Stephen Mattson has found several lies he says Christians often tell about our faith: You’ll always be happy and joyful. Your problems will disappear. You’ll be blessed with health, wealth, and security. Serving others is fun and rewarding. All of your questions will be answered. The Christian community is great. And Christians are better than others. The common denominator in all these statements is they tend to exaggerate the facts of the Christian life. It is why churches need leaders that carefully preach, teach, and model the sermons they preach. In telling Timothy how to select and prepare leaders like that, we read in 1 Timothy chapter 5, the Apostle Paul’s instruction: “Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well … Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses.” Timothy should avoid “taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone. Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader.” The church today needs leaders that are prepared theologically, that model the message they proclaim, and that does not twist or exaggerate the Gospel just to gain followers.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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