not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. (I Timothy 3:6 NKJV)

New converts aren’t ready for leadership yet. Yes, just because of the fact that they are new to this thing. It goes without saying that young people are often naive and inexperienced about life and its complexities, so are new converts about the cause. A new convert is attracted to what the cause promises. They heard “the good news” of Jesus Christ and were drawn to it.

However, life only begins at birth. It seems all too easy and straight forward at the onset. Until the principles are applied and the faith put to the test again and again, until the storms and the temptations come, the beliefs questioned by the difficulties of life, until ones own choice to stay the cause becomes fully aware of and embraces the cost of the promises, one is yet naive and unfit to lead.

Jesus showed us examples for all things. He Himself became flesh and blood and lived in the shoes of mortal man to feel what we feel. The scriptures say He learnt obedience by the things He suffered. That is to say Jesus became practically aware of what it means and what it takes to remain always in agreement with God through the human experiences He had, especially the difficult and trying ones. When He was done, having gone through all that those who will follow Him will go through, He became the “first among many brethren”; the leader of many.

A real leader is one who has gone the distance, travelled the path, seen the challenges, weathered the storms, overcome the trials and learned from the mistakes. He knows where the dangers are, the uncertainties, where to discipline sternly and where to correct compassionately. He knows where to encourage and where to dish out much love. He has felt the entire journey to understand what his people are feeling every step of the way.

I don’t know about you but, I fail to see a new convert being all these. Putting a new convert in position of leadership does harm to the newbie. Because he is naive and ignorant of the real meaning of leadership, he may be deceived to think it is about ranks and become proud. Knowing nothing about leadership, and assuming to lead, he may overestimate himself, think too much of himself, have too high opinions of himself and become guilty of the same thing as the devil. In the end he will do a bad job of leading and also destroy himself. Please protect the new convert!

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