May 10, 2010

We can say all power belong to God. Whoever has power on earth was given it from above. Any kind of leader gets his authority to lead from God. How the leader leads is up to the leader. He or she will give account for what he or she has done with the power given.

So where do leaders come from? Some come from selfish ambition. They think they should lead. They believe something about themselves that compels them to lead others. Some find security and a sense of control over their own lives if they are in charge so they pursue leadership from selfish motives. Leaders proceed and come forth from good reasons and bad, from holiness or from evil. The leader who appoints himself or seizes power demonstrates mental abilities and personality beyond the common and so can obtain leadership even if it means dictatorship and tyranny.

Leaders typically show more ability than the ones they lead. The wisest will lead. The strongest will lead. The most capable will lead. For whatever group or task, people choose the one who has proven that they are better than the common followers. A leader might assumes control for good or ill to take command and be the head or central organizer of those he leads.

How does a king become a king? Who establishes a royal bloodline? When the bloodline is established, then those who are born in it immediately receive a promise of authority and power to reign when the current king or queen dies.

For us, to look at godly leadership is relevant. What does a godly leader look like? What standards are there for a Christian to lead the redeemed of the Lord? We who were in COBU know what it is like to be under a cult leader. The Forever Family was started by a bunch of 17, 18 and 19 year-old and 36 year-old Stewart Traill. There seemed to be back then contempt for organized Christian churches, formal education, and the conventions of American society. Stewart became the leader of the Forever Family. Should he have? By what standards did he assume leadership? Who selected him? What biblical model did the FF use to make Stewart the leader? Simple questions, I know. But what answers did the early brothers and sisters get?

I will leave these questions for now in order to look at scripture to see how leaders were chosen or appointed at the beginning of the Christian church. I must before looking at the church go back to leadership in the Old Testament. I thought of 3 things that seem the unlikely qualities of godly leadership. This observation may be of God if it is true, and if it is error then credit me with error.

The godly leader:

doesn’t want to be a leader

doesn’t think he can be a leader

does not try to be a leader

The first person that comes to mind that seemed to possess 2 out of the 3 qualities, if not all 3, is Moses. If we look at the encounter on the mountain between God and Moses we can see these qualities:

11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" 12 He said, "But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain." 13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" 15 God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations….

1 Then Moses answered, "But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, 'The LORD did not appear to you.'" 2 The LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod." ….

10 But Moses said to the LORD, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either heretofore or since thou hast spoken to thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of tongue." 11 Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." 13 But he said, "Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person." 14 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, "Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well; and behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart. 15 And you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people; and he shall be a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take in your hand this rod, with which you shall do the signs."

We see that God is calling Moses to lead. We see God giving authority and power to Moses to accomplish this work. The most important part of Moses leadership is that God Himself will be with Moses in this leadership. Moses did not seek leadership. He was not working for this position. When God called him, Moses did not think he could do the job, and finally asked God to send someone else. Moses didn’t ask for the job, didn’t want the job, and didn’t think he could do the job. He appraised himself and his abilities and found himself unqualified. He was not eloquent, he had no power. He believed that if he, Moses, were to go back to Egypt and tell everyone that he met God and God was sending him to deliver them, Moses knew that he would not be believed. God picked a reluctant, unqualified, unlikely, unambitious man to lead His people out of Egypt.

As Moses was an unlikely leader, so was Gideon:

11 Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Jo'ash the Abiez'rite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Mid'ianites. 12 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor." 13 And Gideon said to him, "Pray, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this befallen us? And where are all his wonderful deeds which our fathers recounted to us, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Mid'ian." 14 And the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Mid'ian; do not I send you?" 15 And he said to him, "Pray, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manas'seh, and I am the least in my family." 16 And the LORD said to him, "But I will be with you, and you shall smite the Mid'ianites as one man." 17 And he said to him, "If now I have found favor with thee, then show me a sign that it is thou who speakest with me.

