Some modern church leaders fancy themselves businessmen, media figures, entertainers, psychologists, philosophers, or lawyers. Those notions contrast sharply with the way Scripture portrays spiritual leaders.
In 2 Timothy 2, for example, Paul uses seven different metaphors to describe the rigors of leadership. He pictures the minister as a teacher (v. 2), a soldier (v. 3), an athlete (v. 5), a farmer (v. 6), a workman (v. 15), a vessel (vv. 20 21), and a slave (v. 24). All those images evoke ideas of sacrifice, labor, service, and hardship. They speak eloquently of the complex and varied responsibilities of spiritual leadership. Not one of them makes leadership out to be glamorous.
That's because it is not supposed to be glamorous. Leadership in the church - and I'm speaking of every facet of spiritual leadership, not just the pastor's role - is not a mantle of status to be conferred on the church's aristocracy. It isn't earned by seniority, purchased with money, or inherited through family ties. It doesn't necessarily fall to those who are successful in business or finance. It isn't doled out on the basis of intelligence or talent. Its requirements are blameless character, spiritual maturity, and above all, a willingness to serve humbly.Our Lord's favorite metaphor for spiritual leadership, a figure He often used to describe Himself, was that of a shepherd - one who tends God's flock. Every church leader is a ... (continues here)