Sunday: Leadership Starts Here

Christ’s earthly sojourn was relatively brief. Therefore, the training of disciple-makers was imperative. Whom should He select? How many should He choose? Jesus’ disciples doubtless numbered in the hundreds. Should everyone undergo mass education? Christ understood that leadership was cultivated effectively within small groups, not mass-produced through lectureships. Limited numbers would be chosen for Christ’s initial graduating class.

Image © Pacific Press from

Image © Pacific Press from

Study Luke 6:12-16. What did Jesus do before He chose His disciples, and why was this so important?

Choosing effectively required advanced wisdom. Jesus approached His heavenly Father through prayer to acquire this wisdom. Likewise, prayer should precede the selection of leadership candidates in twenty-first-century disciple-making. Since Christ apparently believed that He needed extensive prayer in order to obtain the wisdom required, how much more should today’s Christians petition for divine wisdom when choosing those charged with overseeing the progress of the Great Commission?

Having chosen twelve, Jesus designated them apostles—His commissioned representatives invested with spiritual authority. The larger group of disciples witnessed this ordaining or commissioning with no apparent jealousy or negative feelings. Later, Jesus would commission a larger group of seventy-two and, perhaps, others not recorded within Scripture. The twelve apostles, however, retained the identity of those most closely associated with Jesus; they shouldered the largest responsibilities and, therefore, required the most extensive training and commitment. This arrangement clearly implies intentional organizational structure among the earliest Christians. Christ spiritually invested the leaders within that organization with capabilities and education commensurate to their assigned tasks.

Think through the implications of how much time Jesus spent in prayer. What should this tell us about our own prayer life? What does prayer do to you?



Sunday: Leadership Starts Here — 27 Comments

  1. Christ our master saw the need to train people who inturned trained others. He saw He could not finish the task alone. Equally, our pasters and elders must train leaders who will have both the experience and the spirit of God to lead the church today or tommorow. Let give them ample practice time. But we should not lose site of prayer-Yes it's a key to lock the door in the night and the key to unlock the door ln the morning. And to the rest of the Church members, let us support our leaders spiritually.

  2. [Moderator's Note: Please remember to use your full name.]

    As Christ did pray before choosing his disciples,those in authority at church and regular church members need to pray unceasingly when choosing workers for God's giudance.

  3. Praying about or for those chosen, or who choose to be leaders is a good idea. However it is worth remembering that prayer is not just the recitation of a few Christian platitudes. To be truly effective a prayer must be a commitment on the part of the one praying as well. Good followers make for good leadership when that happens.

    Let's not kid ourselves that our job is finished when we pray, "Bless the Pastor. Amen!

  4. Those that Christ chose as disciples were to receive a very real education from Him. Today, leaders need the same education. It begins with an understanding of who God is. The bible does not say that we are to be very active to know God. It simply sys to be STILL and know that I am God. Sometimes it is the hardest thing to do - to be still.

  5. We all should have a consistent prayer life. We must be in constant communication with our Father.Praying not only for self,but for others as well.The power of prayer changes people and situations.Sister White states in the book Power of Prayer:What is more important in this life than prayer? Prayer is our connection with God,our strength,our bridge to heaven! Let us continue to pray and build that bridge to Heaven.

  6. Jesus has left a most valuable example of the procedure on how to make decisions on very important matters for the smooth running of the church. Jesus went all by himself and petition the Father, ''all night''. Sometimes when we have major decisions we have to lay aside our own intentions and seek God in earnest, soul searching prayer ''all night'', because only can we get the most perfect answer.

  7. It is noteworthy that despite prayer Jesus still chose Judas Iscariot. Is this an indication that our choosing, even after prayer, may still not produce the "perfect" or "right fit" for the office and that instead of fighting between ourselves when persons chosen do not meet our expectations we should still persevere with them and seek to help (disciple) them rather than condemn them?

    • This supports that his thoughts are higher than ours. This establishes that God knows the end from the beginning and selects various people to accomplish his will contrary to our finite wisdom and plans. No judas, no betrayal, no prophecy fulfillment, no crucifixion, no resurrection, no salvation...none of I'd would

  8. Lisaanne Ward I read this in the Desire of Ages on Page 291.

    Jesus had called His disciples that He might send them forth as His witnesses, to declare to the world what they had seen and heard of Him. Their office was the most important to which human beings had ever been called, and was second only to that of Christ Himself. They were to be workers together with God for the saving of the world. As in the Old Testament the twelve patriarchs stand as representatives of Israel, so the twelve apostles were to stand as representatives of the gospel church.

  9. Jesus spent hours and hours praying to His Father in heaven so that He would choose wisely His disciples. It is imperative that leaders in the church do the same thing. Interesting enough after all the praying Jesus did, and carefully choosing His disciples, did they all pan out to be good choices? Peter denied Him three times…..Judas was a Trader…….did Jesus not make the right decisions after all that praying? The leaders in the church may pray to better choose other leadership in the church, but that doesn't mean that all choices will end up being good ones. My Point: Don't get down on the leaders of the church if for some reason one or two of their choices don't pan out like it should. Jesus was perfect, and two of His choices didn't pan out either.
    Thanks, Don

  10. As I commented earlier, prayer for our leaders is a good idea, but it needs to be more than a recitation of words. If you do decide to pray all night for our leaders what should be the outcome. If I prayed all night on Friday night, I know that I would sleep though the sermon on Sabbath. That might just be very comfortable for me but I don't think it is the desired outcome.

