Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel for Leadership

Isaiah 3:6 must be one of the most pathetic verses in scripture. It describes the desperation of a people seeking for anyone to lead them: “You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler.”  It is surely a sign of God’s judgment on a people whenever they invite someone with the most meager qualifications into a leadership postion: “You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler”!

Unfortunately that is exactly what many churches do when they recruit people to serve: 

— you have a Bible and attend; you teach the class.

— you come to church regularly; you can be a deacon.

— you have a good voice, so you can lead worship.

— You know something about Roberts Rules; you lead the meeting.

People are thus drafted into service in churches all across our country, whether or not there is any attendant spiritual maturity in their lives.

Isaiah indicates here that it is a sign of God’s judgment on a church when things have deteriorated so. And one may expect this kind of a church to die a quick death, at least spiritually.

The “solution” involves our churches having higher standards, undoubtedly.  But we must also to pray for revival, as well as work to disciple people and grow them to maturity, so that qualified people are trained and ready for ministry positions.  And that “qualification” probably won’t have anything to do with owning a cloak!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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2 Responses to Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel for Leadership

  1. Alan Brown says:

    Great analogy, Pastor Shawn. Certainly it helps to have some leadership and personal (as well as interpersonal) qualifications, but if a pastoral staff, deacons and/or teachers are to effectively lead and disciple, first and foremost is a heart for the Lord demonstrated in our spiritual walk and maturity. Thank you and the pastoral staff for being such spiritual leaders and serving as an example to the rest of us. May we model your example, but more importantly, the example set by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  2. Ben Coleman says:

    One thing we do when we grab just anybody to fill a position is to ignore Jesus’ logic in Luke 10:2 (and Mat 9:37-38). For Jesus, when faced with a ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few’ (there’s plenty of work, but few workers), the logical response is to beg the One who is in charge of the harvest, and to whom the harvest belongs to send out workers into His harvest. The double emphasis (‘Lord of the harvest’, ‘His harvest’) points out that who works is His decision, not ours. When we put just anyone into a needed position, we act as if we’re just as competent as He to decide who His workers will be, rather than acknowledging His Lordship.

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