the weblog of Alan Knox

Being examples…

Posted by on May 31, 2007 in blog links, elders, office, service | 4 comments

Robby Mac has an interesting post called “Among“. In this article he discusses the difference between leading from above and leading from among. He says:

I’ve noticed something peculiar over the years, however, which this passage also addresses. Jesus is calling people to be leaders who “lead among” rather than “lord it over”. And the peculiar thing I’ve noticed is that (perhaps not surprisingly) this runs counter to the contemporary wisdom that puts gifted people into administrative positions that suck the life and vitality out of them.

I also agree that leaders (pastors, elders) are supposed to lead by example, by serving among people and with people. This is not the same as directing the activities of people nor is this the same as administrating and making decisions.

I understand some of the concerns that come up if leaders are not directing, administering, or making decisions. But, perhaps, God expects each of us to take on these responsibilities instead of delegating them to others who are told to lead by example. Plus, where does Scripture indicate that leaders are to make decisions for other believers?


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  1. 5-31-2007

    Good call Alan!

  2. 5-31-2007


    I, too, would like to know “where does Scripture indicate that leaders are to make decisions for other believers”. When leaders do that (though they are well-intentioned), they keep others dependent upon them and inhibit their growth.

  3. 5-31-2007

    I was thinking of the elders in Acts 6 appointing some of the disciples to take care of the needs of the widows. However, even then the disciples were to choose from among themselves people who had the appropriate character traits.

    Paul tells Timothy to command certain behaviors, and he also tells Titus to appoint elders. This does, as you say, require some decision-making and administration.

    But even administration can take place with an attitude of servanthood. And it does not entail making spiritual decisions for someone else. The commandment resides in scripture, not in the position of authority over another.

  4. 5-31-2007


    Thanks for the encouragement!


    I agree that sometimes leaders unintentionally keep believers dependent upon them, instead of teaching them to be dependent upon God.


    I think I agree with you here. If I tell my son to tell my daughter to do something, the authority lies in me and in my command – not in my son. Similarly, when God instructs Paul to instruct Titus to instruct others, the authority does not lie with Titus. We also do not know exactly how Timothy, Titus, or Paul appointed elders. Did they do it on their own? We don’t know.