    Prayer, to be effective should have three key ingredients:

    1) Be receptive to the what God is trying to tell us.

    2) Be the starting point for a plan of action.

    3) Be an opportunity to think about how we can be used by God to answer our prayers.

    There is a place for prayer but let us think outside the box about how we conduct our prayer life. Our prayers should not be; "Bless Pastor Peter and give him the right words to speak to the congregation!", but "How can I best you in Pastor Peter's congregation."

    Praying the words is the easy bit. Thinking out a plan of action is the work of a lifetime.

    • Maurice, I think your three ingredients form a good start but in some ways they seem to be somewhat introspective and break down under certain circumstances. For instance, when Peter was put in jail the church could do little about the situation, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5 NKJV) and the rest is history. I think that is also one of the reasons why Paul often asked for prayer concerning his ministry which often didn’t depend on anything a particular church did for he was an evangelist and apostle entering into untouched fields far away from the influence of any church. Then there is the problem of being able to do anything good in and of our selves (Rom 7:18; Isa 64:6; Jer 13:23), therefore, we need the power of God in our lives to do what needs to be done.

      I like some of the well known quotes Ellen White had concerning prayer:

      “Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character” (Acts of the Apostils, p 564.10).

      And from a compilation by the EGW estate in the chapter titled “How to Pray” comes these quotes:

      “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him” (A Call to Stand Apart, p 26.3).
      “prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path....” (CSA, p 27.1).
      “Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God....” (CSA, p 27.6).
      “Prayer is not to work any change in God; it is to bring us into harmony with God” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p 143.1).

      I think what Lemuel says in his comment below is very relevant with respect to these quotes and together with yours encapsulates very well what prayer is about.

  11. Prayer prepares, positions and postures us spiritually so that we might perform physically. It diminishes pride. It confirms God as omnipotent and reveals our need.

  12. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. According to SSNET policy comments without full names may not be published.Thank you.]

    Why disciples were called apostle?

  13. The saviour of the world see need of prayer before He chose the twelve discples, this simply imply that will should always put those who are ready to go on Gods errand connected with heaven for vitories, pray fervently before putting anybody in position of leadership and never relent in our prayer for our leaders.

  14. Lisanne Jesus had many disciple but he chose 12 to be His regular companions that's found in mark 3: 19 In John 6:66 many turn away from Him because of what he was saying even Christian some time don't understand . just know God is Love and Jesus is Love and Trust Him we don't have to understand everything

  15. When choosing the leaders of the church, it is very important to pray first. Too often we are attracted to potential leaders with talent and charisma. The only qualifying requirements that matters for leadership is humility, and being filled and led by the Holy Spirit. But it requires the wisdom of heaven to choose people that meet this requirement. The reality is that humble and spirit filled leaders will be provided the talents they need as a gift from God.

  16. Jesus spent much time in prayer. The lesson for me is that I need to pray and seek His guidance in every thing I do.

    It is a challenge to identify willing church members to on the leadership of the various departments.

    Could it be that the leaders of the church need to pray more earnestly before electing church officers?

  17. We ought to pray for our leaders because some of the church members view those in leadership as their only role model to an extent that when those in leadership are attacked by the Devil to do something contrary to the Bible expectations they loose focus and some even back slide.

  18. God our great advocate want us to be prayerful evening at the verge of choosing leaders for the church. But to be a leader you should have more knowledge in God than worldly knowledge. “Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

  19. A sustained prayer life brings untold Blessings into our lives not to mention bringing us closer and closer to our father. Communicating with God enriches my life and develops my trust in Him so that even when He does not answer all my prayers I can still believe in Him.

  20. we are leading our personal lives and so we need christ so close just as the twelve disciples. prayer helps built a bond between sinners and Christ hence it is crucial that we thrive hard in prayer...if we are successiful in leading our llives ,our lives will be a testimony to other people. the greater the responsebility the greater the qualities needed to lead.

  21. In principle leadership should start at our home.Children should be allocated home programms that will raise up their ability and their talents discovered

  22. [Moderator's note: Please remember to use your full name.]

    What is interesting is there have been many references to the fact that Jesus prayed all night and that He was praying to the Father about choosing 12 special disciples. This is only found in Luke 6:12,13. Most if not all of Lukes information was second hand and we think Mark was the source of much of what Luke wrote about. The only other account of the same choosing of the 12 Disciples, is found in Mark 3:13-19, in which there is no mention of Jesus praying at all. We know that Jesus had many things on His mind that He sought help from the Father about. What He was facing on Calvary had to be primary of his concerns. We surmise that because the choosing of the 12 was the next recorded event that this was what Jesus was praying about. Jesus did spend many hours in prayer to the Father, however the content is not always available.

  23. Praying before, during and after choosing leaders is vital. Praying for them while performing their duties or while in office is imperative. God's Spirit is a part of all that is done in His name. Our self confidence isn't God's way of working, surrender is. In every aspect of the work of the gospel, we have to began not only to acknowledge God's will, but to invite Him into every ministry, transaction, choice and movement we take on in His name. His will is the only way His work can be done effectively.


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