Deuteronomy 31:23, He gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge. Upon Moses’ passing, YHVH didn’t leave the children of Israel in a leadership vacuum to wander about aimlessly in a confused state. YHVH isn’t the author of confusion! YHVH is the author of godly leadership. He prepares and trains leaders and then raises them up to lead his people in the paths of righteousness leading to his spiritual Promised Land.
Beware of leaders who raise themselves up and promote themselves. To ensure that we don’t follow unrighteous, self-promoting and greedy leaders, let’s ask ourselves the following questions:
- What is the purpose of righteous leadership? (See Eph 4:11–12.)
- What are the qualifications for leadership ? (See 1 Tim 3:1–13.)
- What is the premise of true, Spirit-ordained leadership? (See Matt 23:11.)
Many believers have been hurt by kingdom-building, money-grubbing and self-seeking leaders in the church world and now trust no one. They pride themselves on being “independent.” Is this good? Did Yeshua ever speak of his sheep as being “lone rangers” or did he refer to them as “a flock?” Does he ever speak of his flock as being shepherdless?
Of course, Yeshua is the Chief Shepherd, but does he not also speak of undershepherds or humans shepherds who faithfully work under him? (Read John 10:1–18.) In this regard, consider the following:
- Isn’t a flock that is under the guidance of a true servant-shepherd of Yeshua a place of safety or harm?
- Is being outside the flock a place of safety or harm? (See Matt 18:12.)
- Yeshua says that those who are outside of a flock are “lost” and have “gone astray” and are in danger of perishing (Matt 18:11–14). Are you part of a literal flock of believers, or have you spiritualized this passage away to justify your independent (rebellious?) spirit against YHVH-ordained authority?
Luke 6:40, Perfectly/fully trained. Those disciples of Yeshua the Master-Teacher who are properly trained, fit out, prepared or equipped can become like Yeshua the Master-Teacher. Those who aren’t properly equipped or trained to teach are like the blind leading the blind and will cause others to fall into a spiritual ditch (Luke 6:39). Those who aren’t properly trained not only will be like a blind man, but will also be hypocritical in his judgments and assessments of things. This is because he lacks the experience, wisdom and skills to be able to point out the faults of others because he still inexperienced and has too many blind spots and is still like the blind leading the blind (Luke 6:41–42).
This is why Paul very carefully lays out the qualifications for those in spiritual leadership in the local congregation. A spiritual leaders was not to be an inexperienced individual, a new convert or a novice (1 Tim 3:6), but well-discipled in YHVH’s truth before hand (Tit 1:9). Paul says that it is good thing for a man to desire to be a spiritual leader (1 Tim 3:1), but it isn’t a good thing if he doesn’t meet the criteria or qualifications, which Paul then lays out (1 Tim 3:2–13).
The problem is that in our day, there are many individuals who desire to be leaders and teachers, who are self-appointed, and who have not been perfectly or fully trained. Since the advent of the internet, such people now have an easily accessible pulpit-platform from which to influence others. Sadly, they are like the blind hypocrite in Yeshua’s parable leading many astray and causing many to stumble and fall into spiritual ditches. Just because someone has a website, a YouTube channel, has published a book, spoken at a conference, has academic credentials or been on radio and television doesn’t mean they have been perfectly equipped or fully trained for such a vocation. We may not always know what a person’s background or qualifications are, but the spiritual fruit they produce, whether good or bad, can be an excellent indicator as to what type of spiritual tree they are, as Yeshua goes on to say in the next verses (Luke 6:43–45).