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Monday, September 28 2015

There have been well known leaders throughout history.  Several books in the Bible are dedicated to great leaders such as Moses, Joshua and David.  History reveals other great and famous leaders that have made a lasting impact on man.  Men and women with the names like Washingon, Lincoln and Tubman.  But there are many leaders that may never have books written about their exploits or only appear for a short time but make a lasting impression.  James was such a leader.

The 15th Chapter of Acts reveals a time in the church when a decision had to be made.  A false doctrine was beng introduced and the elders assembled to decide the validity of the teaching.

Acts 15:1-2 KJV
[1] And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said , Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
[2] When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
It is in the meeting that the leadership of James is revealed.  James was the leader of the church orgnization.  He was tasked with leading such giants in the Gospel as Peter, Paul and John.  
We can learn the following leadership lessons from James from this meeting:
  1. James Listened to all Sides

Leaders must be listeners.  It is detrimental for a leader to employ or appoint subordinates that are simply going to repeat the leaders ideas without giving their thoughts.  "Yes men" are not in the best interest of a leader.  James took the time to listen.

Acts 15:13 KJV
[13] And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
     2. James Trusted his People
Trust breeds loyalty.  James trusted his people and what they told him. He did not discount the word of others and used their ideas to move the organization forward.
Acts 15:14 KJV
[14] Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
     3.  James Understood the Word
A Christian leader cannot lead without having an understanding of the Bible.  He used the Word in making his decision and did not base it soley on his knowledge or experiences.  
Acts 15:15-18 KJV
[15] And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
[16] After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
[17] That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
[18] Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
     4. James was Decisive
A leader must often times make decisions quickly and stick to them.  A leader that is indecisive or procrastinates frustrates their subordinates. This can cause a break down in trust and cause a fracture in the organization allowing others to potentially push the leader aside.
Acts 15:19 KJV
[19] Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Leadership can be witnessed in a variety of places.  James did not have the "name" that many of his subordinates had, but he had their respect.  He was able to lead because he showed the attributes and willingness a leader.  


Posted by: Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr. AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email