Gideon did not think himself qualified. And throughout his story he seems unsure and fearful. God still chose him and blessed his leadership to deliver Israel from Midian. Moses was an unlikely choice, according to the flesh, Gideon as well. Now look at Saul and David:

The people of the Lord wanted a King like the other nations. They wanted a leader in place of God. Here is the description of Saul:

1Sa 9:2 -and he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; from his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

I am not saying that being handsome is wrong. I do think that God told Samuel to go ahead and give the people a king because they had rejected God from being King over them. Samuel anoints Saul who is a likely leader. He was handsome and taller than anyone. He looked the part. Now look at the choosing of David:

1 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." 2 And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me him whom I name to you." 4 Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?" 5 And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they came, he looked on Eli'ab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him." 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 8 Then Jesse called Abin'adab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these." 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and fetch him; for we will not sit down till he comes here." 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he." 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

David was also handsome, but compared to his brothers, he was an unlikely King of Israel. He was the youngest and the least experienced. The scripture about David's brother: “7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." God looked at David’s heart. God looked at Gideon’s heart, at Moses’ heart.

Consider also Joseph and his ascension to be the 2nd most powerful man in the known world. He loved God and was obedient to Him. God blessed him with abilities. Joseph’s success throughout his life until he meets Pharaoh gave no indication that he would be prime minister of Egypt. His dreams only indicated that he would be over his family. A Hebrew slave in Egypt becoming the most powerful leader in the world second only to Pharaoh! Talk about an unlikely choice. When God calls men to leadership, he calls those who have the heart for Him. Jeremiah was a boy. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips. Gideon was a fearful man sent to war. David was a teenage shepherd. Moses was a lousy speaker and a reluctant leader. Is there not a pattern of God choosing unlikely leaders, by human standards? Consider the New Testament now. Jesus himself was born into low estate. He was raised in the poor town of Nazareth. When Jesus began his ministry He chose uneducated fisherman for his disciples. Paul the apostle was an unlikely Christian leader because he persecuted Christians. Paul says in one letter that the brethren of the church looked at him this way: “His letter are weighty, but his bodily appearance is weak and is speech is of no account.” In another letter there is the comment, “See with what large letters, I am writing to you.” I have heard some pastors say that it is possible that Paul the Apostle was a short, stuttering, nearly blind, weakling of a man. Add the fact that he persecuted the Body of Christ, and you have an unlikely leader of God's church.

"Not many of you were wise or of noble birth. God chose what is lowly in the world to shame the wise." There has been for the last 25 years or so the idea of the believer trying to find out what his or her gifting is in order to serve God with what gifts or talents they apparently possess. I disagree with this notion on 2 points. The idea that we need to find out what we are good at tends to narrow the call and will of God for us in ministry and if we find our area of expertise, then the temptation to take credit for the work and not credit God is ever present. When we read the story of Gideon:

1 Then Jerubba'al (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Mid'ian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 2 The LORD said to Gideon, "The people with you are too many for me to give the Mid'ianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, 'My own hand has delivered me.' 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, 'Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home.'" And Gideon tested them; twenty-two thousand returned, and ten thousand remained. 4 And the LORD said to Gideon, "The people are still too many; take them down to the water and I will test them for you there; and he of whom I say to you, 'This man shall go with you,' shall go with you; and any of whom I say to you, 'This man shall not go with you,' shall not go." 5 So he brought the people down to the water; and the LORD said to Gideon, "Every one that laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself; likewise every one that kneels down to drink." 6 And the number of those that lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. 7 And the LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Mid'ianites into your hand; and let all the others go every man to his home." 8 So he took the jars of the people from their hands, and their trumpets; and he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the three hundred men; and the camp of Mid'ian was below him in the valley.

Note the scripture: "The people with you are too many for me to give the Mid'ianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, 'My own hand has delivered me.'

I find this idea of gifts and talents, strengths and abilities to serve the Lord, suspect. If we look for only what we are good at, will we not credit ourselves with the service rendered or the battle won? The scriptures in the New Testament about Boasting confirm our tendency to take credit for what God does through us. “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.” “If then it was a gift, why do you boast as if it were not a gift.” “By grace you have been saved , not by works, lest any man should boast.”

