A lot of people get wiped out in Numbers 16. And it all starts with a committee meeting gone wrong:
“Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram , sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent 2 and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. 3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron…”
Did you catch that? “Well-known community leaders” supported the insolent Korah. Men who rose to power, became cranky, and were looking for as many ways as possible to undermine the authority of those God had chosen to lead.
This is what it looks like when the deacons, or elders, or the board opposes the leaders. But because of their opposition LOTS OF PEOPLE DIE.
- v.32 “the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah”
- v.35 “and fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense”
- v.49 “But 14,700 people died from the plague”
And the same spiritual principle is true in the church today. If leadership is driven by ego instead of humility, the people will suffer.
Hebrews 13:17 says “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
Why make your pastor’s life a nightmare? Church leaders are called by God to keep watch over the flock. They don’t need to hear from the Sunday School Committee, the Van Committee, the Transportation Committee, the Recreation Committee, the Women’s Committee, the Men’s Committee, the Finance Committee, the Building Committee, the Search Committee, the Missions Committee, the Baptism Committee, the Carpet Committee, the Sanctuary Committee, the Outreach Committee, the Parking Committee, the Landscape Committee, the Library Committee, the Kitchen Committee, the Fellowship Committee, and the Tech Committee about everything they’re doing wrong.
If “well-known community leaders” in the church are trying to make a power play they are revealing the true character of their heart and the true motivation of their leadership. And that’s when church leaders, like Moses and Aaron, step in, intercede, and plead with God face down for the people, so that their flock doesn’t suffer death by committee.