Hold Your Horses

So God has been really stirring me in the last few weeks about the subject of maturity and testing for leaders in His Kingdom.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partakers of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.” – 1 Timothy 5:22

As we all know, people are very precious to God. They must be precious to us as well. But before we give people great power and authority in a church, they first need to really be tested and proven. The Lord is impressing upon me more and more the importance of those in leadership positions to know who individuals really are and how they will perform in various circumstances.

The Apostle Paul referred to this process in 1 Timothy 5:22. The word “suddenly” is the Greek word tachus and in this verse carries the idea of doing something quickly or hastily. The words “lay hands” are from the Greek word epitithimi, which means to place hands upon. In both OT and NT times, a “laying on of hands” ceremony was stamping that individual with a seal of approval. When a leader laid hands on a person, they were signifying that they believed in him, supported him, and desired to empower him for a certain task.

Paul is saying to us don’t give your seal of approval to people too hastily. You see it’s very possible for us as leaders while looking to fill roles quickly to lay hands on people too quickly – I am learning the hard way. I have students and leaders alike always asking and prodding me for the next opportunity to grow in leadership and authority, to preach a sermon, or to lead in a ministry. But I must not make a foolish mistake that will produce painful consequences for all.

If you feel God has chosen you, DO NOT get frustrated if you are held back for a while by those who are in authority over you. It is wise and right for them to really know you, to test you, and to be sure you are the right candidate for the task.

If God has REALLY chosen you, it won’t hurt you or the call He has placed on your life to wait just a little longer. If anything, your divine call will be confirmed and reconfirmed again and again as you wait patiently for God’s timing to be manifested.

Don’t forget: If you have the talent and anointing for a more influential ministry but lack the maturity to handle it, God wisely holds you back until you’re ready. Quite often, this “holding back” comes by way of your leader.

After all, nothing is more important in a church than the people the pastor chooses for its leadership.