Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands . . . ~ I Timothy 5:22a
READING: I Timothy 3:1-7
Churches are raised up by people who have been discipled or mentored (“Fully prepared for every good work” II Tim. 3:17). It is too often the case that we are disappointed by someone that has not measured up to our expectations. We place them in a church planting leadership position before they are ready. We get discouraged sometimes when we have to start over. We should be aware that a disciple is someone who has achieved a measurable level of maturity in the standards that the Lord Jesus set forth for his disciples.
What are those standards and what are the characteristics that must be present for a person to be released to head up a church plant? In my experience in the Amazon, three broad qualifications must be present and growing in a church planting pastor in order to expect their church plant to have success.
A disciple must have the proper godly motivation. There are so many different motivations that we see in church leadership, especially in those who have not been tested. Some unworthy motivations, among others, are an opportunity for a salary or a desire for respect and authority instead of the rejection that they grew up with.
They must be of proven character. No church plant will be successful if the testimony of the leadership is lacking. They must have a level of maturity and stability that new believers can count on explicitly.
They must have credibility, which includes knowledge of the Word and an ability to positively influence their congregation of all ages.
Heavenly Father, Help me to be wise in choosing church planting pastors. Forgive me for expecting too much from those who are not yet ready. Teach me how to develop good traits in promising young leaders. Amen.
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