TASKS OF LEADERS
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Write the Key Verses from memory.
C Identify the priority task of leaders.
C Define "perfecting .”
C Summarize the results of "perfecting" people for the work of the ministry.
C Identify specific tasks of leaders.
And He (God) gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
In previous lessons you learned HOW you should lead as a good steward, servant, and shepherd. This and following lessons focus on WHAT a leader actually does.
Leadership involves many tasks. A task is a responsibility, duty, or job. There is no way we can discuss every task a leader may be called upon to do, so we will consider only the major tasks of leaders.
THE FIRST PRIORITY
The first priority of a Christian leader is defined in the following passage:
And He (God) gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
God sets leaders in the Church to "perfect" believers for the work of the ministry. This
word "perfect" means to prepare or equip. The "work of the ministry" includes every position, duty, and responsibility of ministry.
The main task of Christian leaders is to perfect believers for the work of the ministry .
Because every believer is given at least one spiritual gift, leaders have a great resource
from which to draw. Each believer must be equipped spiritually to do the work for which God has called him .
Perfecting involves teaching, preaching, demonstrating, and training. Perfecting also involves mobilizing people for the work of the ministry. To "mobilize" is to activate or put into action. Believers must not only be trained, but they must be mobilized to use what they have learned.
Perfecting involves training some people as leaders and others as followers. All are
important to the work of the ministry. Chapter Ten of this course is devoted to training leaders and followers.
If you are a leader called and chosen by God you should be involved in equipping others to do God’s work. This is your first priority and your main task. These are the positive results when believers are properly "perfected" for the work of the ministry:
-The work of the ministry is done: Ephesians 4:12
-The Body of Christ (the Church) is edified (built up): Ephesians 4:12 -People reach spiritual maturity: Ephesians 4:13-15
-Unity results: Ephesians 4:13
-People are conformed into the image of Christ: Ephesians 4:13
-People become stable doctrinally, grounded in the truth: Ephesians 4:15-16
-The Body of Christ functions effectively: Ephesians 4: 16
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PERFECTING PROCESS
This "perfecting" of believers involves many responsibilities. Here are some of them :
SETTING THE EXAMPLE:
We have already discussed in detail the responsibility of leaders to set a proper example to followers. As an example, the leader must be called, anointed, a good steward and shepherd, and a servant of all. His life must evidence the qualifications for leaders
discussed in Chapter Four. He must be a man of prayer and a student of God’s Word . Your example must be godly , because…
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)
The ability to manage and lead others begins with proper management of self. You must set an example in personal conduct and discipline , in relationship with God, and in
evangelism and every "work of the ministry.”
Another major responsibility of leaders is to care for followers. This was already stressed in the lessons on leading like a shepherd and a servant. People, not plans or projects, are most important.
As a leader, you are called of God to care for the followers with whom God entrusts you.
You must love them, be concerned about their problems, and minister to their spiritual,
physical, and material needs as God enables. An important part of caring is for a leader
to pray for his followers. Do not sin against God by failing to pray for those entrusted to
A leader must lead and guide. He provides direction to people to enable them to
accomplish the ministry to which they are called. You must guide people where God
wants them to go, not where they selfishly desire to wander. Leading involves counseling people to walk in God’s ways by guiding them with Scriptural principles .
To lead others, you are required to make many decisions. There are some basic principles of decision making that can assist you in this task . You will study these in Chapter Eight.
HANDLING CONFLICTS AND DISCIPLINES:
Whenever you work with a group of people, conflicts always arise. A leader must be able
to solve such conflicts with guidance of the Lord. There will also be people who need
spiritual discipline because they fall into doctrinal error or sin and need correction.
Chapter Nine of this course provides guidelines for handling tasks of conflict and
ANALYZING THE ENVIRONMENT:
To be effective, you must understand the people to whom you are ministering. You must understand their problems, needs, and concerns. To gain such understanding, you analyze their "environment" which includes their spiritual, physical, material, and cultural
situations. The Harvestime International Institute course, "Environmental Analysis,” details
principles of analyzing the environment for ministry purposes.
Purpose is basically spiritual vision. The Bible says:
Where there is no vision, the people perish… (Proverbs 29:18)
Purpose, or spiritual vision, involves understanding two things:
1. The purposes of God.
2. Your part in fulfilling His purpose and plans.
When you identify your purpose in ministry , you discover your personal part in God’s plan. Purpose establishes a vision or goal for ministry. It provides direction and
understanding of exactly what your ministry is called of God to accomplish. It permits you to plan and implement plans to accomplish your purpose. When you clearly
understand God’s purpose and your part in it, you can effectively lead others.
The Harvestime International Institute course, "Management By Objectives,” will help you identify your purpose in God’s plan.
Knowing your purpose of ministry is not the same as accomplishing your purpose. You must make and implement plans to accomplish it. You must add action to knowledge
and works to faith in order to accomplish the work of the ministry. Planning under the
direction of the Holy Spirit permits you to work in harmony with God to accomplish His plans and purposes.
You must make specific plans to accomplish your own purpose of ministry. If you are a leader, you help followers make plans to accomplish the work of the corporate or group ministry . Planning involves deciding…
-What you are going to do.
-How you are going to do it (the methods or action steps). -When you are going to do it.
-Who is going to do it.
-The cost of doing it.
-A method to evaluate and see if it has been done as you planned.
Planning is a major task of leaders. It is a Biblical principle and is discussed in detail in the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Management By Objectives.”
After a leader has made plans , these plans must be implemented or put into action. To
implement a plan, the leader must perform the following tasks. Each of these is discussed in detail in the course entitled "Management By Objectives":
-Selecting people to fulfill the plan .
-Communicating to them the plan, the work of the ministry to be done. -Delegating the authority and responsibility to accomplish the plan. -Training those selected in the skills necessary to accomplish the work. -Organizing the people involved and details of the plan.
-Scheduling starting and completion dates and periodic checks on the progress of the
-Budgeting the funds necessary to accomplish the plan. -Making decisions.
-Evaluating the work of the ministry. Evaluation determines if you fulfilled the plan and if it really contributed to accomplishing God’s purposes for your ministry .
STRENGTHENED FOR THE TASK
As previously stated , there is no way to discuss every task which a leader may have to
perform, but the ones mentioned are the major responsibilities of every leader. Here is a promise to claim for these tasks and every other responsibility you may be called upon to fulfill in leadership :
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
Whenever you get under pressure and begin to think, "There is no way I can do all that needs to be done ,” you need to spend more time alone with God. You will not become tired and frustrated if you take time to wait on God:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because
he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)
Pray this "leader’s prayer" prayed by King Solomon:
And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (I Kings 3:8-9)