The modern day church has grown to have many distinctive differences from the church of scripture. One of the most prevalent is having unqualified church leadership.
Now, to many, these churches do have leaders as far as they can tell. However, upon close observation we find that these leaders have not been spiritually vetted and therefore are not fit for leadership in the church. So, what is it that disqualifies an individual from being a leader in the church?
The Unsaved Leader
You would think that this would be a given, but there are many pastors who are not even saved. They don’t live in accordance in the scriptures, counsel others wrongly and in opposition to them, and have never called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in order that they may be saved. They are tares among the wheat.
This is illustrated in a story that is recounted by Dr. John Macarthur. He was at a pastor’s conference speaking specifically on leadership in the church. Afterwards, a young pastor came up to him and made a poignant comment about the leadership in his own church:
“I think I know what the problem is in our church now. Half of the leadership is saved and the other half isn’t”
That can be a wee bit of a problem in a Christian church.
How does this happen? Well, part of it is that the church continues to invite unsaved people to church when they have no business being there. I address this in my upcoming book, Stop Bringing Them to Church (yes, for those who have been waiting, the book is finished and is slated for release early to mid 2012). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the church of the living God is not a place for unregenerate, evil, unrepentant, unholy, wicked, depraved people. They need to get saved before they become a part of any church.
The Immature Christian
You always run the risk of causing a disaster when putting someone in a position who has not been proven and therefore are not ready for it. The scriptures say in 1 Timothy 3:6:
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
I’ve seen many young Christians who have a desire to want to be in leadership in the church. They know how to say moving prayers and sometimes know the scriptures well. Though these things have their place, these are not the things that qualify them for leadership. There’s a long list of other qualities, all of which are character based. Placing an immature Christian in leadership is asking for trouble. We don’t do this so as to protect the brother. I say brother specifically for a reason, which leads to the next disqualified leader….
The Woman Pastor
Here is where I know I’m going to get a whole bunch of upside down smiley faces. Regardless, the truth of the matter is that women who are pastors, ergo leaders, of a Christian church are in disobedience to the scriptures. In addition, the churches who have women pastors don’t have pastors at all. In truth, they are pastorless.
Since this topic is one fraught with all kinds of emotions and views, I’m going to leave this section short so I can address it in detail in my next essay series titled The Pastorless Church. In it, we are going to look at why there are women pastorates then take a cold, hard look at the scriptures in detail, going line by line through the scriptures to decipher exactly what it says about this subject.
2 Replies to “Unqualified Church Leaders”
My comment is about leaving the unsaved outside of a church. While it is great if you are from a churched background and was raised in a church, not everyone has that. One thing to think about though is that we are all born unsaved so I would love to hear your though on that one. Should we leave babies out of the church as they have not made the decision to come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. What about the 10 year old whose parents just accepted Christ. Should they find a babysitter? Of course your answer would be no so then why in your opinion is it different? ALso what scripture do you have to use this? Mark 2:17 says this: 17When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mathew 9:13 says this:13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Clearly Jesus Christ son of God is saying He did not die and shed His blood while being spit upon, beaten, and called horrible names, dieing a death only sinners should have died, to let churches be filled with self righteous people but for it to be filled with people who are saved and can show the mercy of Christ on the lost in order for them to see Jesus in our lives and attitudes so they may come to know Jesus as well. I thank God for a pastor who reaches the lost in church. Church is where the lost go to find hope and if your church does not welcome them they see nothing but hypocripts and have their heart hardened. Let me leave you with one last question to ponder. Do you think God wants the unsaved outside of a church and never hear the word of God spoken to them through a sermon or do you think it is satan who is happy about that?
Thanks for your response Stephanie.
I’ll respond as pointed as I can which may at some points be rather gruff.
The problem with your argument is that you have, quite frankly, an unbiblical idea of what the church is and its purpose.
First, there is not one scripture, not one, where the Lord calls unbelievers to gather with His church. Not one. He never calls unbelievers to gather with a church until they are saved. He calls people to Himself to be saved which was His mission while here on earth. He never calls them to a church. The very scriptures you gave prove that.
Second, the church of God are the saints of God. It’s exclusively the gathering of God’s people from the original Greek ekklesia which means meeting or Christian community. Unbelievers have no business in a Christian community in the area of worship, prayer, fellowship, and teaching, until they are Christians.
Third, those who are not of a volitional age to be able to make a decision for Christ should be around the saints for the Bible is clear that if we train up a child in the way they should go, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). That’s not just speaking of gathering with a church but their whole lives which also means the home. It is up to the parents until they are of age.
Fourth, church is NOT the place where unbelievers go to find hope. He is. God never said to bring unbelievers into the church. He said go and preach the gospel so that they can become a part of the church (Matthew 28:19-20). This was the pattern in Acts and the New Testament after the gospels. The disciples went out preaching the gospel and churches were formed from those who believed.
So no. I do not invite unbelievers to my church for those and many other reasons. I invite them to Christ. I preach the gospel to them. I answer their questions. I pray for them. And when they have believed, I invite them into the body of believers, the church because once they have believed, that’s where they belong.
That’s the cliff note reply to your comment.