fights that make a Presbyterian church fight look like a Sunday school picnic. We’re going to see people who do it wrong and people who do it right. And underneath it all, we’re going to see God and God’s Spirit working in people in an amazing and wonderful way. Every day of my life, I pray for awakening. I say, Lord, do it again. Do it again. I happened to be around when the Jesus movement happened. Some of you are so young, you don’t even know what that is, but it was an amazing sweep of God’s Spirit across our dry and thirsty land. And it was an exciting, and it was a heady time and it felt like a book of Acts all over again. And I’m going to pray, Lord, do it again. Do it again. Okay. Before we dig in, it’s our practice on Monday to pray before we study. Let’s do that. Father, do it again. Do it again. Thank you for the times of refreshing and revival and awakening that you’ve given your church over its entire history. We’re about due here, so do it again. Father, you know that people are listening to this broadcast and you know the rough times that some are going through. Father, remind them that it is you, that your hand is involved and that you’re sufficient. And Father, some of us are doing okay. Remind us that just as you’re the God of our tears, you’re the God of our laughter. We praise you and we worship you and we love you because you first loved us. And then Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches that you would forgive him his sins, there are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. We’re looking at preliminary observations, and the first observation that we made, is that while leaders are important, there’s only one head of the church, and that’s Jesus. Jesus is the man, and it’s not what we want, it’s what he wants. And then by looking at the fact that the first thing the church did after the Ascension was to settle the leadership problem. It should give us an idea of how important that is, and then there’s another, of these three preliminary observations. Let me give it to you. And it’s kind of redundant from the other things that I’ve said, but the leaders are not chosen by a committee or by people in the church, but by God himself, Acts 1:24.
And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show us which of these you have chosen.”
I Corinthians 1:1, Paul, called not by a committee.
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; and appointed you prophet to the nations.”
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.
I’m no longer a pastor, but I did it for 30 years and, you know, I can get to heaven without grace. I mean, when I die, the angels are going to say you poor dear, can’t believe you did all that. You come on in, you’re not even going to meet, I’m kidding, of course. So don’t send me letters. But I was, there are a lot of things. I miss some about being a pastor, I miss the people and the war stories that we shared together and what God did and gave us a front row seat so we could see what God was doing. But you know, the one thing I don’t miss, I don’t miss meetings. I came out of our church the other night and the elders have been meeting and they looked like death warmed over and I started laughing and one of the elders said, Brown, what are you laughing at? I said, I just thought I never have to attend an elders meeting ever again in my entire life. So, I don’t like meetings, but you know, the meetings that I dislike more than anything else, a nominating committee, that’s the committee that gets together to decide on who’s going to lead. Who will be an elder, who will be a deacon, and if it’s a pulpit nominating committee, they’re the, and anybody who serves on that is out of their minds, don’t buy a used car from them, okay? That’s not where you want to serve, because some people are gonna like the new pastor and some people are not. And the people who don’t like him are not going to like you and blame you for calling him to the church. But, that’s an aside, I don’t like nominating committees. I really don’t. And you know why? Because so often we do talk about who ought to be a leader, I really like, so I don’t know his name, but he sits on the third row back and he would be a really great leader. No, he wouldn’t. What are you crazy? That’s, you get on your knees and you pray and fast and say, God, we need leaders and we need leaders bad. And you got to show us who is your leader? Not somebody who has won a popularity contest, not somebody who is nice, not somebody who smiled at me yesterday, but the leader you have chosen to lead your people. There was a missionary in Africa who over 20 years served God in that African country. You know how many people he led to Christ? Two. Man, I would have left after the first six months, but he stayed for 20 years. And two people came to know Christ. Somebody said to him, why, why don’t you just give up and leave? And he said, I would like to, but a strange man on the cross, won’t let me go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to the Lord, are you sure you asked me to do this? I’m not doing very good at it. And people are mad, mad at me. And, and, you know, it seems to me that a leader ought to have an easier time than I’ve had. And frankly, I wouldn’t do this for anybody, but you. And I just want you to reassure me one more time that you told me to do this, because frankly, I would rather be in vinyl repair. What’s the point? The point is this, you don’t choose leaders with a committee. You choose leaders by asking God who he has chosen. And when you’re in the middle of the battle, it’s not time to ask whether this is God’s man or God’s woman or our’s, you got to know. Now, I don’t have time to get into it, but we’re going to get into it tomorrow. Some of the qualifications for leadership that you’ll find in this first chapter of the book of Acts, and it’s not what you think it is. I have a friend who’s the pastor of a church, Seven Rivers Church. And I was there, I may have told you this when he was ordaining elders to lead the congregation. And he said to the congregation, some of you, some of you think that these are the best of the bunch and we’ve picked the best to lead. They’re not, they’re the worst of the bunch and the difference between them and you is that they know they are. Well, we’re going to talk about that tomorrow, when we talk about qualifications for leadership and it’s not what you think it is. God doesn’t choose leaders by looking for the best looking people or the smartest people or the people who have the most degrees. It’s another standard altogether. It’s not how good you are. It’s who called you. You think about that. Amen.
Leaders are not chosen by a committee, but by God himself, thank you, Steve. We will continue exploring Acts and the importance of leadership tomorrow. Hope you will join us again then, it wouldn’t be the same without you. So, here’s a statement that you could file under, duh. We all struggle at times with doubt, with self-righteousness, with a whole list of sins, as long as your arm. That’s why as Steve teaches that while truth and convictions are important, we also desperately need both an orthodoxy of truth and an orthodoxy of love. He spoke about the subject in a sermon titled Church “R” Us, and you can get that full message on a CD right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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