God chooses those unlikely to succeed with no talent or authority in the field to which He sends them. Leadership in God’s kingdom I would say mostly falls to those we would not pick with our human understanding to lead. Look at the scriptures concerning leaders:

23 He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; 28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

The mother of James and John wanted Jesus to give them places of honor, authority, and power. Jesus then teaches them all about God’s will for leadership here among Christians.

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, 3 and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

His thoughts are not our thoughts

11 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 12 whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

this is a scripture for those who seek to make themselves leaders.

33 And they came to Caper'na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." 36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."

This scripture is profound. If you receive one such child in Jesus’ name, you receive Him, and Him who sent Him. Children are the least capable of humans, the least likely to lead. And leaders are to become like them and receive them as Jesus.

46 And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, 48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great."

21 But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!" 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this. 24 A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

During the Last Supper they had this “who is greatest” argument again. Jesus shows that He is the greatest and yet was there to serve. Now look at the Last supper in the Gospel of John.

3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. 5 Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. 6 He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" 7 Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand." 8 Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part in me." 9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "You are not all clean." 12 When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Taking the Luke and John accounts together, Jesus addressed the “who is the greatest” argument by washing the disciples’ feet. We now have a sense of the unlikeness of a godly leader, the comparison of worldly leaders and their use of the authority given them, and the godly leader and how he ought to behave. We now turn to standards of leaders in the early church.

1 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. 2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, 3 no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; 5 for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; 7 moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

If you consider yourself ready to lead in God’s church, read again the standards for bishops. Consider the leader or leaders over you now. Do they meet these standards? Now think about Stewart and his taking the leadership of the FF. One of the things Stewart did early in the group was to make his role or position indefinable. His testimony was to be told when we brought 3000 to a Big Meeting. Where he came from, what he believed, what he was taught, who taught him, all questions the young members never got the answers to. And if you don’t know what or who Stewart is, then you cannot hold him to any standards. I don’t know when he started the vague references to himself being John the Baptist or Elijah, but when this was buzzed around, who then could stand up and test Stewart with the biblical standards of leadership. The way Stewart played it, he was called by God, in a kind of Moses/ Old Testament way and by that he was not required to meet New Testament standards of leadership. According to the early church Stewart may have qualified as a recent convert. Those who were there could bear witness to whether or not he managed his household well. The evidence I have clearly shows he did not. Was Stewart “well thought of by outsiders”…..yes, I know, it’s hard not to laugh or cough loudly at this. I don’t think Stewart was ever under anyone’s authority in the body of Christ. He passed these non-standards onto his younger leaders, promising them power and leadership that would never be theirs. And some today are willing to seek leadership and are willing to assume authority much like the way they were taught to by Stewart.

8 Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain; 9 they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then if they prove themselves blameless let them serve as deacons. 11 The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; 13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

I don’t think Stewart would have been a deacon in the early church, either.

5 This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, 6 if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. 7 For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; 9 he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it. 10 For there are many insubordinate men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially the circumcision party; 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base gain what they have no right to teach. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 instead of giving heed to Jewish myths or to commands of men who reject the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed.

Read the standards and consider. Also see those who are wrong leaders “who have no right to teach.” This sounds like 2 Peter chapter 2 when he talks about False Teachers as accursed children. What is becoming clear to me is that there are those who become Christians and then become false teachers, false shepherds, denying the Master who bought them. There are right leaders in God’s church and those whom God will severely judge as false.

