Leadership has been defined in various way by many unique and diversely talented individuals. I suppose there is not really a black and white plan one can follow to be the greatest leader possible, however I do believe that scripture has many principles that can help us understand the pressing need to not only develop ourselves to be great leaders, but to develop those who follow us to be great as well.
In my opinion, one of the greatest deficiencies of the post-modern church, is our inability to develop young men and women to do the work of God as effectively as the previous generation. There is a need in our world for this generation of young men and young women to grab a hold of this message and reach this lost and dying world. Comments have been made, that we are lacking capable young ministry… I couldn’t disagree more. When I look at my peers, I don’t see young ministers who are incapable; I see young ministers who simply haven’t been given an opportunity to shine!
As we examine this critical and timely subject let’s look at a couple of examples of spiritual development. Recently I was drawn to a rather unusual portion of scripture. The scene is captured in 2 Kings 4, the Prophet Elisha had been the recipient of very generous hospitality by a Shunammite woman. As Elisha is resting in the chamber that was provided by this family, the man of God desperately wanted to find a way to repay this woman for her sincere appreciation of the ministry. Suddenly Gehazi speaks up and acknowledges that this unfortunate woman was barren, and aging. So the prophet prophecies to her and tells her by this time next year you will have a son.
As the boy grows the Bible records a very traumatic tale of the fate of this boy. Te Bible says that the boy was in the field with his father when tragedy strikes. This unfortunate scene is found in 2 Kings 4:19-20, “And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.”
The woman sets out to find the man of God, trusting that his prophecy wasn’t in vain. Elisha doesn’t go to the house, instead he sends Gehazi to the house with his staff and commands him to place the staff upon the head of the boy. Gehazi does exactly as he’s asked, and the Bible says in 2 Kings 4:31, “And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.“
In scripture the staff is a symbol of ministry. In the desert as God was preparing Moses to embark on the task of leading Israel in their exodus from Egypt, Moses couldn’t see how these people would believe him. So God asked Moses a question, “What’s in your hand?” When Moses revealed that he was holding a staff, God told him to cast it down and it became a serpent. He was then instructed to pick it back up and it became a staff again. He was telling Moses that Israel will recognize God’s anointing on him by witnessing the anointing of his ministry.
So when Gehazi comes to the boys room, we see an fascinating spiritual picture. Allow me to take my liberty here, this boy represents this generation of young people. He was prophetic and he was God ordained. I believe this generation of young people are a prophetic generation. I believe these are they in which “…whom the ends of the world are come.“ They may have a call of God on their lives, but like that young boy there is an issue in their head. And many talented young men and young ladies sit in comatose, which basically means you are unable to function. Why? Because of the issue in the head. The devil is after your mind young people! He wants you paralyzed by confusion and temptation. He wants you halted by fear and heartache. He’s not after your calling, he’s after your mind!
When Gehazi laid the staff upon the boy’s face, the Bible says nothing happened. Now understand the Bible is very specific, the scripture says literally there was neither voice, nor hearing. The staff, or the ministry was upon this young man, but the Bible says he could speak and he couldn’t’ hear. Have you ever talked with a deaf person? Their voice sounds different, and it’s hard to make out what they’re saying. But the problem isn’t their voice, it’s their hearing. Because what you hear determines how you speak.
It’s a head issue! The mind of modern ministry is weakened by their labor, because they trust in themselves rather than in their anointing! And they have entered a spiritual state of a coma, alive but unable to function; anointed but unable to minister. And like a deaf person, they can’t speak because they can’t hear God!
The devil is after the mind of the ministry, because once we tune out truth we’ve lost our message!
So the Prophet Elisha comes to the house, and the Bible says in 2 Kings 4:34 that “…he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and stretched himself upon the child…”
That is he put his message in his mouth, and his vision in the boys eyes and his anointing on the boys hands, it wasn’t just a resuscitation, it was a spiritual transfer!
That’s significant because we can’t afford to allow our young ministers to die in a coma! We need men of anointing to stretch themselves to whatever degree necessary in order to transfer their anointing into the next generation! We need the message of our elders! We need to vision of our elders! And we need the anointing of our elders!
I would still be an “incapable” minister, if it were not for my pastor investing into my ministry. I’m glad as a young inexperienced preacher, I had an elder who was willing to put his message in my mouth, his vision for Tyler in my eyes and empowering my hands to do the work of God!