Having looked at the purpose and description of the
"Set" Person in a past issue, we now want to look at how this
person will function with the leadership team.
As with any area of life we must maintain balance. Some leaders of a
church can take this concept to extremes. There are two areas of
concern. First, some will see the controlling power lies within the plurality
team. They feel they are put in place to be the thorn in the "Set"
person's side. This results in stifling and hindering the progress of the
group. Second, is when the "Set" person sees he/she as the sole
authority and the team as "yes-men". This will produce a dictatorship mentality. The leader is bent on his own exaltation and will frustrate the true biblical government of
the church. Following is a comparison of the principles of
a spirit of dictatorship and a spirit of biblical government,
taken from the book, The Local Church by Wayne Hayworth:
Spirit of Dictatorship
a.) Attitude of lording, stressing rank and position,
dominion and authority.
b.) Gains a dominion over people's lives. Removes from them options that
should be their own, in areas not essential to the faith.
c.) Is fearful of sharing his authority. Feels he must maintain
all the power.
d.) Produces problems and friction when working with
others. Tends to be insensitive to others' feelings and the
value of their thoughts.
e) Looks for a personal word from God to the neglect of
hearing the voice of the Spirit among the leadership team.
f) Makes executive decisions without really seeking and
g.) Becomes angry or
irritated when challenged. Takes disagreement
personally, as a breach against his judgement and position.
Intimidates others and suppresses body ministry.
a.) Attitude of leading by example out of love. The focus
is on quality of leadership rather than rank.
b.) Develops the loyalty of the people. Allows
for flexibility and liberty of conscience in
areas not essential to the faith.
c.) Wisely distributes authority
among able leaders.
d.) Produces harmony among all he works with, not through compromise,
but love and genuine consideration.
e.) Is open for a personal word coming to himself, but also listens for it among the brethren. Recognizes the agreement of the Spirit among the elders on the same level as a word given to him.
counsel and makes decisions slowly and maturely.
g.) Recognizes disagreements as an essential check and
balance. Does not take it personally.
h.) Encourages the full expression of all the members of
Our leadership style should express the spirit of God's rule and
government. We demonstrate Christ's headship in our leadership by
how we relate to those we are leading. I Peter 5: 2 - 3 states, "...shepherd the flock of God among you,
exercising oversight not under
compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God: and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3. not yet as lording it over those allotted to your
charge, but proving to be examples to
the flock... "
How then does a "Set" person function within
the leadership team? Insight is given to us by Jethro, Moses's father in law, in Exodus 18. The
background to this passage had seen the miraculous deliverance of the
children of Israel from Egypt. Having crossed the Red Sea
into the wilderness of Sin. Arriving at Rephidim, they cried out for water and God supplies out of
the rock. Next is the confrontation with the Amalekites in which they experienced the awesome victory over God's foe. Now Jethro is coming with Moses' wife, Zipporah and his two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. Moses shares all of the miraculous events
with Jethro. On the following day, Jethro begins to share with Moses how team
ministry needs to function. Let's
examine Jethro's insight for team function.
Jethro shares the
fatigue principle in verses 13 through 18. He explains to Moses how the leaders
become tired and even burn out. He says to Moses in verse 18, "... you are going to wear out and
so are the people..." When I arrive
at a place for a speaking engagement, it does not take long to see what kind of
leadership style is in place. I look
to see if the people and staff are worn out and exhausted. If they are, normally it is because one or a few people
are doing everything.
Jethro then gives the following outline to Moses:
v.19 - Moses you go to God and receive
revelation for the unknown areas that
God has not made known to the group yet.
v.20 - Then instruct the people and the
leaders what God has to say about a
v.21 - Moses, prepare and qualify these
to be leaders amongst the people;
then allow these leaders to carry out the work.
v.22 - Any areas where they do not have insight, understanding, or revelation, they can bring to
you and you can go back to God for
insight. This was to make life easier and the people could go to their place in PEACE.
This simple method is very applicable today. These steps
will help the "Set" person move the team forward in the purposes of God:
"Set" person is to hear a word from God. This is a specific word
for the entire body of believers. When the "Set" person hears
that word, then he/she must go to the Bible. This is to make sure
that what he/she is hearing from the Lord is scriptural. Then do a thorough exegetical Bible study on the word(s) received from the Lord.
The "Set" person then will share this word with the leadership
team. Some are named: elders, council, governing presbytery, etc. The goal at
this point is: UNITY of SPIRIT. What we are looking to do is answer
the question, "Is this a MESSAGE from
God?" Many get bogged down here as they try to figure out how to do this. It is not
the Method, but the MESSAGE that needs
confirmation. We need to listen, ask questions, be honest, wait on one another until there is a consensus of
the team. This may happen at the announcement or it may take a while. Remember
we are not in a hurry, nor do we want to delay, but sometimes it takes
time to tune our spirit into what God is doing. When everyone has a peace in
their spirit, then it is time to move ahead. Maybe not all
the team understands all the details of the word, but they have a witness in their spirit.
3. Upon the confirmation of the Holy Spirit with the team, the "Set"
person then will conduct a Bible study with the
leadership team. He/she will explain the scriptural precedent of
what God's word has to say about the MESSAGE from God. This is all to be
done at the leadership team level only. Sharing things prematurely can be
unhealthy for the life of the group.
4. After the leadership team
confirms and has the scriptural understanding, then the "Set"
person will go to the support ministry leaders. Here, the
"Set" person is not seeking confirmation, but is explaining God's
will and word to the group. They are then released for the Holy Spirit to show
them what METHOD is needed to implement this word.
Training may be needed
at this point.
5. All the leadership team, (Set person, leadership team, support ministry leaders) begin applying the MESSAGE in their areas of
responsibility. The "Set" person will preach a message
about what God is saying to the group. There may be a need for a
teaching series to clarify the word. The body of believers
receives the word and begins to live the message. This may take several
weeks, months, or years to get the understanding.
6. Once the entire church begins
to understand and live that word, the community will see it applied to
our lives and be challenged to live a Godly life.
The "Set" person has been placed in the role of
"first among leadership." The functions of this person begin a
chain reaction that will establish God's word throughout a region. This is why we are to pray
for those in leadership, that we, "...may lead a
quiet and peaceful life... " (I Timothy 2: 2) Just like the children of Israel went to their place in peace, we too can
find our place of peace.