Subscribe via RSS Feed

Numbers 11 and a Pentecostal Theology of Church Leadership

Thus, as Stronstad has also pointed out,8 a divinely initiated, prophetic-speech event in both Numbers 11 and Acts 2 was clearly presented as evidence to the observers that the Spirit was working in those chosen for a ministry function. Therefore, I conclude that Numbers 11 strongly supports a concept of initial, observable evidence of the empowering of a believer to fulfill God’s purpose as a witness for the Lord. The public demonstration in Numbers 11was a one-time occurrence for a sign (verse 25). However, Levine makes a good point that, “Their ecstasy was a passing experience, but their status, and presumably their new competence, were permanent.”9

The biblical idea of prophetic speech was that it was a communication flowing from an intimate communion with the Lord. Prophets were people who were privileged to have such intimate contact with God that they were allowed to be his spokespersons. The experience of God’s Spirit coming upon a person for ministry and mission is shown consistently to be a prophetic one of intimate communion with the Lord in the Spirit and communication from him by the Spirit.

The big question is not what will I be able to accomplish in my leadership ministry. Rather, will I trust God and be led by him?

The eighth point that needs to be made is that leaders must not think we can or need to control the distribution of the Spirit. In Numbers 11, not all who received this experience of the Spirit did so in the official way, at the designated place. God had called them to come before the place of his presence at the Tabernacle, before the congregation, but two did not make it. However, God still put his Spirit on them in the camp. Joshua called for Moses to stop them (verse 28). In contrast, Moses made it clear that there was no need to be jealous for his authority and he expressed the wish that all God’s people would be prophetically empowered by the Spirit. Therefore, all leaders should relinquish self-serving, narrow-minded restrictions over who may minister. Of course, all workers and leaders must be proven, solid disciples, but we must not fail to release people to the ministries God wants for them because of our insecurities and clinging to control. Sometimes only 10 percent are doing all the work because leaders have an unhealthy need to be indispensable. We must be open to God working in ways that cut across our pride and rigid traditions. Pentecost has always offended extremely controlling types. Real freedom from the stresses of ministry comes when we give control over to God. Leaders are to bring order and direction to a group but they must not make those decisions on their own and must never think or act as though they have the power in themselves. We should simply act as obedient messengers from the Lord. Furthermore, no human is given authority to control the transfer of the Spirit to others. God transferred the Spirit from Moses to the seventy; Moses did not do it.

Pin It
Page 6 of 8« First...45678

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Biblical Studies, Summer 2009

About the Author: Roger D. Cotton, S.T.M., Th.D. (Concordia Seminary) and M.Div. (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary), is Professor of Old Testament at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri since 1987. He is the author of a commentary on Leviticus in The Complete Biblical Library (World Library Press, 1995) and the chapter on the laws of the Pentateuch, “God Reveals Himself to His People,” in They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament (Logion Press, 2003). He was an associate pastor at West County Assembly of God in St. Louis from 1983-1987. He is a member of The Institute for Biblical Research and the Society of Biblical Literature.

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    Studies in Acts

    Daniel A. Brown, PhD, planted The Coastlands, a church near Santa Cruz, California, serving as Senior Pastor for 22 years. Daniel has authored four books and numerous articles, but h...

    Will I Still Be Me After Death?