Ministering Is Leadership


“Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.” (Proverbs 19:10).

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion oer them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28). 

Every one is a second man

Every one is in essence a second man for Jesus is the head. A pastor for example is not the number one man of the local church, for Jesus is the head of the local church. The pastor is an assistant to Jesus Christ. In every area of our lives God has installed what Dr. John R. Rice calls “God’s deputies”. We are stewards of God and the responsibilities are God given.

No one has a right to lead as he or she sees fit for God gave us our opportunity and also our guidelines for each area where we are “God’s deputies”.

I did not use the kind of music I liked or rather I allowed in the two churches I pastored. I used the kind of music God likes. The standards were never my standards for they were God’s standards. The organization or church polity was not what I preferred rather it was what God mandated from his word.

The same is true of the family unit. I had and have no right to lead my family into anything that is harmful to them, according to the word of God. The restrictions I have are those imposed by the “boss” or the “Lord”.

Whether it is a matter of finances, child rearing, or education we have to realize our position is that of a second man. We thus allow God to run these areas of life for he certainly knows better how to run that which he created.

Leaders come from followers

No one has ever trained any one to be a leader, for leaders come from followers. Those who have a passion and employ those passions and direct them to succeed usually rise out of the crowd.

They provide passionate initiative and garner the admiration of the rest of the crowd to follow. His confidence is not cockiness for it is hard work that produces that which others desire to emulate.

Brother Hyles used to say “Lucky Bob Gray? No worky Bob Gray!”

Followers can be trained to do what is right to do and to do it well, but a follower cannot have passion instilled into them. It comes from internal motivation not external motivation.

Real leaders do not enjoy leading

I knew and preached with several great men of God who accomplished the greatest things in history.

These were all quiet men who did not enjoy leadership such as Dr. John R. Rice, Evangelist Lester Roloff, Dr. Lee Roberson, Dr. Tom Malone, Evangelist Carl Hatch, Dr. Jack Hudson, Dr. Curtis Hutson, and Dr. Jack Hyles. These men were not seeking roles for they were too busy doing to be seeking.

Leaders are pushed up from the bottom

Dr. Hyles said to me one time there are five kinds of people: followers of leaders, leaders of followers, leaders of leaders, follower of followers (church splits), and followers of leaders of leaders (TV preachers).

Real dynamic leaders who accomplished the impossible were not concerned with the spotlight. They were too busy reaching one person at a time back home in order to be flattered into a role they were not comfortable with.

The truth is they were comfortable in their own skin doing what God commanded them to do and not what the crowds demanded of them.

The reason these men and others were pushed up from the bottom was because they had no desire for personal compensation.

They were wrapped up in winning souls and building their churches. Today, we have everyone running to the spotlight and neglecting personal soul winning.

Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor of THE SWORD OF THE LORD paper, said to me recently that he was sick of pastors coming up to him and asking, “What is the latest thing?” This is a day of wanting a big church rather than a big work.

A pastor of a great church one time said to me he almost lost everything because his church was so organized that he quit going soul winning himself. Then the church began to slow down in her aggressiveness to win the lost because like begets like.

Sooner or later the leader will find himself being reflected in his church member for they are nothing more than a reflection of him. God’s men and all leaders must lead by example and exhortation for they are twins.