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Character, Credibility, and Calling

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

In my term as GCI President, I have worked with many of our longtime leaders helping to process them into retirement. It has been a privilege to come alongside these fine people. Whatever role you play in the life of the church, please realize you perform this service for a season. That’s an important lesson that I have learned. We are all interim servants. Yes, the ranges of time vary, but eventually, we will all be replaced.

Can we think about transitions with advanced planning and preparation? Succession may not be immediate, yet I suggest that it is urgent. It deserves our attention and care.

Whether you are a pastor, a ministry Avenue champion, or another position of leadership, what would advance planning and preparation look like? The critical question is, “Who are you bringing along beside you?” What traits are you looking for? Let’s consider what Paul wrote to his young protégé Timothy.

The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way— for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil. 1 Tim 3:1-7 NRSVA

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10 thoughts on “Character, Credibility, and Calling”

  1. How many times has this healthy “passing of the baton” taken place in Jesus’ church for the past nearly 2,000 years? It’s not only vital to Jesus’ body, the church, but also for the individual’s spiritual and physical health. We seek to be of maximum service to God and others as long as we have breath. It’s a new adventure every time!

  2. Regarding credibility, some scholars say that reduced to its essential qualities it comes down to two components: Competence and character.

    1. In the military the slogan “an officer and a gentleman” seems to contain the same qualities.

  3. Thanks, Greg! Loving God with our whole heart and neighbor as we love ourselves is an action! Observing upcoming leaders in our fellowship and encouraging them of their value in service to Our Triune God is vital!

  4. Greg,
    Your contribution underscores the essential basics of Christian leadership. As we look forward, my prayer is that we would more in coupling the experience and wisdom of seasoned leaders with the vibrancy and learning eagerness of the “up and coming” younger generation. We come back to the impoortance of mentoring.

  5. I like the timeless quote from one of the most capable generals to ever live. Coming from Ike Eisenhower, it’s even more powerful. And it reminds me of a quote attributed to everyone from Jack Welch to Marissa Mayer. It’s is not as elegantly put, though it is more pithy:
    “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

  6. This is a very good message and one that we all should carefully consider because our present is our future.

  7. Thank you Mr Greg for the continued words of hope and encouragement given with Godly wisdom. May we each apply these to our lives and continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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