Follow the (Lay) Leader
by Ken Akers
Since I have been the director of Master’s Men, I have always been clear that I support, admire, and respect the pastors of our denomination. At the same time, however, I have stressed the importance and need for laymen in leadership roles. As I have addressed this need in retreats and conferences, through Bible studies and seminars, I have returned time and again to three specific areas where Christian laymen should be leaders.
First, men need to be leaders in their homes. Men need to be the spiritual leaders of their homes. As the man goes, so goes the family. He must be holy and committed to keeping God first…in his home, but more importantly, in his own life. He must set the right example for his wife and children. As Joshua said in Old Testament days, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). We are to love and train our children. Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to train children in the right way, and Ephesians 6:4 commands us to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Men should also be emotional leaders in the home. Ephesians 5:25 challenges men to love their wives. Not just to love them—to love them like Christ loved the church. It’s amazing how much we take our spouses for granted. Don’t let the most important person in the world be the one who is ignored and neglected the most.
They should also lead their families physically. First Timothy 5:8 makes it clear we should provide for the physical needs and protection of our families.
Men are to be leaders in the church. When Joshua became the leader of Israel after the death of Moses, the men of Israel promised to follow his lead (Joshua 1:16-18). We should follow this example and support the men of God who lead us. Support the programs of the church, and—this may seem rather blunt—if you can’t support the church, you need to find another one you can. We should be steadfast according to Hebrews 3:14, committed, faithful, and careful.
Romans 12:3-8 reminds us we have talents. Let’s use them. Many believe if they are not in the spotlight, their actions do not matter. To God, it all matters. Dedicate yourself to grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) until we reach maturity (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Be good stewards of what God has given you. This includes treasures, time, talents, and your testimony. God wants us to use what we have.
Men are to be leaders in the world. Our lives are our greatest testimony. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul challenged readers to be examples in everything we do, what we say, how we act, and even our attitude. We should guard our name (Proverbs 22:1). It holds our reputation, character, and authority.
And last, but not least, is our love. First John 3:16-18 tells us to love with actions. John 13:34-35 encourages us to let the world know we are Christians by the love reflected in our lives. It’s not up to the preacher to reach the world. We all share the responsibility.
About the Writer: Ken Akers is director of Free Will Baptist Master’s Men. Learn more: www.fwbmastersmen.org