PRESENT TRUTH’S AND PRINCIPLES
CONCERNING CHURCH STRUCTURE
BY: TROY NICHOLS
TIME FOR CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP
Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
- The children of this world show more intelligence, study more plans, think of more ways to provide for themselves, than the children of light do to promote the interests of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
- The children of this world show more intelligence and wisdom in the area of leadership than the children of light.
- We can look in the political world and see that when the President takes office, all the former staff usually resigns knowing that they are most likely to be replaced due to the incoming President having his own staff. You can follow this pattern down through other government offices in the land also.
- We can look in the business world and see when one buys out a business, it is common to see them bring in their own management staff.
- We look into the sports world and see the same principle. When a coach goes to take a new team, the assistants of the previous coach usually go with their head coach and the new head coach brings their assistants with them.
- I have come to learn why many incoming leaders start fresh with their own staff. One, the leader has been called or appointed to carry out a specific task, and therefore don’t have time to retrain leaders that have already been trained a certain way by the previous leader or administrator. Two, the previous staff member may not share the vision or views of the new leader and thus will be a hindrance instead of a help. Three, the previous staff member may not be qualified for the task at hand.
- Many there are that have been placed in positions by man just to fill a vacant position. Personally, I am not as interested in filling a vacant position as I am in Divine Setting. Simply being, it is God that sets the members in the body as it hath pleased him (1 Cor 12:18), it is God that sets some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues (1 Cor 12:28).
- I do want to balance this out and point out that there are some exceptions. Simply being, you could work with a staff member from a previous administration providing you see by the spirit that the Lord has set them in a particular position to work with you as they did the previous leader. One sign of this type scenario would be that this person would be willing to be flexible as well as willing to do some things different under their new leader. Another sign would be that this type person would be as loyal to the new leader as they were to the previous leader. We can see an example of this in the following scriptures.
Josh 1:17-18 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
- Those that disobeyed were put to death. This was a martial law at that time that served to keep discipline among the people as well as keep them loyal to their leader. To be put to death was to be removed!
- The people were letting Joshua know that they were not going to act as their fathers did in the wilderness, which was to reject Moses as their leader and set out to appoint a leader that would take them back to Egypt (Nu 14:4).
- These people speak in principle of those that know by the spirit those that have been placed over them and thus have no problem submitting and serving them.
Note the scriptures below of a leader from a previous administration trying to fit into a new administration.
2 Sam 3:6 And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul.
- Another translation reads, “Abner was making himself strong among the supporters of Saul. Abner’s motive was to get control eventually and thus he would need support in order to get into the position he was seeking after.”
- Abner was more concerned with gaining ground with the people than he was doing his job, which was to look after and take care of Saul his leader. We can see this truth in 1 Sam 26:15-16 where it reads, “And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? And who is like to thee in Israel? Wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? For there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.”
- I think it imperative to point out that Abner was making himself strong while two leaders were at war. Abner was making himself strong in the midst of transition.
- Principle: “War sometimes becomes a smokescreen for something going on undercover.” It is therefore crucial that the Pastor have leaders around them that can discern things that may be going on undercover to undermine the Pastor, and not only discern but also step up and do what it takes to protect their Pastor.
- I want to point out that if Abner doesn’t care for his leader, what would make you swallow his words when he says he cares for you? The truth being, you are just a vote needed to give him power. If he didn’t protect his leader, don’t take a chance on him protecting you.
2 Sam 3:12-13 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, whose is the land? Saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee. And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul’s daughter, when thou comest to see my face.
- Keep in mind that Abner was not loyal to his previous leader and now he is coming to David (the new leader) in hopes of being a part of his administration. Abner in this scenario speaks in principle of those that will give you what you want, but only to deceive you in hopes of diverting your attention from what they are really set on doing, which is getting control.
2 Sam 3:23-27 When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone? Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest. And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.
- Note the powerful revelation in verse 25. Joab says to David, “Thou knowest Abner.” This word knowest is rendered, “to know by observation.” Simply being, you have come to know him and his motives by watching him. This is where we as leaders set ourselves up for trouble. Simply being, we know the ones that are causing problems and we attempt to walk with them thinking everything is ok. And then when we least expect it, a problem arises!
- Note what David knew about Abner. One, he knew his motive was to deceive him. Two, he knew that he wanted to know when he was going and when he was coming. Three, he wanted to know everything that he was doing. And yet, he entered into a league with him
2 Sam 3:26-29 And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread.
- Pastor, don’t be surprised if some of those you are trying to walk with are suddenly cut off from you.
Note the scriptures below of a leader from a previous administration that flows right into the new administration.
Num 27:15-20 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
- Note that Moses (man) asks the Lord to set a man and then the Lord reveals who the set man is.
- What better man to put over a congregation than one that has already served the congregation by serving the previous Pastor.
- Moses laying hands on Joshua and charging him in the midst of the congregation was showing the people that he associated Joshua with himself in the government of the people.
- Joshua was a type of Jesus our Shepherd as can be seen in the following scriptures.
John 10:1-5 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
- The context here is in reference to shepherds or Pastor’s.
- The only way the shepherd could feed the sheep is if the Porter opened the door. The Porter is a type of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that draws us to the door of the flock. And, if we aren’t drawn to the door of the flock, we don’t need to be feeding the flock.
- I am reminded of Col 4:3 where Paul was praying for an open door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ. The Lord has answered that prayer for me in this local congregation. He has given me the right of way to come in your midst and feed those that he has placed under me.
- Note the sheep follow the shepherd for they know his voice. Simply being, the sheep follow the Pastor when they hear the voice of the GOOD SHEPHERD speaking through the Pastor.
- Finally, the sheep will not follow a stranger, for they know not the voice of strangers. The stranger here in principle is one that is a stranger to the truths of God, one that talks about the word but is a stranger to walking in the word.
- I found in my studies that when the sheep here the voice of a stranger, they quickly raise their head in alarm and look. If they hear the voice again, they take off running. Oh that we can raise the sheep of God to such a level that when they hear something that is contrary to sound biblical teaching, they will run. Or, when they hear someone tearing down another in the body that they would run.
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PRESENT TRUTHS and PRINCIPLES CONCERNING CHURCH STRUCTURE [Tony Nichols] 1