“Do not ordain any one hastily; and do not be a partaker in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22 WNT)
A leadership position in the church is certainly a position of great honor, influence, and authority. When wrong people are put in a position of authority in the church, we should not expect things to be right in the church.
The present moral and spiritual degeneration or decadence in our churches today reflects her leadership.
It is sad but true that our spiritual leaders today are primarily responsible for our spiritual and moral bankruptcy. They are the ones who have driven the church to the miry clay.
Many who occupy high positions of influence and authority in our churches today have no business being there, for they lack essential leadership qualities highlighted in the Scripture.
1 Timothy 3:1-13 – NKJV
1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);
6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,
9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.
11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.
12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Titus 1:5-9 – NKJV
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you–
6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Without mincing words, if today’s church is going to come out of the miry clay where ungodly leaders have grounded her, there must be a real pruning and shaking in the present leadership of the church.
The truth is that many of those we have ordained as ministers of God in our churches today are not indeed called and chosen by God but are just victims of spiritual deception and manipulation.
Many were enticed, coaxed, or coerced into ministry or taking up leadership positions in the church by ambitious and carnal church leaders who were into a rat race of building empires and making names for themselves.
Many vibrant and zealous young men and women who are spiritually immature and undiscerning have been manipulated, coaxed, or cajoled into working for selfish and ambitious leaders in the church to help them achieve their inordinate ambitions. Sadly, they erroneously think they are working for God.
These selfish and ambitious leaders deceive immature believers into believing God has called and chosen them to be His servants under their leadership.
Apostle Paul warned Timothy about laying hands hastily on men to set them apart for ministry or leadership positions in the Church.
Paul admonishes, “Do not ordain any one hastily; and do not be a partaker in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.” (1 Tim. 5:22 WNT).
Suppose only our Bishops, Senior Pastors, General Overseers, or Superintendents have heeded this great admonition or warning. In that case, the Church might not have landed in the dirty and muddy water she has found herself in today.
God, who searches and knows the hearts of men, holds the prerogative to choose and call those He desires into His service or leadership position in the Church. Even the Lord Jesus, while in the world, did not choose His disciples arbitrarily or hastily.
The Scripture records that the Lord Jesus communed with His Father all night before choosing twelve apostles among His disciples to be the foundational leaders of the New Testament Church.
Luke 6:12-13 – NKJV
12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.
Likewise, when it was time for someone to be chosen and appointed among the early disciples to receive the ministry and apostleship of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed the Lord Jesus, the disciples didn’t go about it arbitrarily or hastily.
First, they proposed two men (Joseph and Matthias) among the disciples who had accompanied them all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John to the day Jesus was taken up from among them (Acts 1:15-26 NKJV).
Second, having nominated Joseph and Matthias, the apostles then prayed, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen “to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:24-26 NKJV).
Unfortunately, today, in many of our churches, leaders or ministers are not chosen prayerfully but primarily based on their educational qualifications, financial status, family background, eloquence, or relationship or affinity with the Senior Pastor, General Overseer or Bishop.
No wonder many leaders in our churches today are not even genuinely born again. Many of them are so un-Christlike in their speech, conduct, or character that even the unbelievers will not consider them followers of Christ. What a disgrace!
Dear servant of God, when you ordain or lay hands hastily upon anyone not called or chosen by God, you become a partaker in whatever evil the person does.
This is why Paul warns Timothy, saying, “Do not ordain any one hastily; and do not be a partaker in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.” (1 Tim. 5:22 WNT).
Beloved, don’t become a tool in the hands of any man of God to be used in building a name or empire for himself. Don’t let any man of God ordain or lay hands hastily on you but be fully convinced that God is the One calling you into the ministry or leadership position in His Church.
As Barnabas and Saul, don’t be in a hurry to go out but wait until you are well taught, equipped, grounded in the truth, and sent out by the Holy Spirit.
The early Church leaders did not lay hands on Barnabas and Saul until the Holy Spirit had called Barnabas and Saul.
Acts 13:1-4 – NKJV
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
What an example for us today!
God will undoubtedly shake off all the corrupt leaders in today’s Church who have become a clog in the wheel of the Church.
Therefore, lay hands hastily upon no one, and let no one lay hands hastily upon you to actualize, advance, promote, or protect his selfish ambitions, dreams, or desires to build an empire and make a name for himself.
Friend, wait patiently on the Holy Spirit to call, prepare, equip, and send you forth into the work, ministry, or assignment He has for you.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, grant me discernment to hear, know and recognize when the Holy Spirit calls and sends me forth into the ministry you have prepared me for. I refuse to be a tool in anybody’s hand to be used to build a name or empire for himself, in Jesus’ name. Amen.