Reflections on Chapter 2 of Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders.

There is a contrast that sometimes is difficult to discern. When we are able to spot it, and correct the process that leads to it, there can be much better progress.

Here is what I mean. Responsible people can see a void in the ministry program being offered. Where that leads, too often, is a feeling that the local church is failing to act or react in this certain area. And, too often at that point a frantic search is made for someone to fill in the gap. Too often the result becomes simply “a warm body” thrust into a role for which they are ill suited. Too often, the outcome is a calamity. (Please keep in mind that I am excluding from this brief discussion an overwhelming emergency situation.)

It is akin to the scenario of “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than get permission.” It’s all tongue in cheek and giggles until the mess has to be cleaned up afterwards. If you have ever been the one having to do the cleaning up you really get the picture.

God’s approach is abundantly better. He searches for leaders. His search is not limited to a list of seasoned workers. He may bring forward a budding potential laborer. He watches for those who conduct themselves in humility, are dependent on Him in prayer and action, who don’t care if they are not publicly honored, whose great desire is to glorify Him, etc.

The individual with these attitudes is what is most important. The seasoned worker can be trained in up to date techniques. The budding laborer can be instructed in the ways of holiness. God can and will enable them. Alongside of this the New Testament fivefold ministry is called “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:12 NIV).

There is an aspect that has to be considered here and that is patience. The one God chooses may not be at hand today. The one God selects may need some intensive training. The one God calls may not progress on the timetable felt to be appropriate. The one God picks may have some faults to overcome. So, patience is required.

At this point it is time for some introspection. Isn’t this the process that God has been guiding each of us through? If not, you may simply be a warm body someone stuck in a role.