Part 12: Preachers Should Exhibit Leadership and Good Stewardship
In the name of God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.
Peace be unto you Leadership and Stewardship are very important in the Church. Thus since the first Missionary journeys these factors have had a great impact on the establishment and management of the Christian church. However our scripture lesson will begin in the Old Testament. Here we will see the historical presence of accountability to God.
In the Book of Numbers 18 we see the Word of God revealing duties and directions for the Priests and Levites. The last verse in this chapter notes:
Numbers 18: 32: “And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.”
This passage of scripture has a two-fold message. First, the Priests have a right to this part of the sacrifices for food. However they must not use it if they are in a state of uncleanness. Thus the Priests were not excused from the obligation of being clean under the requirements of the law.
The second or additional message in this passage is directly related to our concern regarding stewardship and leadership. Thus all gifts directed to God must be treated with respect. Therefore all churches have a responsibility to carefully manage the money and time the people have dedicated to God. Thus church leaders and members should be mindful that those entrusted with the churches money should show respect and responsible stewardship of the churches resources.
We now look at a second scripture lesson in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus. In Leviticus 22: 2, 15-16 we see a message regarding "The offerings are Holy.”
22: 2: “Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the Lord.”
Again we will note a two-fold message revealed in our scripture lesson noted in Leviticus 22: 2. The Priests were the people in charge of the holy things. However if they have become defiled or unclean they are disqualified from the service.
Our second notation looks directly at our major concern regarding responsible Stewardship and Leadership in the church. The guidelines of the Priests were strict and held God at the center. The Israelites had seen the action of the priesthood in Egypt. However the Egyptians priesthood had a great interest in politics and used religion to gain power.
Meanwhile God wanted his Priests to see Him and his people. Their duties were religious. They were forbidden to use their position to gain power. Thus they were not allowed to own land or take money from anyone.
Nevertheless most Preachers use their position to gain power. Also many Preachers work actively in political campaigns and take money from Democratic politicians and Republicans at the same time. The record also shows that many Black Preachers became paid informants during the Civil Rights Movement. For the record in regard to the tax exemption status of the church and the separation of church and state therefore tax exemption of the church a privilege or a right? Is it the law that Churches cannot endorse a candidate, they cannot campaign for a candidate, and also they cannot attack any candidate?
We will now return to the writings of the Apostle Paul and note I Corinthians 4: 1-13.
4: 1. “Let a man account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God”
Paul wished for the people of Corinth to think of him, Peter and Apollo’s as Gods servants. They would also serve as stewards over Gods’ mysteries which were revealed to the believers when Jesus rose from the dead. We must do what our master tells us to do. We must follow God through the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. Thus we must meet the challenges that try to get us to do the ungodly.
It is for sure that the letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians church, to offer solutions and to teach the believers how to live for Christ in a corrupt society is very relevant to us today. Therefore we remind the wayward Preachers of the following:
Leadership is not an occasion of pride or an opportunity to exercise power. Leadership is an opportunity to glorify God and to minister to others. Some are leaders, some are not. We may be more comfortable with some leaders. But hey may not always be right. Also those we may not like may not always be wrong.
Therefore we must be careful not to divide the church. Our allegiance must be to Christ Jesus and the unity He desires. Paul notes that we are all servants and hopefully we will glorify God and not man
Peace and Love, Carl Patton a willing slave of Almighty God writing for the FreedomJournal 26 June 2006 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus
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