Refusal to Lead

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by Herald, Oct 22, 2017.

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  1. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    In the Coram Deo section of the November 2017 issue of TABLETALK magazine, Burk Parsons writes:

    "We have entered a new era of modern history. This era is marked by a gaping void of leadership, but also by an antipathy toward the very notion of leadership. What's more, there is a growing trend that celebrates self-appointed leaders who have demonstrated a lack of integrity and to ignore and dishonor faithful, aged leaders whose integrity has been proven over the course of decades."

    This caused me to ask a question regarding those who are able to lead but refuse to do so. Do Christians have the option to refuse to lead in the local church if they are biblically qualified and possess the ability to lead? For example, a man is fully qualified to serve as an elder or deacon but just does not want to lead. It's not a matter of poor health, family obligations, or job constraints; he just doesn't want the headaches that often accompany leadership. Is it ever a sin issue to refuse to assume a leadership role if asked to do so?
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    King Saul should have refused, esp. after he "hid himself among the stuff." Not true caliber.
  3. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Paul begins his section on the qualifications of elders by saying "if any man desires the office of bishop..." and so we can assume that the desire to lead is itself a qualification for leaders and if one lacks this desire, they are inherently unqualified.
  4. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

  5. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I don't know about an absolute rule to draw from this; you've read about when Knox was called? Burst into tears and ran from the room.
  6. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    I thought about this, and on face value, it seems like a convenient escape. However, I agree with you that disinterest is a disqualification. My question still remains. Is it ever sinful to refuse to lead?
  7. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Yes, I would say it is sinful if a man is otherwise able and qualified.
  8. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    From 1 Tm. 3 and Titus 1, along with Acts 6 and the book of Jonah, sometimes it is sinful.

    When God has endowed Christians with the necessary, Spirit worked gifts to lead the people of God, they ought to lead, or do what ought to be required to be ordained to the ministry.

    Perkins, Jackson, Vinet, Hodges, et al., in books we've done on pastoral ministry, say that every young man in the church should "seriously consider" whether they should be a worker in the harvest.

    I think that's good general advice. Pray the Lord of the harvest send workers...
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