Take a quick look at the world of politics and business and you might notice there seems to be no shortage of poor leaders.
I think the failure of so many people in leadership positions is due to one of two things: 1) the wrong people are being selected as leaders, and 2) the people selected are not being developed into good leaders!
The Bible provides a wonderful example of the selection process that businesses would do well to imitate!
Biblical Style Leadership Selection
Luke records a difficult situation facing the apostles in Acts 6. The church was growing with new converts to Christianity coming from both Hellenist Jews and Hebraic Jews. The Hellenist Jews were complaining because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. This was a big problem that had the potential to divide the young church!
So the apostles got together to find a solution. They quickly realized that if they were to help out in the distribution of food, their primary task of spreading the Gospel would be neglected. They needed to expand the leadership pool, and they needed to do it quickly.
They brought the Hebrew leaders together and told them to select seven men who were known to be full of the spirit and wisdom. The Hebrew leaders selected the seven men, six of whom were Hellenists, and one man who was a Gentile proselyte. These men were presented to the apostles who approved of their selection and commissioned them by laying hands on the men and praying for them.
Six Key Steps to Select the Best Leaders
1) They recognized there was a problem. The apostles realized there was a problem and addressed it immediately.
Lesson for Us. The first step is selecting the right leaders is to recognize what the problem or situation is. How else will you know what leadership skills are needed?
2) They held a meeting to discuss possible solutions. The apostles gathered all the constituents together to come up with a solution to the problem.
Lesson for Us. Bring the people who know the most about the problem to work on the solution. That way they will be invested in the outcome because the solution is of their own making!
3) They delegated the selection of leaders. The apostles delegated the task of finding new leaders from amongst their own group.
Lesson for Us. Don’t be tempted to do work that takes you away from your primary responsibility. Delegate that work to those that are closest to the problem!
4) They established specific criteria for the new leaders. The apostles required that each of the new leaders be men known to be full of the Spirit and men of wisdom.
Lesson for Us. If you have defined the problem and developed a solution, then you can turn your attention to determining what skills will be needed to solve the problem.
5) They reviewed the proposed personnel selections. Before installing the proposed leaders, they reviewed the recommendations from the selection committee.
Lesson for Us. Delegate but stay engaged. Even though you delegate the selection of the people needed, stay engaged by making sure that the leaders that are proposed are the right leaders for the job!
6) They commissioned the new leaders. The apostles prayed over these men and laid hands on them commissioning them for their work in the ministry.
Lesson for Us. Once the leaders are selected and approved it is important to commission them for their work. Let them know what their duties and responsibilities are so they can do quality work. Finally, pray for your leaders. We all need God’s strength, and wisdom and prayer are the only way we can connect to God’s power and wisdom!
The result for the apostles was they were able to continue to do the work to which God had called them. The newly appointed leaders resolved the problem with the widows. And most importantly, the church grew rapidly and people were obedient in their faith!
We could use a little bit more of that today!
Join the Conversation
As always questions and comments are welcome. What has been your experience with leaders and the selection of future leaders? Have you worked for leaders who were ill-equipped for the job? What was the impact on the organization?
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Category: Skills | Leadership Development