Waiting is providence

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Mark Driscoll recently had a discussion with Dr. J.I. Packer about young Christian leaders. Dr. Packer told Mark that young leaders should focus on four main areas:

1. Regeneration

2. God-Centered Theology

3. Godliness Begins at Home

4. Trinity.

I want to focus on point 3, that godliness begins at home, because it seems to get missed the most. Theological competence is too often seen as more important than home life. Whereas the New Testament puts the two on par with each other, theological competence is right there with a godly home life. Christian character starts in the home through relationships with those in a householders direct influence and control.

The household is a proven or training ground for church leadership. The household is like a greenhouse or an incubator for the church leader. He grows and becomes strong in godliness (sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money) before being transplanted into the realm of church leadership, where his character will be tested and constantly on display. The greenhouse is more forgiving than the garden that is exposed to the elements and predators, so it is with the leader in the home moving into a leader in the church.

These qualifications aren’t just to verify the ability to lead. They are not “just ‘cause” qualifications. They are God’s protection for the man. If the man doesn’t have the qualities of an elder he’ll be chewed up and spit out by the demands, responsibilities, and duties of the job. Further, it could be devastating for his wife, his children, or members of the local church body. I have heard Gregg Harris say that obedience is its own reward. Obeying God is keeping the hedge of protection around yourself and around those under your influence. Waiting to step into church leadership is trusting in God’s protection.

So I commend Dr. Packer for including the importance of home life for the young leader. Men, your families are your most important ministry. Loving and leading your family prepares you rightly for church leadership.

To see the interview with Dr. Packer, click here

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One Response to “Waiting is providence”

  1. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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