1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. 2 Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, 3 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

We have Bishops and Deacons and Peter addresses elders, he being a fellow elder himself. The elders among those in the body are to tend the flock of God not by constraint, not for shameful gain, and not domineering over those in their charge. Domineering is the “lord it over” stuff. Shameful gain could be for money or possibly to serve one’s own ego. Constraint means, “compelled to avoid or perform some action.” It’s like because you have to not because you want to. This is different from the attitude (doesn’t want to be a leader)at the beginning of this piece, in a way. God calls people to lead and they may have never thought to do the thing asked of them. They never desired the role. This can be a healthy non-ambition. Once the person is in the role of Christian leader, he is serving. He will not be enjoying leadership the way worldly leaders enjoy leadership. And so Peter admonishes them to tend the flock willingly. One can only serve as a leader in the Body of Christ, only if he is in the Spirit. My guess is that you have concluded as I have that Stewart enjoyed the power and authority of the kind of leadership structure the worldly leaders enjoy. Stewart never displayed “he who would be great among you, must be your servant.” I don’t think Stewart would have qualified as a deacon, a bishop, and elder.

So where did Stewart belong? What would have been the right road, if indeed he ever became a Christian? Well, I would say that instead of fighting and arguing with local Christians in Allentown, he should have humbled himself and submitted himself to healthy Christian leadership. If he was so eager to find those who were truly committed to the truth, then he would have never stopped searching until he found fellowship with real Christians. He himself said at the first big meeting that he was alone all his early years as a Christian until the FF got started. This testimony alone should have been a red flag for the young FFer’s but it wasn’t.

Stewart remained alone. He chose it. Because of his pride he could not humble himself and be a part of any group. He had to lead. He appointed himself leader. Would God go against his own word and call Stewart to leadership, contradicting all that the Apostle Paul wrote on the matter? No!

It is time we ex-members insist on God’s word about Stewart Traill. It is time for the current members of the Church of Bible Understanding stop accepting this elusive definition of Stewart’s leadership and hold him to the Word of God. They do not because they fear him more than they fear God. This is their sin, and it was our sin when we accepted Stewart’s unbiblical leadership. God did not appoint him. Stewart took leadership that was not his. He also prevented those, who may have been called to lead, to succeed. He acted early on without standards and soon after, like a gentile leader, suppressed any who threatened his power. He was domineering over the flock. He was only constrained to tend us truly when we, who did receive the Spirit, were used by God to bear witness to the Chief Shepherd and to Stewart’s true responsibility as a leader in the Body of Christ.

I write this because there are some outside COBU who are trying to repeat Stewart’s kind of leadership. They will seek to either start their own group and lead it, ignoring the standards of leadership in the Body of Christ found in scripture or they will wait for Stewart’s death and then offer themselves as the rightful heirs to his throne. I do not see God directing their steps. I see copies of Stewart’s error.

Was Cobu of God? Was the FF God’s will? Should it exist? We must ask these questions first, before we make any attempt to build upon it. When Stewart dies, will God bring someone to lead these brethren? Who will it be? Can those brothers inside lead? Notice even now, you cannot find any who call themselves deacons, bishops, and elders. Are there any pastors, teachers, ministers in the Church of Bible Understanding? Can any meet the standards to hold church office? Why not? Where are the standards for leadership? Who stopped God’s will for these brothers? Will God choose someone from outside the fellowship to lead the church after Stewart’s death?

May God show the brethren in the church what to do when Stewart dies. May God grant them wisdom to appoint elders, bishops, and deacons to serve the brethren and please God, preparing for His coming.

5 Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you.

Leadership and Humility are in one another. God will not bless a leader who is proud.

I talked to my wife recently about leadership. She said, “Why would anyone be that motivated to serve.” This struck me as wise. Real leadership is real serving. Why would anyone be that into serving? I think the answer is because they don’t look at leadership the way Jesus does and therefore they should not lead. Leading is serving. If anyone wants to lead in God’s church, he must be ready to be last of all and a slave of all. This is not Stewart Traill’s current example. I’m sure those inside who would replace him won’t be much different than Stewart. They do not know any other example of leadership.

So to current members, it is time to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. You have regarded Stewart more than God and you are suffering the consequences. And to ex-members who long to recapture the days and years of the FF. You will not please God by repeating Stewart’s apprehension of leadership. If you exalt yourself, you will be humbled. If you think yourself a likely leader, it is a good sign that God has not chosen you.