Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 1, 1964
NUMBER 21, PAGE 5,13b

Qualities Of Church Leadership

Elvis Bozarth


1. Men of highest abilities and depth of character are required to lead business, educational, and charitable organizations.

a. E.G., American Red Cross; General Motors Corporation, etc.

b. How much more necessary for the Lord's church.

2. God has provided for the government of the church of Christ from its beginning.

a. Apostles; Inspired Elders; Uninspired Elders with an inspired Guidebook.

b. Many others in the congregation beside elders who perform leadership functions of diverse types and degrees

(1.) Bible class teachers (men and women), deaons, song leaders and teachers, preachers, etc.

(2.) These Qualities are essential for them also. DISCUSSION — Characteristics and attitudes, requisite to proper congregational growth.

I. A Determination To Do Right

A. While this required of all Christians, leaders must provide an example. Many do not always do this, concerned with own will and not principle.

B. Must know what is right. John 8:32; Psa. 119:11 1. Commands to study. II Tim. 2:15; I Pet. 3: 15; Acts 17:11

2. Righteous man meditates day and night Psalms I.

3. Overseers must be most studious because must even know when preaching is right or wrong. Specific qualifications reveal this.

I Tim. 3:2, "apt to teach," v.4, "ruling house so well" and also church of God; v.8, not a beginner; Titus 1:9, "holding to the faithful word."

II. Strong Conviction

A. Know the truth, and defend it. Acts 20:28-31; Prov 23:23; I Cor. 16:13f B. Balsam fir tree in northern U.S. is beautiful but has no tap root, easily blown over in a storm. As (a) ship without anchor.

C. Must know when time comes to take a stand. Eph. 8:13-14.

D. Many backbones need starch in them. Eph. 4:14.

III. Possess A Genuine And Fervent Love For The Church

A. Most precious institution known to man Eph. 5:25; Acts 20:28.

B. Must desire to do best for the church regardless of personal opinions. Acts from principle not policy or personality.

C. Leader faced with such need when selecting teachers, building programs, etc.

IV. Dependability,

A. Rare quality these days among all people. Was a time when a man's word was his bond. Now some churches and preachers sign contracts. Some preachers I know and some churches I know, don't blame them for signing a contract.

B. Learn to be at right place at right time, and share all work to full extent of ability.

1. Blessed is the congregation which has leaders who can be counted on to be present at all public meetings, business meetings, and work programs.

2. Concern should not be for "great things" (II Kgs. 5:13), but with most insignificant tasks (Psalms 84:10). Type of work is not the measure of the servant but the degree of faithfulness is. (Lk. 18:10)

V. Ability To Make A Decision For Oneself Based On Fact

A. Examine all evidence, decide merits and demerits, "that ye may distinguish the things that differ" (Phil 1:10, marginal reading, ASV).

B. Women not allowed to be overseers or take any leadership over men. A man who cannot make a decision without consulting his wife cannot be proper leader.

C. Some so-called leaders have a reputation of holding a finger up to learn the direction of the wind before making a decision.

VI. Ability To Hear And Weigh What Others Have To Say

A. Some seem to think that the "immovable" of I Cor. 15:58 means never be interested enough to ask what others think. This is misapplication.

B. Leaders must be interested in getting all the information and wisdom possible, BEFORE MAKING A DECISION FOR ONESELF. Prov. 11:14; Job. 32:7, 9.

VII. Ability To Accept Group Decisions As Wise

A. God showed He knew that two heads are better than one in that he provided for a plurality of overseers.

B. In all matters of judgment men and women of goodwill ought to be able to discuss differences, means and methods, and come to a common consent.

1. "Let each esteem other better than themselves" — Phil. 2:3-4.

2. If cannot have unanimous consent In matters of judgment then something is wrong with some or all.

C. Overseers have been known to create a faction by telling members of disagreements in matters of opinion. He is self-willed and becomes a lord "over God's heritage."

D. Chances are that the judgment of three will be better than one.


1. The possession and exercise of these qualities will serve the cause of Christ well.

2. They will provide each congregation with characteristics so requisite to proper growth.

— 1639 N. Parkside Avenue Chicago, Illinois