Christian “leadership” is completely different-in-kind than the world’s models!
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We’ve already seen in the previous BLOG Topics the gentle, fatherly care and education of “little children” that elders were to have toward those they were proistemi “manage care-giving for” – that is their Christian “leadership.” But what about the uses of hegeomai in the NT as “chief-leaders?” What about those who were to hegeomai “chief-lead” Christians that we should then “imitate the trusting-relying-faith of” in Hebrews 13:7 or “submit to” in Hebrews 13:17 because “they watch over our souls,” or the Hebrews 3:24 greetings to the hegeomai “chief-leader” and saints of the church, or Acts 14:12 where Paul is considered a hegeomai “chief-leader speaker,” or in Acts 15:22 where Judas and Silas are considered hegeomai “chief-leaders” in Antioch? Aren’t these clear-cut cases of Church “leadership” to justify the way most churches today behave? Let’s dive into this!
Well this same word hegeomai is also used for “humbly esteeming others more significantly than yourselves” (i.e., chiefly esteeming others) in Philippians 2:3 to counteract the worldly “self-esteeming” “chiefs who seek to be esteemed more than others,” so-called “leaders” that was creeping into the Church. Doesn’t this sound just like what Paul is trying to head off in Romans 12:3, 10 that “nobody should think more highly of themselves than they ought to . . . but outdo one another in showing honor?” Yes, we are “to acknowledge them who labor among you and/coupled who are proistemi managing care-giving in the Lord and/coupled who are admonishing (a) you, and to esteem them most highly in unconditional-love because of their work” (b). But you see Paul always speaking to the tendency for wanna-be “leaders” to “hog all the balls” – especially the esteem/honor ball! <Notes> a) noutheteo: ‘placing in the mind of’ – urgent reasoning by instruction and warning, b) 1 Thessalonians 5:12,
Contrary to the way most “leaders” in the Church behave, the dominant use of hegeomai in the NT is NOT to “rule over others with authority, to command with official authority, or govern” as too many translations imply and that “leaders” preach. This is actually the world’s definition! Once again, The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church is being built by picking up stones from the world! The limited times hegeomai is used for a Christian leader, it is always in relation to the character of Christ, just as the more prevalent use of hegeomai is of “esteeming others as a servant” (a). Jesus was our ultimate example of a godly leader, a managed-caregiver (b), a servant that esteemed others more than His own self-interests, and certainly not for financial gain! <Notes> a) Philippians 3:7-8; 1 Timothy 1:12, 6:1; Hebrews 10:29, 11:11, 26; 2 Peter 1:13, 2:13, 3:9, 3:15; 2 Corinthians 9:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:15; James 1:2; Acts 26:2, b) proistemi.
In light of all this, we have to be careful to correctly translate hegeomai in Hebrews 13:7, “Remember those ongoingly hegeomai chief-leading you – any that have spoken the logos gospel message of God, whom you should ongoingly reflect on the result of their lifestyle – imitating their trusting-relying-faith,” just as they were to “greet all those hegeomai chief-leading you and/coupled ALL the saints” (a), like Judas-Barsabbas and Silas who “were ongoingly hegeomai chief-leading among the brethren, [who were] to be sent to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas” (b). Thus the difficult passage of Hebrews 13:17 should be better translated: “Ongoingly be persuaded by [to trust and yield to] those hegeomai chief-leading you and/coupled ongoingly voluntarily yield, for they keep attentive watch over (c) your souls and will give an account for their own work. So let them do this with joy and/coupled not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you.” <Notes> a) Hebrews 13:24, b) Acts 15:22, c) the exact description of a bishop-overseer and pastor-shepherd.
Jesus certainly has the final word in Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 10:35-45, and Luke 22:24-30: He rebuked His disciples for thinking about leadership like the world does in terms of a top-down hierarchy, and instead turns the “organizational chart” upside down by telling us that the real “firsts” or “greats,” the ones that will sit at His right and left, aren’t the “firsts” or “greats” or “greatest among you” as the world defines them, and unfortunately as the disciples were thinking at the time, but actually are the “lasts” or “youngest” or “lowest” or “least among you” who are “servants and even slaves.” They don’t boss anybody around, but they exist to take order from others. Jesus came to be such as these and to serve as our example. This absolutely destroys the world’s concept of self-motivated, ambitious, hired for money, professional leaders that want to exercise authority over others under them, who most definitely “think more highly of themselves as they ought to” who certainly are not trying to “outdo one another in showing honor.” These kind of people could never serve as a slave in their churches without pay. Never! See the Donations page!
As Christian musicians, are we seeking to be “chief-leaders” when Jesus sought to be a servant-slave? Are we looking for honor/esteem from others, even “pay-for-play” ministry, or are you eager to show it to others without any reciprocation expected? The world’s definitions of leadership may well be tainting how you see every scripture about leadership. Do you really understand the NT terms and examples or are you simply conforming to the world’s views?