Listen or download sermons by Alistair Begg on church leadership.
A church will not progress beyond the spiritual maturity of its leaders, so the appointment of qualified elders is of vital importance. Alistair Begg reminds us that when it comes to leadership, the Bible places greater emphasis on character than on giftedness. Christian leaders must pursue godly character because when a Christian leader falls into sin, many others are hurt.
Browse through a book on leadership, and you may read that good leaders are marked by giftedness, personality, and organizational skills. But when Paul urged Titus to see that elders were appointed in the church at Crete, he provided a very different list of qualifications. In this study in Titus 1:5-9, we learn that the elders should be men whose lives are submitted to the word of God who shepherd the church by teaching and guarding the truth.
As we continue in Titus 1:5-16, we learn that the qualifications given for church elders are both positive (characteristics they must have) and negative (characteristics that must not be true of them). But most important of all is that they have a wholehearted commitment to biblical truth.
What exactly is the role of a deacon, and how does it differ from the role of an elder in the church? Alistair Begg clarifies the similarities and differences between these equally valued roles and describes the character requirements that are necessary for deacons and their wives. Serving the church well, with a good attitude, brings blessing to the servant and glory to God, regardless of the roles we fulfill.
While all Christians are responsible to the leadership of Jesus Christ, God has appointed certain men to be held accountable for leading local congregations. Such responsibility deserves honor and remuneration, but can also be accompanied by allegations of misconduct. Alistair Begg cautions that accusations against a leader should only be considered when there is corroboration, and if discipline is necessary, it should be purposeful and restorative.
Whether sin is publicly exposed or remains hidden and secret, it never escapes the watchful gaze of God. Wise judgment and patience are necessary in appointing and disciplining church leaders, and we must avoid favoritism, which can eventually destroy a local church. Alistair Begg reminds us that leaders must diligently guard their own integrity and purity if they are to be useful in serving God.