By Jody Broyles
Leadership is a much talked about subject in the Lord’s church today. Some have striven to set aside the divine plan because of abuses they have seen. Others have merely gone on as usual and closed their eyes to problems that do in reality exist.
Neither of these choices are viable options for those striving to please the God of heaven. There is a dire need for men (and women) from the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun to arise in this generation. These men were part of a large company that came out armed for battle in support of David. “And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. . . Of Zebulun, such as were able to go out in the host. . . and were not of double heart” (1 Chron. 12.32-33).
Understanding of the Times
The men of Issachar possessed great sagacity. They could see beyond the events of the hour, with penetration they were able to perceive needs that existed beneath the surface. They were keenly aware in having an “understanding of the times.”
Today, men are needed who can see beyond the trials and problems of yesterday to what the church is facing today -and may face tomorrow. Men are needed who will awake out of slumber and open their eyes to the needs of both saint and sinner in the 1980’s.
A grave and often warranted concern of many people is that those who are leaders in the church don’t understand them or what they are going through. They feel like the elders and preacher are “Out of touch” and living in a bygone era. Men who have an “understanding of the times” can better know the trials people of today are facing, in their daily lives.
Knowing What Ought To Be Done
The men of Issachar not only understood the happenings of the day, but they knew “what Israel ought to do.” Their sagacity was coupled with a clear cut knowledge of what needed to be done.
Too often, even if men have enough wisdom. to see problems looming – they don’t know what to do about it, so they do nothing at all. Others wait too long (many times out of fear), and let Satan’s work of destruction go unchecked. And still there are others who want to do something to help, yet not knowing what is the right thing to do, try resulting in even more problems.
The household of God needs men who know what course of action the church needs to take in the days ahead – men who can teach everlasting principles of truth in a language suited to the day, yet without compromise; men who will rise up in the face of error and call sin “sin”; men who know how to reach troubled young people, tired elderly members, and struggling families with the healing message of Christ.
Singleness of Heart
The men of Zebulun were also ready for the task before them, for they were “not of double heart.” They had their eyes clearly fixed on making David the one king over all of Israel. Scripture has always commended those who possessed singleness of heart. It has constantly been a requisite for acceptable service to the true and living God. Doubleminded men are “unstable in all of their ways” (Jas. 1:8), and a man with his heart divided cannot serve Christ for “no man can serve two masters” (Mt. 6:24).
The church needs more men who possess the desire to make the Lord and his work their primary function in life — men who will not have minds clouded with the trivial, insignificant, and transitory things of this life; men who want to see the cause of Christ march valiantly into the future and will do whatever it takes to see that happen; men who can truly say with Paul “for me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
Men (and women) who understand the times, know what to do, and do it with singleness of heart are and will continue to be effective leaders in the church of God. “Leaders” who do not know what’s going on, don’t know what to do, and serve with divided allegiance are and will continue to be thieves of vitality and interest – impeding the progress of the church.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 15, p. 457
August 4, 1988