A Few Good Men

by Pastor John Kim

Many churches today are stricken with the same problem that has plagued many churches through the ages: the lack of godly men who are devoted to Christ. We see it most explicitly through the kind of leaders that often dominate the elder boards, pastoral pulpits, and committee heads; men who are more interested in furthering their own agendas and exercising worldly wisdom rather than wisdom from above (James 3:17). Instead of godly character, there is a conformity to earthly standards that mimic the culture rather than the standards that are found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Why is this so?

There is a lack of honorable ambition for godly leadership. J. Oswald Sanders, in his classic work Spiritual Leadership, opens the book with words on “An Honorable Ambition.” The term ambition is often tinged with an immediate sense of pride and self-centeredness that comes from the all-too-often stories of those who have exercised vain ambitions that are not seeking God’s glory. But there is a sense in which there can be an honorable ambition to be a spiritual leader, not so much because of an office but, as Sanders emphasizes, it is the function of leadership that makes it an honorable task. True leadership is never self-serving. From a Christian worldview, true leadership centers on bringing God glory through the pursuit of fulfilling the character and conduct that is required in order t make impact in the lives of people so that they would be encouraged and exhorted to follow Christ in an excelling way. It is not about seeking presige, power or the accolades of men. It is it take on the role of a slave that is utterly devoted to the King of kings and Lord of lords, to exercise delegated authority as defined by the Word of God and to influence people in appropriate ways that point people to Christ.

Jeremiah 45:5 states “But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them.” In its context, the prophet Jeremiah is speaking to Baruch, who was the faithful recorder that took down the dictation of the words of the Lord as spoken through Jeremiah. Baruch had set his expectations high regarding the future and the thoughts of impending judgement are a stark contrast to what he had hoped for. So Jeremiah warns him not to seek great things for himself but to be content with simply life itself.

There is a danger for seeking great things for our own agenda, even if they are good things in the sight of others. So we must definitely be careful of a self-seeking agenda that seeks to promote self-glory at the expense of God’s flory, no matter what the situation or issue might be.

But there is definitely a place where we are to seek great things for the glory of God and part of that happens through men embracing the role of spiritual leadership, to be diligent and devoted to the cause of CHrist to the point where they are willing to labor to the point of exhaustion and serve to the point of agony. It is not that there is any glory inherent in suffering. But to suffer for the purpose of serving our Savior – there is nothing that isn’t worth losing for the sake of the One who died and rose again on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:15).

We are in need of such men in today’s generation, and we cannot afford to wait and see if some will rise to the challenge and answer the call. We must embrace it, here and now. You might say that you are not ready, that you are not capable, that you are busy, and that you have much to learn and you would be correct in all those assessments. Butthat is not what is at stake. The question is: are you willing to deny yourself, take up the cross, faithfully follow Christ daily and discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness so that you might be a vessel fit for the Master’s use? Will you seek to be a living and holy sacrifice that is acceptable to God and commit all that you do as worship to Him? Will you stop conforming yourself to this world and be continually transformed by the renewing of your mind through the Word of God illumined by the Spirit of God? Will you seek to become men of character so that you might become godly husbands and fathers that will raise a generation to the glory of God and teach your children the glories of our Sovereign Creator? Will you seek to be faithful members of Christ’s church and to contribute such time, energy, talents, and resources that God has given to you as a stewardship that you might build up the bdy of Christ? Will you faithfully be a witness and testimony of the gospel of Christ, from your home to the ends of the world? Will you be a true lover of God and people?

These questions and more all point to the gravity and the intensity it takes to courageously go against the flow of the status quo, even within the church, and rise up to be men of God who are sold out for the kingdom of God and who will only pursue the glory of God.

Will you be one of the few, the humble men of God who will leave his mark by choosing today whom you will serve? Pray about it. Then come talk to me. There’s a mission I would like to have you join. Seriously.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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