Torch, Fall 1988

\ \ "; / An interview with Dr. Warren Wiersbe , General Director and Bible Teacher of the Back to the Bible Broadcast based in Lincoln, Nebraska and aired over 600 radio stations worldwide. Q• Do you think it is appropriate to aspire for leadership? A. Yes. The Apostle Paul tells us to covet spiritual gifts. So I think it can be pleasing to the Lord and a sanctified desire for a person to want to lead as long as he understands that "the chief is servant of all." If he is a servant who leads and a leader who serves, he'll make it. Unfortunately there is also a selfish aspiration for leadership. A person who has an ego problem wants to be a leader because he thinks leaders are important, recognized, and so forth. He does not know the character side, preparation side, and sacrifice side of it. I feel that Matthew 25:21 is God's pattern for leadership-"Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord." I have just tried to be faithful in the few things He gave me to do. The reward for faithful work is more work, and that's been my experience. Q• Is part of the romance the idea that the leader is on the top? A. No one is on top all alone. Leadership always includes accountability to someone above us and below us. We are to be submitted to God , and we have dedicated our lives to the success of other people. The New Testament teaches and the Old Testament illustrates that only the person who is under authority has the right to exercise authority. I suppose the romance of leadership is ultimately the romance of growth. A leader has a great opportunity to grow. Followers can grow too, but, if God puts you in leadership, He will equip you. And as He does, He ' II increase your wisdom and skills . 6 Q• Can ambition degenerate into a pride of leadership? A. Sure. Being in the lead has its perks - perhaps a bigger office, a longer vacation, a larger salary, and an expense account, but we must remember that God is the one who sets one up and puts another down . Scripture teaches the proud to "...take heed lest he fall " (I Cor. 10:12). Q • Will authority bring stature? A. I think we have to distinguish between authority and stature. Authority is handed to you. Stature you have to earn. As long as a leader handles authority and realizes how danger– ous it can be, he is all right. As for stature, workers either recognize you as a leader, as a man of God, as somebody committed to Christ and to the work, or they just see you as a boss. And I would rather have stature that is earned because of character, life, and ministry. In any organization you lead by authority and you influence by stature. The two go together. The ideal is when our stature matches our authority. Q• What kinds of individuals best handle the romance of leadership? A. Godly persons, those who possess a dedication to their calling and a willingness to grow. It's amazing to me how God chooses dedicated folks to grow into unfamiliar jobs. I have learned that these kinds of individuals learn fast and handle the romance of leadership well. It doesn't go to their heads because they realize all the credit for their advancement is God 's.