Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Choosing new leaders

Over the coming months the current leaders of Christian Unions I work with will begin to search for new leaders. Its an exciting time, releasing new students into ministry within the context of the Christian Union. Five factors worth considering. My underlying presumption is of course that a Christian leader is a Christian... once that's in place...

Titus 1, when Titus is told to find leaders he's instructed to look for people of impeccable character. The search there is for church elders, for a new young church. No reason to aim lower just because Christian Union leaders don't have all the same responsibility of church elders. The search is for leaders of a student-led gospel centred mission team. People with good character, humble servants, self-controlled and applying the gospel to all of life.

Titus 1, the final consideration is those who are committed to sound doctrine. The healthy teaching of the gospel. Why? Because sound teaching is what is used to encourage believers and to refute those in error. Sound teaching equips God's people for action, false teaching corrupts. Even if a CU leader doesn't actually teach in the CU (though they could), they are responsible for arranging teaching and training programmes. They need to know the importance of sound teaching, and in a CU context the central truths concerning the gospel, the cross, scripture, the holy spirit - as set out in the CU doctrinal basis (the central truths that form the basis of fellowship for a CU). This isn't exhaustive of Christian belief but they are the essentials.

To be a leader in a Christian Union will require commitment to its vision. Its true in all walks of life. The Christian Union vision is: "Live for Jesus, Speak for Jesus as a Student-led Gospel-centred Mission Team on Campus". This can be worked out in various ways and the application of the vision may need some correction, but the vision remains. Get the inside story.

A Christian Union leader needs to be rooted in a local church. Good pastoral oversight and support is essential. Christian Unions gather students from a wide range of local churches to do evangelism together. The second consideration then is to try and get some kind of church mix on a leadership team - its not essential, but just helpful.

This is really not essential but is helpful - its just good sense to have a mix of guys and girls on the team, and to have a range of people, people with different personalities, perspectives etc. People are different and that's ok! In fact our differences display God's glory in being able to unite people by the gospel.