Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had more dedicated Christians living out their faith in places of prominence? I’m not talking about Washington here, I’m talking locally:
- Leaders who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
- Dentists who attend church and prayer meeting.
- Lawyers who read their Bible every day.
- Public school teachers who are also Sunday school teachers.
- Local newspaper editors who love their local church.
These leaders would be salt in our communities – slowing the decay of society and they would be light – shining a path to Jesus. They would do far more good for the cause of Christ than every nationally televised election has every done.
Rather than retreating from society, these leaders would be living as Christians in the heart of society. They would be Daniel Nebuchadnezzar’s court. They would be Nicodemus in the Sanhedrin.
So why do we have so few of them? Let me suggest two possibilities:
1. Bible believing churches have created an anti-intellectual (and thus anti-leader) environment.
Imagine a college educated, reasonable, well dressed man comes into your typical baptist church. As he partakes in the singing he’s looking around at the church members. They seem to be sincere.
But then the preaching starts.
If the pastor doesn’t study and prepare, how long will it take before this local leader figures that out? How many rants about the preacher’s pet peeves will this man endure? If the preacher is in the habit of throwing red meat to the dogs (i.e. bashing people outside of the room for the people in the room’s enjoyment) how much of that would a leader type take?
Unfortunately, what I just described is all too common in the typical baptist church.
Lee Robberson used to say “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” I think we need to realize that ignorance in the pulpit begets ignorance in the pew. If we want to have leaders in our church, we have to have pastors who are living as leaders.
If we glory in our ignorance, if we refuse to improve and seek excellence in worship, we are going to drive away people whose life is defined by the pursuit of excellence.
A second reason why I think we are failing to see Christian leaders in our local community is…
2. Bible believing parents haven’t taken up the responsibility of raising tomorrow’s leaders.
When the Babylonians came into Israel they found some young people there who were without blemish, well favored, understanding science, cunning in all knowledge, etc.. In other words, they found some young people with leadership potential they could take to be future leaders in their empire. What they didn’t count on was the religious fervor of these young men – which led eventually to them being thrown into the fiery furnace and the lions’s den.
Christian parents need to take up the mission of raising tomorrow’s Daniels and Esthers. We need to pour our life into our kids so that they can be salt and light in places of prominence in our community. We don’t just need pastors and missionaries, we need doctors and lawyers, police chiefs and local business owners, city councilmen and public school principals. We need to deliberately raise Christian leaders.
Which means two things:
First, we need to raise our kids to be leaders. We need to teach them wisdom and work ethic, we need to demand they apply themselves in school and make sure they have a decent Christian education. We need to make sure they have manners and know how to interact with other people. None of these things just happen – they take purposeful parenting.
Second, (and far more importantly) we need to raise our kids to be Christians. We need to disciple the fire out of our kids and bring them in church life. We need to pour the Bible into them at every opportunity and we need to be sure that we are not living as hypocrites before them.
None of this will be easy. It’s going to take time and effort. It’s upstream paddling. But it’s necessary. It may be what God uses to bring about revival in our land, or at the very least keep Rome from burning for one more generation.