Thoughts on church leadership are many and varied. In our heart of hearts we feel that we should be looking at the New Testament to discover who should lead the church but when we do we can easily get confused. There we see the unique group of men, the Apostles, leading the church and having Christ-given authority; but with no Apostles in the church today who should lead? This morning we are going to look at who it was that the Apostles handed the leadership baton over to and why. In doing so we will discover that leaders are chosen not on the basis of charisma, popularity or perceived talent… but on a completely different basis altogether!
Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia,serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made youoverseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.