James 1
James 4

James 3

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly

The whole thrust of James is about growing up in Christ - becoming spiritually mature.  So James has already explained to us two characteristics of a maturing Christian:  they are patient in trouble, looking at the hardships as God continuing to grow them up instead of taking the hardships as a personal attack; and they practice truth, in other words they don't just posture themselves as mature believers but their actions show their maturity.  Now he heads into another sign of a mature believer, the ability to have control over what they say.  It is good stuff and we can glean much from the chapter but I was struck by the opening remark as he transitions into this area of maturity. Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
I understand the context of it is that believers should not be too eager to tell others their faults because we all make many mistakes; and when teachers, who should know better, do wrong, our punishment will be greater than it would be for others.

But this statement got me thinking about leadership and maturity.  After all teaching falls under the broader context of leadership in the churh.
As a leader in the church I understand a few things from James (and Paul too).
A leader in the church must be further ahead in their spiritual maturity from the ones that they are leading.
A leader in the church must be an example of patience in the middle of hardships, choosing to find out what God is doing rather than asking why me.
A leader in the church must not just talk about spiritual maturity it must be obvious in their lives by the way they respond.
A leader in the church must lead by example in the way they speak. Are their words bringing unity in the body?  Is it bringing honor and glory to Christ?  Is it building up edifying those around them?

James says that it is correct that leaders be judged by a stricter standard - after all the more mature you become the more you are to be called to a higher standard.  It is one of the reasons why Paul writes that we should not be too eager to want to lead in the church.

Having said all of that I would say that the body of Christ needs men and women who will lead.  The body of Christ needs men and women who will sacrifice their lives in order to help others grow up in their faith.  The body of Christ needs men and women who will choose to grow up in their faith and be willing to shoulder the responsibilities and hardships that come with leadership.  

Is it you?

comments powered by Disqus