Planetshakers Insider

Musings on Life, the Christian Journey and being a part of Planetshakers City Church

Characteristics of Leaders: Do Planetshakers Leaders Shape Up?

with 19 comments

“The Doctor” posts on the characteristics of a good Church leader…

In terms of character requirements, I want to post some key commnents from the objective source of truth – God’s Word rather than subjective opinion. Let’s consider what is stated in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 …..

Elders are to be
– blameless (they have to have a good reputation within and without the church – impeachable, above reproach)
– the husband of one wife (exhibits demonstrable faithfulness in all aspects of his life)
– temperate, self-controlled (not given to excessive behaviour, fits of rage or moodiness but moderate in life)
– sober-minded (treats his responsibility to God and men seriously – not flipant)
– just (they live right)
– holy (pure in their life before God and man – careful of what they watch and read)
– demonstrate good behavior not unruly
– hospitable (share what they have, not clicky but welcoming to all especially those in God’s house)
– able to teach (given to the study and understanding of the Word of God)
– knowing and adhering to sound doctrine (disciplined to understand the teachings of the church)
– an exhorter and encourager
– not given to wine (not excessive in their lifestyle)
– not violent or quick tempered (not a wife beater or an unruly member)
– not greedy for money, and not covetous (content with few possessions)
– not self-willed (puts the kingdom of God first, teachable not a know it all)
– a lover of what is good
– gentle, not quarrelsome (able to instruct others lovingly, not a dictator – flow or go!)
– rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (someone with a track record of keeping a disciplined house – not this does not imply severe or austere)
– have a good testimony of those outside the church (not just shining before those who can promote buit consistent in their life and lifestyle).

As you can see these characteristics are a challenge to most who profess to know Christ. We should not appoint just to fill positions because they are vacant or because of a need – it needs to be Gods appointment that will be evident to those who know the individual.

Many evangelical churches will go through the above characteristics with an individual before they appoint. They also ask the congregation to put forward objections if they are concerned about inconsistencies in a candidates behaviour. God gives gifts to the church – but elders are to be scritinised before appointment and for consistency after appointment.

Remember that the Apostle Paul commened the Bereans because they searched the scripture to make sure what he taught them was true. Paul delighted in this type of behaviour. It is frightening to think that we could have modern church leaders who encourage a swallow and follow unity amonst the church – this sort of behaviour has no basis in scripture.

What are your thoughts?

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Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 15, 2008 at 8:04 pm

19 Responses

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  1. Edited by PSI for readability – whitespace added

    I love the verses on the Bereans and feel saddened by the disillusionment of so many leaders in Planetshakers.

    They seem to follow their own respective leaders blindly and hardly ever study the word of God in depth for themselves.

    What I’ve found to be the saddest and most discouraging part of being in the church is that so many leaders only like the ‘fluffy’ stuff in God’s Word but hardly ever dare to confront hard truths such as that in Acts 17:11.

    Their reasoning is that our pastors and leaders are placed over us for a reason therefore we do not question anything they say.

    I’m all for submitting to leadership but it in no way means I have no right to question what they say in accordance of God’s Word.

    They are hardly an Apostle Paul and if Paul himself could commend the Bereans for checking what he says in line with God’s Word, why can’t our leaders?

    Our pastors speak so much of free will, when that itself lacks any biblical standing whatsoever. The only requirement to being a leader in PlanetShakers is that you must have attended DNA and faithfully attend discipleship nights.

    Do most of them measure up to the requirements as outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1?

    Most definitely not and I think all churches should be more careful in appointing leaders based on the outlines in God’s Word rather than how well they know the individual or how long they’ve known the family the individual grew up in.

    Yes it takes longer and a little more difficult to find and train leaders of good and noble character, but it’s worth it and in the end it really does help protect the church.

    VK

    September 15, 2008 at 11:37 pm

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for your blog. I find the articles very insightful.
    Am wondering whether you could clear something up that has been bothering me.
    When the MG situation was first disclosed it was said that a medical expert
    began to get suspicious. This led to a panic and confession.
    Then a confession plus vision story emerged, not a confession because he was backed into a corner. Do you know the truth?
    Obviously, someone confessing because they recognise their action as sinful is very different to someone confessing because they got found out.
    Thanks
    S

    Savi

    September 16, 2008 at 7:35 pm

  3. Savi,

    Great question.

    I don’t know. I read the medical expert story too, the week before the official statements were released.

    I haven’t heard any further confirmation about the medical story – only the confession from a vision story.

    It’s something that I would like to follow up. Do you remember the source? I was looking for this recently.

