Today’s spiritual seekers rarely turn to Christianity or to the church to find the answers they seek because of their past experiences or because of the church’s – or the faith’s – reputation. Too often, spiritual seekers have turned in desperation to the church only to discover that it is embroiled in “business as usual,” leaving little room for the development of spiritual giants. Furthermore, although the church’s leadership must oversee significant resources in a business-like fashion, the church was never intended to be operated as a business. 

 Leaders in business are selected for their skills, experience, and abilities in their trade. The church, however, has a different biblical mandate for the selection of leaders.

Church leaders are to be selected based on their spiritual maturity, their integrity, and their example as a spiritual mentor and leader (see Acts 6). Indeed, there were no other criteria used for the selection of church leaders in the New Testament. The apparent process for leadership selection was this: (1) discern a fully committed, faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, (2) select them as a leader, and (3) they train them in whatever skill was needed. However, over the years, the church has defaulted to the business model of leadership selection. This has left the church spiritually wanting, and in too many cases, spiritually bankrupt. Therefore, choose your leaders carefully and prayerfully.

Note: It struck me as I prepared to post this that when Jesus picked his apostles he seemed to use different criteria. On reflection, though, Jesus didn’t have the luxury of choosing spiritual giants… he had to make them. And he didn’t put them “in charge” until they’d finished his three-year training program by which time they’d either grown or exited.

Question: What are some of the specific criteria you look for in future leaders? What are some criteria you look for that might not be necessary? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.