The Value of Examined Leaders
Back in 1992, I was preparing for ordination. A family friend (who knew little about church) asked a genuine question, “Why do you have to go through all this?” And by “all this” he was referring to 5 distinct exams, written and oral, the papers I had to turn in; and the final process of being examined first by a committee (for a total of about 4 hours) and then standing before our entire presbytery where they play piñata and you’re the piñata and they don’t wear blindfolds… They get to ask you anything. (Within an exam of about half an hour, I got asked to outline the Book of Numbers).
“All this” is aimed at a very consistent principle or value – the value of examined leaders. Think in this pattern: the more weight you bear in leadership, then the more thoroughly you are examined.
At Trinity, that starts with membership. If you want to bear the name “member” and bear the weight of being a brother or sister to other believers, then you are examined. Do you understand the Gospel? Can you bear witness to changes He has made in your life? Are you in the way of faithfulness already and there’s fruit of that in your life?
Next is leadership as a volunteer. If you want to help in our children’s ministry, or with our students in middle school or high school, or lead a community group, then you face more scrutiny. Are you committed? Are you trustworthy? Are you genuinely humble and faithful to follow your leaders, etc.?
And our highest level of examination is for officers. Deacons and elders have to take exams after months of training. And teaching elders (what we call pastors) go through “all this” as I mentioned above. But it’s because of love – that bearing the weight of the souls of others is holy work. It’s good work. And because people deserve to be treated well, we want to examine leaders thoroughly.
So in line with this value is also a wonderful announcement. Our Director of Community Groups, Luke Wolfe, has been in this process now for months, and today he passed his final exams at Presbytery. This clears the way for us to be able to call him as an associate pastor later this Spring. When you get a chance, congratulate him – and continue to pray for God to raise up many more leaders from among us.
Things to pray for:
– Luke Wolfe in his process of examination. Give thanks to the LORD for His work to create Luke, to save him through the Gospel and to bring him to us to help us with our Community Groups.
– Our congregation as a place for raising up and training new leaders. Ask the Lord to grow us in our skill and wisdom in training up leaders.
– Our existing leaders. Read Ephesians 4:4-7, 11-13 and ask the Lord to help us all work to equip those around us.
– Workers for the harvest. Read Matthew 9:35-38. Ask the Lord to raise up workers to send into the harvest that is Trinity, Lakeland, our county and our entire region.