How this article title come about.
I kept on thanking Father God Jesus for the new job HE had arranged for me. It was really a miracle for me. This year August 2012 was my 1 year anniversary of being graduated from SOT 2011. In actual fact, I had forgotten that I had told my mother-in-law that I probably will be working in church after graduation to justify for my decision to a quit telesales job. I had actually forgotten about my “assurance”. By the way, my mother-in-law suffered stroke during sleep and is still in comatose. My wife’s cousin whom I had not seen for almost 30 years, flown from Australia and he told me that he was informed by mother-in-law that I studied SOT to be a Pastor. My mother-in-law was really serious about my promise that I will work in church. He came to Singapore to pray with me for mother-in-law’s recovery and also his wife received words from our Lord Jesus “that the work had been done.” I confirmed the status to them that it was so on that faithful Monday when I prayed as prompted by our Holy Spirit. On that day, the doctor had showed us the scan that she had suffered blood clog and is as good as brain dead but Lord Jesus healed her as I prayed for her, speak-in-tongue and interpreted my own tongue. She is now at her home, but eyes still cannot open though she is very conscious of things happening around her and can respond to our question and sometime mutter a few words.
So, one day as I was doing my routine web design job, I complained to Lord Jesus in prayer that it had been 1 year since I had graduated from SOT, the church is not accommodating in anywhere that could lead me to work in church. Then my prayer was answer with couple of revelations, it seems that the church is very much system run and many criteria must be met before anyone can work in church, must be recommended by CGL which is subjective to one’s opinion, certain level of qualification and perhaps number of years serving in ministry. Then once I have this knowledge understood, our Holy Spirit prompted me to apply for a job in one of the internet portal. I submitted about 8 entries. Then on the same day, I received one phone interview and then next day a call to go for a job interview. Praise the Lord! I got the job but I have to retake my M5 exam. Well, I had to read the notes couple of times, and practice the mock exam, repeat about 5 times. It was quite stressful because my exam was only 5 days away. Then as I read the notes and took the mock exam and also at the actual exam day, the words “Fit and proper” kept appearing. It is some kind of revelations. And I really prayed about it and somehow, my senior partner coached me and informed me that this is the message our Lord wanted me to convey to church people. So here am I writing this article “Fit and proper leader.”
What is the criteria to be a Fit and proper Cell Group Leader?
1. God fearing.
You must be God fearing in order to do God’s work else you will be only listening to man and the worst enemy, the worst man that you feared the most is your own voice. The old man that is living inside of you. Ever since the day of fallen Adam, this “old man” that is inside is being subject to the ruler of this earthly generation. Learn from the example of King Saul and King David. Both of them committed sins. But why the different end result, one forgiven and the other was not?
King Saul disobey God by sparing the life of Agag , King of Amalek. 1 Sam 15:24 “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.”
King David committed adultery and murder and later repented. 2 Samuel 12:13 “Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.”
The answer is this King Saul disobeys God’s direct command while King David commits sins but he repented. It would seem that disobeying God’s direct command is a very severe sin than man sin. We thus need leader who are God fearing and obeying or else this leader would be listening only to people because he is just like King Saul; people fearing and pleaser.
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
2. Good shepherd
Guide, teach and protect his sheep. Clearly if you are a good shepherd, your members will listen to your voice and have complete trust in you because, they know that you will even lay down your life for them. Unfortunately leaders who are “System based” won’t even do the minor insignificant thing for their members. They are in the opposite end. They expect members to fit their system before they are willing to be their shepherd. They became the “hired shepherd” only as depicted in this part of the bible, they won’t care much about the sheep. Although this type of leader shepherd don’t work only for money but they do work for their face saving or status, they will not hesitate to dismiss any member who don’t fit their system criteria.
The leader must have the interest of each member at heart. Care to spent time to get to know the individual better. If possible participate in their life. Even dialogue with them in social media. Have the gift of wisdom and discerning ability. To know the needs of members without being told. Leader cannot be playing doctor. That is how doctor see patient, they would ask the patient “What’s wrong with you.” It is really a funny practice where the sick person have to tell doctor of what sickness they have instead of the doctor giving the examination and tells them what’s wrong with them. Leader should have the ability to receive the Gift of knowledge combined with other spiritual gifts to help their members.
John 10:11-21 (NLT) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.”
