When considering a potential leader, watch how they respond to instruction and loving correction. Do they recognize their need to learn? Are they humble enough to admit their mistakes? Do they receive biblical instruction and act upon it?
As leaders who disciple others, we must exercise caution about what we are teaching (James 3:1). We must not take advantage of those for whom we are stewards (1Pet 5:2,3). The best teacher leads his students by loving, patient example – striving to live out each day the principles that he is teaching!
c. High Moral Character
Paul emphasized the importance of moral purity and integrity when writing his first letter to Timothy. “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1Tim 4:12). This verse tells us that we should strive for – and teach young disciples about – pure living in speech, actions, relationships, attitudes, our walk with Christ and our heart toward God and others.
The pure example we set as a leaders will give much glory to God, and help others know how to walk as Christ-followers.
In this same letter, Paul also cites the qualifications for elders and deacons in the church (read 1Timothy 3:1-13).
It is clear that biblical leadership in the Body of Christ requires high moral character. None of us will be perfect or sinless in this life (Rom 3:23). However, we – especially those in leadership – are called to pursue righteousness (Matt 5:20; 1Tim 6:11; 2Tim 2:22). We must live a life of purity to the best of our ability. We are to be examples to the flock of the character of Christ.
As leaders, if we fail or stumble, we need to be quick to repent and confess our failure to another trusted leader. We need to be humble enough to admit our weakness, ask for prayer, receive forgiveness and be restored.
Leaders must strive for integrity in even the smallest things that no one else may see. God sees us at all times. God is waiting to release more of His purpose to us as we are faithful and upright with what He has put in our hands to do.
The sons of Eli the High Priest did much evil and used their leadership position for selfish gain. God brought judgment upon them, and upon Eli’s entire house (read 1Samuel 2-4). Ananias and Sapphira acted hypocritically and lied to God, and God’s judgment fell upon them (Acts 5:1-11).
From these examples of failed leadership, we learn that Satan will try to tempt leaders to compromise their morals and integrity. We must allow the devil no place (Eph 4:27). We must also:
- live open and accountable lives before others (Eph 5:21)
- renew our minds in the Word of God daily
- continually welcome the Holy Spirit’s conviction and power into our lives (Rom 12:1,2; 2Cor 10:4,5; Eph 5:17-20)
- fear God, to whom we will one day give an account (Heb 4:13), and
- teach young leaders the importance of purity and integrity before God, living as an upright example to them.
3) “MEN OF TRUTH” (Ex 18:21)