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Jesus wants business leaders

Sutton Turner » Church Church Leadership Executive Pastor

Jesus wants business leaders

Many of us assume that leaders in the church must have some sort of professional credentials, like formal ordination or a seminary degree. That’s what I thought, anyway. But what does the Bible say?

We have a tendency to treat the church as an institution rather than as a family.

Maybe that’s why we suppose that leaders in the church must have some sort of professional credentials, like formal ordination or a seminary degree. That’s what I thought, anyway. When I first became a Christian and felt God leading me to serve my church more and more, I assumed Bible college would have to be a part of my upward spiritual mobility. (I ended up going to Harvard Business School instead.)

Why business leaders write themselves off

I’m convinced that there are at least three reasons why many business-minded individuals don’t apply their abilities for the good of the church:

  1. Nobody ever asks them to lead in the area of their gifting.
  2. They buy into a false dichotomy that separates spiritual 
work from secular work, which leads to the belief that only “spiritual” roles, such as preaching and counseling, are suited for church.
  3. They assume formal theological training is a required qualification for leaders in the church.

Think about it. Do any of these three scenarios sound familiar? Has anyone ever told you your gifts are invaluable to the health of the church? Maybe you’ve written yourself off because you don’t feel qualified or suited to help lead the church—but have you considered what the Bible has to say about that? Let’s take a look.

We have a tendency to treat the church as an institution rather than as a family.

What the Bible says about the qualifications of an overseer

The Bible clearly describes the qualifications one must meet in order to be a church overseer, and a seminary degree is nowhere on the list. First Timothy 3:1–7 begins, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” This is a worthwhile ambition, according to God. The passage continues in detail, explaining that an overseer must be:

  • Above reproach
  • The husband of one wife
  • Sober-minded
  • Self-controlled
  • Respectable
  • Hospitable
  • Able to teach
  • Not a drunkard
  • Not violent but gentle
  • Not quarrelsome
  • Not a lover of money

Many business-minded individuals don’t apply their abilities for the good of the church because nobody ever asks them to lead in the area of their gifting.

Furthermore, an overseer must:

  • Manage his own household well, with all dignity 
keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
  • Not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
  • Be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Did you see anything about how many verses you’ve memorized or what degrees you’ve earned?

No! Exactly.

You may already be qualified

The qualifications of an overseer have little to do with what a man does at church, and everything to do with how he conducts himself “in his home with his family and in his world with his neighbors and coworkers.”

What it comes down to is this: an overseer is a man who loves Jesus and lives his life in obedient, worshipful gratitude; who loves and leads his family; and who cares about the church enough to want to help.

The Bible clearly describes the qualifications one must meet in order to be a church overseer, and a seminary degree is nowhere on the list.

In other words, if you can affirm all of the criteria mentioned above—if you love Jesus, your family, and your church—you may very well be qualified to serve in leadership as an overseer. It’s as simple as that.

If you are feeling a call to ministry, but have always thought that it’s for someone else—“for that guy, not me”—then I hope these words give you hope and confirmation. You and your spirit-empowered gifts are just that: gifts to the church.

If you are interested in being trained and equipped further in ministry, please consider the Mars Hill Executive Pastor Residency Program.

 


 

For more on how Jesus can use the giftings of business-minded individuals to build up his church, pick up a copy of Sutton Turner’s Invest: Your Gifts for His Mission today. You can also find him on Twitter and writing on Resurgence

 


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