Church leadership And administration: Beyond academic certifications – Part 3
Saint Paul, who himself was a tentmaker and educated, later found out, after his conversion, as true follower of Christ, that one could be educated and still be evil, in his relationship with the people around him.
He understood that one could be learned, could have the highest level of education and still be wallowing in unrighteous behaviour.
Apostle Paul had a very good comparison between his secular life and spiritual life, and he came to the conclusion that, God’s calling cannot be defined on the basis of secular education, but on spiritualism and God’s choice.
This he said in 2 Corinthians 3:6 – Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Why does letter killeth but spirit giveth life? Let us look at the two lives of Apostle Paul.
Saul (Apostle Paul) as a Secular Leader
According to the scripture, Apostle Paul was a citizen of Rome (Acts 22:27-29) and was also mentioned, to be a Jew, possibly through his father, as he was said to be from a Jewish family in the city of Tarsus (Acts 22:3; Philippians 3:4-5; Acts 26).
In addition, he was liberally educated, and this level of education, was visibly noticed, when he was still the Tormentor-in-Chief, of the Disciples of Christ.
In his level of education, he knew the law, which he learnt under Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, 22:3); he used his intellectual ability, to show his deep knowledge in perpetuating evil, including the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58).
He had basically every known qualities of leadership, and commanded respect among his people, yet he was not qualified to lead the church.
Saul turned Paul, learnt about the qualities of leadership, but this only gave him the qualification, to function as a secular leader, in which unrighteousness and ungodliness, were not barriers.
He could also be compared to today’s lawyers, engineers, professors, academia, accountants, journalists, who might be successful in their chosen fields, but might not qualify for church leadership.
Apostle Paul was lettered, but then as Saul, he used his lettering skill to perpetuate evil and had no relevance to spiritual leadership.
However, when he became converted, he wrote several qualities, expected of spiritual leadership, which academic certifications and secular leadership, will not be able to meet up to the standard.
Apostle Paul as a Spiritual Leader
Before Paul could attain the level of a spiritual leadership, he had to go through spiritual regeneration.
His secular education was no longer a key requirement, but righteousness and godliness.
He knew that, after he had seen the light, he could no longer live his life, in the same way, as he was as Saul – something has changed.
This process of regeneration started when he encountered Christ, on his way to Damascus, to perpetuate another evil (Acts 9).
Thereafter, he was blind for three days, without any food and water. He was being cleansed, preparatory for church leadership.
Paul identified that righteousness, godliness, other Christian virtues and the calling of God, are the primary requirements, for spiritual leadership.
Hence, where all these are lacking, secularism becomes the order of the day, and when secularism rules in a spiritual environment, what comes next is leadership failure.
Some of these attributes of Christian leadership, as posited by Apostle Paul include: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).
Saint Paul even explained further in verses 25-26 that – (25)If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
(26)Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
In Colossians 3:12-17, Paul equally made mention of certain qualities, the church leadership and Christians generally cannot do without – (12)Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
(13)Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
(14)And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Being Paper Presented By Baba Aladura, Elder (Dr.) Israel Akinadewo (Omoeri), Prelate, Prophet and Supreme Head, Motailatu Church Cherubim & Seraphim Worldwide at the 2018 Sub-conference and to mark the 54th Anniversary of MCCSW on Thursday 14 – Saturday 16, 2018 at International Headquarters, Motailatu Close/Bus Stop Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.