    PSI

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm

  4. PSI,
    It actully was repeated from a variety of sources when the story first broke. Each claiming it came from PS.
    S

    Savi

    September 16, 2008 at 9:57 pm

  5. Dear Planetshakers insider,

    Thank you for being brave enough to speak out about what is happening in not just Planetshakers, but many charismatic churches. We do need to be discerning, question what our leaders say and know the bible for ourselves and not just swallow every new doctrine we hear from the pulpit. There are some scary ones out their believe me! You have raised the same concerns that I have had for a number of years. Don’t be discouraged by the backlash and keep up the good work!

    Gen

    September 22, 2008 at 8:51 am

  6. Thanks Gen for the encouragement. 🙂

    The backlash has been surprisingly harsh at times – never expected it from christians, and always though discerning christians would be able to leave their emotions aside for long enough to weigh up two opposing arguments before speaking out one way or another.

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm

  7. is this deliberately provocative or just how you frame the questions PSI?

    Alex

    September 23, 2008 at 5:25 pm

  8. thats what i’m wondering too Alex…

    Daniel

    September 23, 2008 at 6:06 pm

  9. Of course I want to provoke thoughtful debate.

    I ask two questions in my post:

    “What are your thoughts”

    and

    “Characteristics of Leaders: Do Planetshakers Leaders Shape Up?” – the title of the post.

    If you’re referring to the title of this post, I fail to see how it might be more neutral than it is already…

    Let me give you some examples…

    It could have been a much more provocative “Where Do Planetshakers Leaders Fail God’s Standard”, or “How Many of God’s Yardsticks do Planetshakers Leaders Fail to Meet?”

    Or, it could have been much more biased in the positive as “Planetshakers Leaders and Living Up To God’s Standards” or “Bible on Planetshakers Leaders Characteristics”

    Obviously I need to ask hard questions – but I’m careful about how I phrase them.

    Is there a way that you would have phrased the question so that it was more neutral, and assumed neither a stance for-nor-against Planetshakers leadership?

    For the record, I believe many of the points “The Doctor” raised, Planetshakers leaders do stand up to – but there were some that they didn’t meet.

    But it’s not what I believe.

    This blog isn’t about me standing up on a soapbox and telling you what to believe. It’s about you thinking deeply about what you believe, whether your beliefs are consistent with God’s word and how Planetshakers City Church is run, and choosing how you react.

    And if you disagree or agree with anything – by all means, be loud! Don’t be timid!

    Think it through, find evidence where you can (in scripture or otherwise), write it down, and publish it here!

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 24, 2008 at 2:44 am

  10. What is so provocative about asking questions? When and where did questioning church stance and behaviour become such a no go zone? Why should we not be open to examination to how we live our lives in regards to our faith? Since when has Christianity become a “swallow all I say or be afraid” culture?
    A person matures as a disciple when permitted to question and process doubts and behaviour, and debate on issues and actions. Sometimes we do need to deconstruct paradigms that have been formed through false thinking, this is painful and risky, but only through this process can one grow. The contrast is producing individuals who have never been taught or permitted to process and reflect – their faith may be loud, but it does not go deep. And in times of controversy and contradiction they drift away. Tragic really! Seen it too many times.
    Thanks, PSI, please keep blogging!!

    Savi

    September 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

  11. @Savi – Thanks 🙂

    “their faith may be loud, but it does not go deep”

    I agree on this point when it comes to Planetshakers

    They’re loud, they know when to shout, they jump, make the right noises when they babble in tongues – but the thing that worries me is when you do a bible study with them in a small group, how shallow and basic their understanding of some key biblical doctrines are.

    Pastoral Care is key.

    Speaking with a pastor today, the issue with pastoral care at Planetshakers is that the church grew too fast, and they’re struggling to train and equip small group leaders fast enough… But at the same time, they’re still pushing to grow faster, and expand the congregation.

    PSI

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 24, 2008 at 10:45 pm

  12. -@PSI – there is a difference between provoking thoughtful debate and being provocative.

    The question was provocative in that it was pointed specifically at Planet SHakers leadership, not leadership in general. Not church leadership or christian leadership or the leadership that all christians should be showing. just one church. and it was posed in the same kind of way Today tongiht would do. a negative response is expected becasue the question is framed in such a way that it poses doubts immediately. that’s just provocative.

    Even if the question was posed: Characteristics of leadership: How do we the church stack up?
    or
    Characteristics of leadership: encouragement to us all
    or
    Characteristics of leadership: how to make the Bride of Christ more beautiful
    or
    Characteristics of leadership: applying the perfect ideal in an imperfect world

    There are so many ways you could have framed it …..
    but ot just ask “does Jo Bloggs stack up?” c’mon PSI … do you really think that’s not provocative?

    provoking thoughtful debate is good. But to personalise it at someone or one organisation and frame the question in such a way that it solicits a negative response is just provocative.

    i think you have a valuable forum and contribution to make to the discussion of the real question … what do our churches need to do to protect themselves form this kind of behaviour? but that’s different to targetting one church and plastering it all over hte internet. Attack the issue in the broader church community. becasue the issue is in the broader church community.

    what you are highlighting is just as prevalent in churches of 50 (sometimes moreso because of need) as it is in churches of 5000.

