A Frequently Asked Question
No other subject brings more discussion to our church every two to four years than leadership elections. Nothing! The question is usually articulated this way: “Who do you think will be on ‘the committee?’”
Believe it or not, the following story really happened: Years ago just prior to the opening of a particular General Assembly, one of our dear and older ministers suddenly became deathly sick and was hospitalized. I knew him well and felt that I should go visit him. I was in the final two years of my first term of Executive Committee service. As his precious wife was consulting with doctors outside the room in the hallway, I was given their permission to walk into the ICU and pray for my respected friend. Monitors were beeping as they were hooked to his chest. IV’s were injected in his arms and an oxygen mask was resting over his mouth and nose. His eyes were closed as I walked to his bedside and quietly prayed with my hand on his arm. Then as I backed away to leave the room, he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward his side again. Pulling me close, he tried to speak. Listening carefully so as not misunderstand one word he said, I heard him ask, “Who do you think will go on the Committee?” I smiled and said, “Brother, right now, it really doesn’t matter.” But it did matter. It mattered to him. It mattered enough that even in his sickness and pain, the thought occupied a prominent place in his mind.
Many Great Leaders
The truth is it seems to matter to a lot of people. And yes, for the future of a church movement like the Church of God, it is an important consideration.
God has blessed the church with many, many great leaders. For as long as Jesus may tarry His coming, the Church will always be needing someone to lead us toward great Kingdom victories. Our church has many qualified and gifted leaders who will impact and mark the future and help us finish the Great Commission.
Because it does seem to be an important question to many, I’d like to offer some names with corresponding numbers for your consideration. That’s right, I’m going to name them for you.
First, I’ll ask you to consider Joash. I’m very fond of Joash. His file number is 1CHR27:28 (First Chronicles 27:28), which says: “And over the cellars of oil was Joash.” Joash is certainly not very popular. Really, he’s not popular at all, but he really deserves our consideration. Here’s why:
In 1 Chronicles 23, King David, who was now old and would not live much longer, prepared Solomon to be Israel's next king. He also prepared the kingdom and set things in order for Solomon to have a peaceful and successful reign. On a certain day, David gathered the people who would have positions of responsibility and made them aware of their assigned jobs.
No doubt there were many who were worthy of prestigious positions, and others who were qualified to do the more notable and visible tasks in kingdom administration. Every ear was given to David as he announced the names and corresponding places of service, as recorded in Chapter 27. One was appointed to watch over the gold; another, the silver; and still another was given the task of overseeing the work connected to the towering cedars of Lebanon. Finally, nearing the end of the day and the end of the list, another name and position was announced: “The keeper over the cellars of oil is Joash.”
Some celebrated their appointment, while others coped with the reality of the disappointment attached to their daunting task.
Joash might have been one who had to adjust to the reality of what the king had called upon him to do. Maybe you are adjusting as well. You've been called or appointed to do something in the Kingdom that was not on your wish list.
Let's look at some things about Joash that may just help you get a better understanding of his assignment and yours too for that matter.
“His Place of Service”
For Joash, his place of service was not a prominent place. His job was located in the cellars of the kingdom—the basement. It was damp, dark, and dirty, and the very nature of his work produced many hardships.
Many people want only to serve in high and lofty places, but the highest place of service is to know that you are where the heavenly Father has placed you. Someone once said concerning the work of evangelism, "If God called you to be an evangelist, don't stoop to be a king."
The truth is . . . your place of service may not be a pleasant place. We often have pleasantries mixed up with the will of God. There are no promises that one will always enjoy being in the will of God. There are no guarantees of popularity or appreciation; no promises of big houses and luxury cars. But, there is the promise of God's peace.
Jesus was seldom surrounded by pleasant conditions, but He was confident that He was in the will of the Father. Whatever the task, you can be in the place of God's presence.
For example, God said to Elijah concerning his move to Zarephath: “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you" (1 Kings 17:9 NASB 1995). We must answer the "Are you there?" question of our calling in life.
“His Purpose of Service”
Joash was appointed over a special and precious substance—the King’s oil. The King’s oil was used for heating and illuminating. It was used for nurturing, as well as for nutrition. The purpose of the oil made the place of service a little more bearable.
The place wasn't glamorous at all, but the purpose was glorious. Without it, there would have been a lack of a precious commodity. As Christ's servants, we also are guardians of a precious and spiritual commodity.
"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Remember that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and the oil of the Spirit is within each of us.
“The Person of His Service”
It wasn't because Joash was keeper of the oil that made his work special, but because he was keeper of the “king’s” oil that made his work meaningful. His work was precious because the king was precious. Jesus, our King, is far more precious; therefore, our work for Him is precious and meaningful. Whatever the Lord appoints us to do, we should do gladly because of who we are laboring for—Jesus, our King.
So with that in mind, let’s all . . .
Minister for the King
Sing for the King.
Teach little children for the King.
Be a custodian for the King.
Jesus our King gave His all. Can we do any less? Let us fill our place of service faithfully, doing all for the glory of the Lord—our King.
An Unassuming Leader
Joash had these attributes: He didn’t mind working in the dark and dingy places. He would climb out of those dark basements at the end of the day and with eyes squinting in the sunlight he’d make his way home. The oil that had imbedded itself in his skin required a thorough cleansing at days end. Maybe Mrs. Joash would ask about the “whys” and the “hows” of what seemed to be such a menial task. However, as Joash sat down for his evening meal, even the grit and grime of his daily task never got him down or caused Joash to be discouraged. He was happy as long as he knew the king was happy.
No demands. No assumptions. No regrets.
Joash—what an unassuming leader! The kind of leader God can use.
Whoever Church of God leaders are in the future, Him, Him, Him, Him, or Him, I really believe Joash will be among the number. God has always sent a Joash to help me at every level and season of ministry, and it’s made all the difference.
Oh, My Other Choices?
Simone of Cyrene—for his propensity for cross-bearing and passion for multicultural ministry (Luke 23:26).
Onesiphorus—for his consistent ministry of encouraging the saints (2 Timothy 1:16, 4:19).
Micaiah—for his commitment to truth and willingness to speak truth to authority (1 Kings 22:13).
Jethro—for his natural ability for organization and administration (Exodus 18:21-23).
Bottom line: God has people in whom He invests His anointing to lead. Whomever they may be at any given time, as they follow Christ, and we lift them up in prayer, God’s church will succeed in Great Commission accomplishments.
So, those are my choices, and it will be my joy and honor to pass the baton of leadership to them or anyone like them. And I do believe that they walk among us.