Our call to ministry.




Today we look at God's call from the point of view of leadership.










The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
For serious students only



Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue




Today we will continue this subject from the perspective of leadership, before switching to the led next week.

Christian leadership is difficult, as all involved in it well know. The pressures and expectations that come with the job can be overwhelming. Burnt out leaders are sadly, a common phenomenon. Why is this? Surely it is not of God? For God would not design a system where His leaders would suffer not for Him (which we are all called to do as part of the process of maturity) but from the unreasonable angst and expectations of those one is leading.



When Jesus came with the New Covenant, the former priestly system where the priest was an intermediary between people and God, came to an end. Jesus alone is to be our mediator. Unfortunately however, neither the majority of leaders nor the led have understood this principle. For the priestly system has apparent advantages for both. 



For leaders, there is power and status, for the led an abrogation of their personal 'religious responsibility' to the priest, pastor, or whatever title is given.

Who suffers? Both suffer!

Leaders wrongly take on people's burdens while the people miss out on the benefits (and responsibilities) which a true personal relationship with Jesus brings.



Why does this situation exist?

Because leadership has become separated (superior) from the led through the professionalisation of the ministry. The principle of 'the power of the call' has been lost.



Call, as we saw last week, involves sacrifice.

Listen to Corrie Ten Boon (pictured) talking about her sister Betsy.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick. "Yes, the Lord will heal me,", Betsy said with confidence. She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy's death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.



When we look through history, all the great movements of God have been led by people prepared to pay the price of giving up on self, of rejection by the religious and civil establishments of the day and often, have paid for their conviction and revelation with their life.

The first was Stephen.


Acts 7:54 -8:1a



Then Paul, the persecutor of Stephen, suffered too, before finally being martyred in Rome. 


2 Corinthians 11:23-9



Why is the church growing so fast in much of Asia and parts of Africa today? Primarily because leaders are prepared to pay the price of the call on their lives. They have no position in society, little or no income, are persecuted, beaten, imprisoned and even killed. No buildings, no sound systems, no programmes, yet people are finding Jesus in droves.

Almost sounds like the original disciples! History tells us that all were martyred for their faith with the exception of John, who was boiled in oil but survived to enjoy 'the pleasures' of the prison island of Patmos, where he received the revelation of Revelation!

Do you really wish to be a leader!!!



Here in New Zealand, in the 1950s, there was a Spirit based move of God that saw many come to Jesus. It was led by ordinary people, enthusiasts inspired by and full of the Holy Spirit. They sacrificed their careers, living on the 'smell of an oily rag', to spread the 'Good News' of Jesus.

The movement grew. A Bible School was set up. Pastors appointed. Buildings were purchased. Programmes were put in place. A formal organisation with 'spiritual oversight' was formed. Another denomination with values and beliefs, charters and rules, was formed. And today, the Spirit has largely gone and it is dying both spiritually and numerically.

Speaking to those who remain of the leaders from the early days, most regret the course things have taken, but very few have been prepared to leave the comforts the system now provides in order to return to the principles of their original call.



My friend, I do understand the attraction of security that the formal church brings. I do know that we all have to 'pay the bills'. Yet we are also called to live by faith. To give God the opportunity to live and witness through us, rather than us to simply talk about Jesus from a professional position of relative comfort and security.


Hebrews 10:32-9



I would like to finish today with the story of a man in the city of Napier from my youth. Jack was a watersider. He worked on the wharves.

Amazingly, in that generally hostile, union based environment, he was a dedicated follower of Jesus. He had no formal education, no Bible training, no position in society. Yet he had the power of the call of a teacher on his life. He led a Bible study group of 50 grown men from all walks of life. To get such numbers on an ongoing basis was unbelievable in the context of men in our city. He received a lot of flack from the establishment. Yet he was obedient and effective in the Lord's ministry through him.



Are you living out your call?

Call comes with sacrifice, not a salary!




We look at the call from the people's perspective. 




I know these ideas are radical in the context of the church we have grown up in and in the context of today's society.

But before you reject both the message and the messenger, I just ask that you first seek the Lord for His guidance in this.


Alexander the Great Coin

This coin reveals scenes of Alexander the Great's life. The top image depicts Alexander being crowned by Nike, the goddess of victory. The bottom image depicts Alexander on his horse Busephalus at the Jhelum River attacking Porus on his war elephant. Porus was trying to stop Alexander from crossing the river until the monsoon, which would delay him until after the summer months. In 336 BC when Darius II was king of Persia he battled against Alexander the Great and was defeated twice. The two famous battles were the Battle of Issus in 333 BC and the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. This marked the end of the Archaemenid Empire and the rise of Greece as a world power. Alexander conquered the world and died in Babylon in 323 BC. This coin depicting Alexander the Great is an important discovery in Biblical Archaeology and the period of Greek history.


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

Learn more about us at...




Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:





372. To be a leader in the world is difficult, in the church, impossible. However, with God's help, we can do the impossible.

David Tait         




Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:



Check out the WWJ website for….

More David's Doodlings: www.wwj.org.nz/dd.php
Waxing Lyrical: http://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing.php
If Only I'd Thought of it: http://www.wwj.org.nz/thought.php
Laughing at Ourselves: http://www.wwj.org.nz/laugh.php
A look at some of lifes curious questions: http://www.wwj.org.nz/why.php




General Enquiries and Comments tt@wwj.org.nz.
To subscribe yourself please email tteach-on@wwj.org.nz.
To unsubscribe yourself please email tteach-off@wwj.org.nz.


© Walking With Jesus Ministries Charitable Trust:
As this material is freely received, use is freely given, indeed encouraged, for non-commercial purposes.
Acknowledgement of the source is always appreciated.