    Alex

    September 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm

  13. @Alex – To give the question context, as well as this blog, it’s about Planetshakers.

    I’d hardly say that it’s plastered over the internet though. It’s one site.

    Sure, it may be an issue in the broader church community, as a broader church culture – but I’m specifically interested in Planetshakers City Church.

    I don’t believe I can make any valuable change in the whole worldwide church community, or even the pentecostal church community – it’s too big for one blog. Plus my aim isn’t to get huge amounts of visitors to this site, or build a huge community.

    If I focus on one church, I just might be able to see change.

    “Think Global, Act Local” 🙂

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 25, 2008 at 9:00 pm

  14. What i find so special about being a Christian is coming into my faith through lengthy thought, study and reflection; it has formed a bond with God that can never be broken.
    The illustration of Paul and the Bereans shows the importance of owning our faith.
    I simply don’t understand how this cannot be encouraged in the modern church.

    Also, its nice that this was communicated, as it enables more understanding.
    It also highlights the lack of follow-up to the issue.

    “Speaking with a pastor today, the issue with pastoral care at Planetshakers is that the church grew too fast, and they’re struggling to train and equip small group leaders fast enough… But at the same time, they’re still pushing to grow faster, and expand the congregation.”

    If they are aware, then responsibility follows to meet the needs of the situation.
    When we, as humans oversee our responsibilities adequately, they increase 😉

    Mice

    September 26, 2008 at 7:45 am

  15. “but the thing that worries me is when you do a bible study with them in a small group, how shallow and basic their understanding of some key biblical doctrines are”

    While i can’t comment on PS i have seen a lot of this other places and it worries me too. Theres a few patterns that i see repeated over and over again in people who have had a lot of hype, a lot of “god wants to make your life awesome” but not much solid bible teaching
    – Something goes wrong in life. They have no foundation to stand on. They come to the conclusion that everything they’ve been taught is hype (possibly correct) and that God isn’t real afterall. People like this often become real bitter and hard to reach.
    – They get really excited about bringing their friends to Jesus (which is great) but they couldn’t properly explain the basics of the gospel very well and lack discernment. Sometimes God works despite their lack of knowledge but often the effects are somewhere between ineffective and straight unhelpful.
    – Because they don’t know truth, they fall for lies. If a new believer is not taught the truth they have nothing by which to evaluate anything new that comes at them. It amazes me how many christians get into doctines, ideas, activities and even cults that someone with even a basic doctrinal knowledge should be able to discern as not right.

    Good pastoral care is certainly important and necessary, but i believe the solution starts before that. I believe dealing with shallow theology must start in evangelistic preaching. So much evangelistic preaching these days is not at all clear, even at outreach events where they have a whole sermon to do it. Really important things like repentance and forgiveness of sin are routinely left out in favor of feel good stuff. It really doesn’t do people any favors when contentless, feelgood messages are preached because it leaves them with wrong or incomplete ideas about God and a shaky foundation on which to build further understanding.

    joanna

    September 26, 2008 at 9:25 pm

  16. Not sure if this directly addresses the topic at hand but it is related in my opinion.

    A. W. Tozer (considered a prophet in his day by many) wrote a few decades ago that “within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and disturbing trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world – and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition… So radically is the essential spirit and content of orthodox Christianity changing these days under the vigorous leadership of undiscerning religionists that, if the trend is not stopped, what is called Christianity will soon be something altogether other than the faith of our fathers.”

    The Doctor

    October 3, 2008 at 10:38 am

  17. As a former Pentecostal I am glad to have left all of thos behind me and reverted instead to sound Gospel preaching and soild faith in Christ, Andrew, fair dinkum magazine http://www.thedinkum.com

    Andrew

    November 7, 2008 at 9:47 pm

  18. I am not sure who you all are or where you are — but I am pleased at the web traffic you are sending my way….

    Thanks,

    Richard McChurch

    Richard McChurch

    March 1, 2009 at 7:07 am

  19. Hello,
    I agree 100% with what is written!
    However; I am not happy with the fact that people choose to pick on Planetshakers City Church for one mistake of one pastor!
    I have been going there for a long time and Pastor Russel Evans and Pastor Sam Evans do an extraordinary job with their church and are in fact in line with the word of God!
    And, yes, there are some leaders who are slightly questionable, but, there is no such thing as a perfect church!

    And I have been to many churches and none were this good!

    Leigh Kennedy

    June 8, 2009 at 11:00 pm


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