Whereas leadership is defined by our modern society as "implementing the desires of focus groups," and
Whereas such a worldly, political view of leadership is the basis of many modern trends in Christianity, such as those used by Bill Hybels and Rick Warren, and
Whereas the idea of pleasing men runs contrary to the biblical model of leadership, which is to please God alone, and
Whereas men of character in positions of leadership in the past may not have been popular, nevertheless they were blessed of God and used to change the course of nations and history. Men such as Dr. Robert T. Ketcham, a long time leader of Fundamental Baptists, used to take great joy in clarifying his understanding of "leadership." Dr. Ketcham never felt it was his role to organize and fashion a large organization of pastors and people to settle every petty difference of opinion among them in order to establish unity and harmony. Instead, it was his opinion that the responsibility of leadership was, as he put it, to "ride point," so that others knew where he stood; they then could align themselves with him. His was not a forced unity but one where, as a leader, he illuminated biblical truth and clearly pointed out error so that men who believed and had an affinity for truth were drawn to it.
It is this type of leadership that is so sorely needed among us today. Fundamental Christianity is too often characterized in our post-modern world with unnecessary division, personal ambition, a confused apathy, and a general lack of faith in attempting great things for God. It is only as we exemplify biblical Christianity and a warm revival spirit in our lives that we are able to effectively lead others. This kind of leadership is indispensable.
It is this kind of leadership that we in the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America must aspire to attain. God has given us great examples of godly leadership in the Scriptures.
Therefore, be it resolved, that we, the members of the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, meeting in Shipshewana, Indiana, on June 17-19, 2008, do hereby dedicate ourselves and challenge one another to stand "in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13), and
Furthermore, we call on pastors and deacons to make leadership decisions that are based on the Word and will of God rather than the will of men, and
Lastly we call on our older leaders to challenge the younger leaders to
stand for godly principles of leadership.