May 7, 2008

Appointing vs Electing Leaders in the Church

Look at the language of how a leader is chosen in Titus 1:5 – appoint elders in every town.

The Greek word for appoint is kathistame. The Greek word literally means to set, to place, to put into place, or to appoint.

This is such a foreign concept to many Presbyterians because we do everything by election. And what is interesting is that the Bible almost always uses the language of appointing leaders.

When the Israelites needed leaders to help Moses with the daily operation of the Exodus, they didn’t say, “Let’s get a nominating committee together, and nominate some people and hold a general election.” The leaders got together and appointed leaders based on their spiritual qualifications and maturity.

In Acts 6, when the apostles were overwhelmed with the burgeoning church to the point that their primary role of leading and teaching was suffering because they were so busy doing the day to day operation of leading the community. And when they needed leaders to manage the daily operation of the church, they didn’t form a nominating committee and hold a general election.

The apostles gathered together and appointed spiritually qualified people to lead the daily operation of the ministry.

The main question to discern is - has our current way of electing leaders been providing the church with Godly leadership? If yes, no worries. If no, then we've got to look at what the Bible has to say about leadership.

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