Vol.XVIII No.V Pg.8
July 1981

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

"This ain't funny, McGee; but we borrow the "STUFF" page to ramble on the EMERGENCE OF LEADERS. Every thinking man knows they are not produced by appointment, and even fools know they do not grow on trees, or do they? I have a hunch they do grow, if not on trees then in some other way.

We give great emphasis to (a few) scriptural qualifications. One must be husband of one wife, and have children that are faithful. But even when all qualifications are duly considered, can any male saint aspire to and develop these qualifications? Perhaps, but they are not gained simply by study and longevity of membership. Things like character, habits, experience and reputation must grow on us.

Good leaders emerge from the masses like a slow growing tree emerges from the shrubbery that surrounds it. We become aware that one of us is a steadying influence in time of trial. When the rest of us are upset he is more calm; and his suggestions prove to be scriptural, and wise. When we decide to visit the sick, physically or spiritually, we find he has been there several times. Without knowing exactly why, we tend to go to him when we "have a question," and he can answer without making us feel foolish and without talking down to us. His conclusions have a firmness about them, but he seems ever open to other answers, never small or opinionated. We begin to respect him, very much.

As his children grow older we notice they say "Dad" like "Jim," a pal or buddy. It has an "I love you" ring to it. And his wife leans upon him in absolute confidence. He is clearly the head of the house, by choice of the house and not by whip cracking. The tree is outgrowing the shrubbery.

Now his children are married, his hair grays a bit, and he is teaching a Bible class that grows and grows. In business meetings he awaits his turn, but when he speaks people listen. He can differ without being ugly, and he can compromise on those things subject to human adjustment.

And when the church begins to consider the appointment of bishops, his image is there, even before his name is called. Whence cometh this man? Oh he just grew — as brothers should!