World of Faith

Leadership and Influence: Part Three | July 1, 2007

Before I begin the third installment of this series on “Leadership and Influence,” I need to apologize to you, my readers, for not releasing the third installment last week. Again, I’ve had some computer problems, and I have been rather busy, so hopefully now I will be releasing a new installment every 7-10 days.

Now, last time, I continued the current series on “Leadership and Influence,” and specifically addressed the concept that true leaders influence by serving, and not just that, but that they are “role models” in modern-day culture. There is nothing more significant than someone leading by example, showing others and influencing others how to think, act, and be a Christian.

This week, as promised, I am going to explore how leadership and influence tie into spiritual gifts, specifically the ascension gifts of Eph. 4:11. Lets start with looking at a key Scripture verse, which has been discussed here before at “World of Faith, ” and that is Eph. 4:11-16 (NKJV), which says, “And He (Jesus) Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Well, that’s a lot to digest. But, here are some key points. First, the purpose of these five gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Rather than going into each of these gifts specifically (and if you want more information, read Part Three of my recent series on “Spiritual Gifts”), I’ll note that each of these gifts have an overall purpose of equipping people like you and me for their ministry. This is ONE kind of leadership and influence. But, the kind of ministry implied in this passage, which the ascension gifts are to facilitate and help grow and develop, is ALSO a kind of leadership, because leadership IS influence, and if you are serving in the church, then you are influencing and leading others, rather you like it or not.

The other key part of this passage is found in verse 16, “according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” The same concept of “every part does its share” is found in another related passage, 1 Cor. 12:28 (NKJV), “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” I strongly believe that there is a direct relationship between “every part does its share” and the gift of helps, mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:28. The Greek word that Paul uses for the gift of helps is “antilepsis,” which according to Thayer’s means “to aid or help.” Specifically, Thayer’s mentions as an example “the ministrations of deacons, who have care of the poor and the sick.” As I shared in the “Spiritual Gifts” series, this gift is really a gift at all. To me, “helps” is a ministry, and not a gift, and the “gift of helps” is a gift available to all, except those who are ascension gift ministers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers). This is because another definition that Thayer’s offers for “helps” in 1 Cor. 12:28 is “a laying hold of, apprehension, perception, objection of a disputant.” Those who serve in the ministry of helps are to lay hold of, apprehend, and perceive in order to solve a dispute, or a problem, as to effectively render aid to those who are senior church leaders. Thus, anyone who is serving, and in the ministry of helps in a local church setting, are in fact influencing others and leading, at least by example, and if not in some more direct way.

Now, the other gift-ministry that is mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:28, and that is directly related to the concepts in Eph. 4:11-16 is the gift of administration, or “kubernesis” in the Greek. Thayer’s defines this gift-ministry as “governing, government, rendering wise counsel, to steer a ship.” I believe the gift of “kubernesis,” or “governments,” or “administrations,” is essentially the same as eldership in the local church, or pastoral ministry. This is the other kind of leadership in Christ’s body.

So, essentially, every believer should be engaged in at least one of these levels of leadership and influence… either serving and influencing others, which is leadership, or five-fold ministry, which is also leadership.

Next week I’ll wrap this series up with a discussion of the result of godly influence and leadership, and that is a transformed world.

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