Director of Missions
Dr. Eric D. Cook
A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats
(An Insight on Leadership)
The rise of new leaders in the Church is solely in the hands of those who are leaders now. There is a saying that JFK borrowed and used frequently in his Presidential speeches. He said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” This phrase is an aphorism and is usually associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy. I think that the same idea applies when it comes to raising up new leaders in our Churches. Hebrews 13:7 states, “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.” The conduct and faith of those in current leadership in our Churches, the rising tide if you will, is to be followed and emulated by younger leaders. This being the case, it is imperative that the “current guard” recognize that one of their most important responsibilities is to live God honoring, righteous, and holy lives as an example to the leaders who will follow them. This begs the question, “Is the current leadership fulfilling the command to live God honoring lives as an example to the next generation of leaders?” Obviously, this must be answered on a church by church and on a leader by leader basis.
The spiritual health of a local church is often determined by how the leadership understands its Biblical responsibilities and response to them. By way of an example, if Deacons see their role primarily as a ruling board instead of servant leaders to their congregation, then the result will follow that the next generation of leaders will lead in the same manner. Respectfully, new leaders are required to follow the example of those currently in leadership whose lives do display, Christ centered faith and conduct. New leaders should, consider the outcome of the current leader’s conduct and emulate only the best of it. Titus 2 gives us insight into the conduct of many of these Godly men, “that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.” This may seem like an elementary teaching,but many churches have been ravaged by leader’s failure to live up to these simple Godly standards.
We are all leaders to some degree. Dads and Moms model leadership to their children. Sunday School teachers provide leadership to their classes. Pastors, deacons, and staff naturally are leaders. Also, any believer who follows Christ can be viewed as a leader in some capacity. We will all stand before God to be judged by our works after salvation, but leadership will be held to a different standard, and answer to God accordingly for their leadership conduct (James 3:1). This should be sobering and motivating all at the same time. There is a great privilege and honor to hold a place of leadership in the local church. Let us recognize the great weight associated with that responsibility and rise to the occasion. With our rising to the occasion it should in turn raise the tide of future leadership as well.
Serving the King Together,