Christ is pre-eminently their leader. He is the
"leader and completer of faith" (Hebrews 12 v. 2)
The Holy Spirit is also a leader. "as many as are
led by the Spirit of God, these are Sons
of God" (Romans 8 v. 14)
The scriptures show that leadership is a principle
with God (Hebrews 13:7, 17) and He provides His
people with leaders from among them to show them
the way and to protect them. The idea is that the
leader goes before, according to the pattern of
Christ and in doing so, he suffers.
There were great leaders in Old Testament times
e.g.; Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, David,
and the Prophets. It was an unbroken line of men
with moral power through self judgment, who knew
the mind of God for His people. Likewise, in New
Testament times there were the apostles and particularly
Paul whose ministry constitutes so much of the New
Testament (Colossians 1:25).
Christ in His faithful love continued to provide
leaders for His church, many in obscurity perhaps,
but also ones such as Luther, Wycliffe, and many
others. In 1828 there was a spontaneous movement
among many devout Christians to separate from the
established churches and distinctive leadership
was provided by the Lord in J.N. Darby. This character
of leadership continues to the present day.
Leadership also has a place in each of the localities
of the Exclusive Brethren in persons of moral worth who are committed to care
for the welfare of their brethren.
Exclusive Brethren Leaders are not selected by vote and are
not formally ordained. However, Exclusive Brethren respect
the gain and virtue of leadership, and leaders are
identified by their love and care, and ministry
to the Exclusive Brethren. " A man's gift maketh room
for him." ( Proverbs 18:16)
This unbroken line of divinely accredited
has been bitterly attacked because the leaders have
been marked by purity, unselfishness, and refusal
to compromise the principles that govern the basis
of Christian fellowship and the house of God.