Unlike our present-day church planting models and leadership, Paul and Barnabas left the churches in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch with elders after only about five months.
“And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:23).
There have been many arguments insisting that establishing leaders out of the indigenous “new” believers is too risky. If we talk about the role of pastor, overseer and elder, some would say that persons who fill these roles need years of training and even Bible College or Seminary training. If these views were viable, why did the Early Church succeed and grow as quickly as it did?
There is one clear and firm belief that the apostles used in establishing any church; they trusted the Spirit in new believers He had regenerated and baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13). His work brought to light in these “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17) qualities that were suited to the leadership role of “elder.”
One of the reasons we are so far behind in accomplishing the Great Commission is because we have tried to replace the work of the Spirit with man-made methods. Let’s return to a biblical model. Prayer and fasting will put our hearts in the right attitude to hear the Lord confirm or not, those selected for leadership. “They committed them to the Lord” as the safest hands to be in; for “He is the Head of the body, the Church” (Colossians 1:18).
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