The Master’s Plan for the Church is a revised and expanded edition of Shepherdology by John F. MacArthur, Jr. Some contemporary church leaders fancy themselves businessmen, media figures, entertainers, psychologists, philosophers, or lawyers. Yet those notions contrast sharply with the symbolism Scripture employs to depict spiritual leaders. In 2 Timothy 2, for example, Paul uses seven different metaphors to describe the rigors of leadership. Each of those images evokes ideas of sacrifice, labor, service, and hardship. They speak eloquently of the complex and varied responsibilities of spiritual leadership. Not one of them makes out leadership to be glamorous. That’s because it is not supposed to be glamorous. Leadership in the church—and I’m speaking of every facet of spiritual leadership, not just the pastor’s role—is not a mantle of status to be conferred on the church’s aristocracy. It isn’t earned by seniority, purchased with money, or inherited through family ties. It doesn’t necessarily fall to those who are successful in business or finance. It isn’t doled out on the basis of intelligence or talent. Its requirements are faultless character, spiritual maturity, and a willingness to serve humbly.
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