View this video, the father sacrificed his life so that his son and daughter can live. The grievous mistake was someone dropped the money bag.
3. Support and help member fulfill their God’s given vision.
It would be very damaging if church appoint a leader themselves never receive direct vision or dream from Father God Jesus. They will very unlikely able to envisage or believe the visions of their members, but instead they became “Jacob, the vision killer”. It is very dangerous to have this type of leader because they set a very bad example for the others to follow. Let’s take a look at Joseph’s story.
In Joseph’s second dream, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to him (Gen. 37:9). He told this second dream to his brothers and his father. Joseph’s father said: “Do you expect your whole family to come and bow down before you?” Genesis 37:10 “So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” Later on, Joseph’s brothers hated him even more and plotted to kill him but didn’t, instead sold him as slave. Here were two problems to this issue :-
1. Jacob (symbolic meaning of Spiritual leader) did not believe that the dream Joseph had is from God. If he had, he would had support and help Joseph fulfill his dream. Unfortunately he became a dream/vision killer, rebuked Joseph of his dream. Joseph being a innocence as a naive child shared his God’s given dream hoping that his father can help him understand the dream or even help him fulfill his dream but unfortunately not only was he being rebuked, his action leads to another problem.
2. Jacob’s action thus encouraged the other brothers to hate him more and justify their right to do evil to Joseph.
We need leader who themselves had personally received visions and dreams from Father God Jesus. This should be the concrete proof that he or she is Holy Spirit filled and will definitely move in accordance with the Holy Spirit. Only those who are born of Spirit will understand spiritual things. 1 Cort 2:14 “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” In addition, the leader must be a visioneer and has good habit of keeping records of visions even though it maybe insignificant as most of the vision is given in parts. (Read my article “One man’s vision is another man’s illusion” to understand) He will diligently obey the command of the bible as stated in Habakkuk 2:2 “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
4. Practice God’s equal love, do not practice favoritism.
Matthew 22:37-40 “ Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Here Lord Jesus speaks of the two parallel beam of love, vertically loving God, horizontally loving people. Only if there is upward loving of God then there is infilling of God’s love and the horizontal beam is the equal sign with open end that allows love to flow eastward and westward to all people surrounding the individual. The pyramid love is in non existence! Do you reward and love only those who pleases you? Do love only those who loves you and at arm’s length? Be clear about yourself, God’s love is not like that! “For if you love those who love you, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect. Just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:46-48 Click link below to read and understand fully.
James 2:1 “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.”
James 2:9 “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
5. Ethical in his dealing.
Matthew 5:37 “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”
Leaders must be honest in his or her dealing. Let the “Yes” be “Yes” and “No” be “No”. Leader not only must be truthful, honest but also decisive in his or her dealing because as the bible had stated, anything other than the “yes” or “no” is from the evil one. I think it is hard for some leader to understand. When members propose or suggest something, they are sincere and gives due respect, looking up upon leaders and serious about. They expect the leader to provide an answer. Members who are pro-active and creative will not hesitate to propose ideas. Some of these suggestions could be mooted by our Holy Spirit and we all know very well that the devil knew that he has little time on earth and he is all out to destroy God’s work. Leaders who are not moving in Spirit will be influenced by the devil to keep quiet about any good proposal. Why? Because they are very self-centered, and the devil gave them pride such that they think that they have the best solution and system in place. Any input from member, they would just shrug off without giving an “yes” or “no” answer and little did he know, he is preventing the work of God from being carried out. The member felt had been somehow betrayed. And there had been cases of members’ idea being stolen.
Also leader maybe biased to people whom they like more and chances is that they will be quick to approve their suggestion or ideas. This tantamount to the practice of favoritism.
In addition, from what I learned in M5 notes, there are 3 criteria for “Fit and proper test”, though these are criteria set by MAS for relevant person to be consider for the financial job, we can use for biblical principle :-
1) Honesty, integrity and good reputation.
2) Competent and capability.
3) Financial soundness.
In summary, Loving God and people fervently. Only than “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:40 The Fit and proper leader must had gone through the 3 level of Spiritual growth. He or she must had bear the fruit of Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.”
When God asked Solomon of the things he could ask for, he asked for the right thing not for himself but for the people. “God said; ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’” I Kings 3:5
“So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1 King 3:9
God is was well pleased with King Solomon’s request and HE said to King Solomon “I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.” 1 King 3:13