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Most churches make the mistake of selecting as leaders the confident, the competent, and the successful. But what you most need in a leader is someone who has been broken by the knowledge of his or her sin, and even greater knowledge of Jesus’ costly grace. The number one leaders in every church ought to be the people who repent the most fully without excuses, because you don’t need any now; the most easily without bitterness; the most publicly and the most joyfully. They know their standing isn’t based on their performance.

— Tim Keller

My response:

my response:

I think Keller is right, but there is definitely more to it. It seems to me that if you have leaders without the gift of leadership, you will flounder. God placed leaders in the Body, and leaders will lead – they can’t help it. Leaders who are led by those without the gift of leadership become very frustrated.

However, if you have leaders without brokenness, big trouble. Been there, done that!

Perhaps Tim is reflecting the teaching method of his mentor, Jesus, who used hyperbole to make a point.

Look first for gospel-centeredness, then gifting. First, humility. Then, ability.

To reverse that order is to deny the heart of the church.



  1. wow. what a great quote.

    how do you balance assessing skills and experience with gospel centeredness when either picking a leader or as you aspire to become one?

  2. btw: where did you find this?

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