There is much wisdom to be learned from the life of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. On the topic of influence in leadership, his life speaks in perfect harmony with his words. Rev. J.D. Jones, who was an influential leader of the Free Church movement, was a close follower of Dr. Lloyd-Jones. At the end of his life, J.D. Jones requested the presence of Lloyd-Jones. After Lloyd-Jones (formerly a medical doctor) had informed him that he was close to death, J.D. Jones urged him to take up leadership in the Free Churches in the years ahead. Lloyd Jones protested that he could not lead the Free Churches without a compromise of his beliefs as an evangelical. He knew that without this compromise he would never be a leader in the Free Church circles. His resolve was confirmed as He pondered this meeting with his friend later that night. In his own words,
“When I went to bed I could not sleep because I was faced with this question. ‘What if somebody said to you what you have told him, that you have got to die quite soon? Where would you stand? How would you feel?’ This was the subject which kept me awake and confirmed me in my decision that I could not do what he was asking me. I also had to face death ultimately; I had to render an account to God.”
It is conviction like this that will propel leaders in the church to have real impact for the gospel in this world. When we begin to compromise the truth that God has revealed to us in His Word in order to gain a platform or a better job, we lose the integrity of the truth we are preaching. We show that we do not believe the message that we preach. We say to the world that we don’t trust God to place us where he chooses and use us in the way that he sees fit. If we do not practice what we preach, no one will care to hear our message and no matter how high a platform we achieve, or how big our churches are, the weight of the truth of the gospel will have been compromised by our lives.
Thoughts from reading
The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones