Leadership Principle # 1 Unanimity

Adapted from a study done on Genesis 10 & 11 by Tim Simoneaux

Leadership Principle # 1 Unanimity


The Monarch, His Man, His Message


Recognized Leadership

Right out of the gate, an excellent strategic plan fails because of failure to recognize leadership. Genesis 10:8-9 (ESV),

"Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a might man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. There it is said, 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD'."

We find the term “mighty” applied to Nimrod three times in Genesis 10 and again in Chronicles 1:10. He was a chieftain and an empire builder. As we read further in Genesis 10: 10, “The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” As we read in Chapter eleven of Genesis, Nimrod inspired a people to band together to build a tower that would reach into the heavens. Their motives were to make a name for themselves. They recognized Nimrod as their leader, as their monarch, as their man, and his message of making a name for himself became their message. They recognized a leader with the right methods, but wrong motives.

Who is our Monarch? Who is on the throne of our lives? Nimrod wanted to take the place of God; to usurp God’s place in the hearts of the people of Babel. Before the Church can unite behind a leader, we must know who is on the throne in our own hearts and in the heart of our leader.

Loyalty to Leadership

The people were loyal to Nimrod’s leadership. In Genesis 10:10 we find the key to the first nine verses of the eleventh chapter. Here we have the first mention of Babel, and like the first mention of anything in Scripture this one demands careful consideration.  In the language of that time, Babel meant "the gate of God" but later, because of the judgments which God inflicted there, it came to mean "confusion”. Nimrod organized, not only an imperial government over which he presided as king, but that he instituted a new and idolatrous worship. Nimrod demanded and received Divine honors; introducing idolatry into the world. Arthur Pink wrote in Gleanings From Genesis, “Here, again, we learn how wonderfully the first mention of anything in Scripture defines its future scope; from this point Babylon in Scripture stands for that which is in opposition to God and His people- it was a Babylonish garment (Joshua 7:21) which led to the first sin in the promised land, while from Revelation 17 we learn that Romanism, which will gather into itself the whole of apostate Christendom, is termed "Mystery Babylon."

"Let us make us a name" the people cried. They followed their leader loyally in order to reach their goals. Their leader was determined to keep mankind together under his leadership, in his kingdom. Others, throughout history, have blindly followed a leader, making their leaders’ goals their own. A notorious event of the twentieth century of blind followership was the self-martyrdom of hundreds of people under the leadership of Jim Jones. In Jonestown, Guyana in November of 1978, lead by his powerful influence, more than 900 followers committed mass suicide by drinking cool-aid laced with cyanide. The saying “drink the cool-aid” comes from this infamous tragedy. The people blindly followed a Nimrod style leader.

Other examples of Nimrod style leaders were Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. People blindly followed them, taking their orders to perform atrocities against innocent people. Followers like those of Nimrod, Jim Jones, Hitler, and Stalin (to name only a few self-proclaimed demigods), can be labeled, diehards. A diehard follower is totally committed to the cause; this committed effort can be either positive or negative. Obviously, in the example of Nimrod, Hitler, Jones, and Stalin, the example is negative, or the evil influence of self-aggrandizing leadership. Can the Church learn a lesson from these diehard followers?

When considering followership styles, let's consider exemplary followership, or the type of follower who is faithful to leadership after carefully determining that leadership is leading him or her in the right direction. An excellent example of exemplary followership is in the history of one of our oldest and strongest churches in the Apostolic movement. A pastor raised up a congregation of believers who loved him, but loved God’s Word more. He had taught Scripture to them so well, that when he himself made the decision to move away from sound doctrine, the people refused to go with him. Instead, they stayed true to the Message because they had the Right One on the throne.

An example of blind followership can be found in another revival Apostolic church. It had grown explosively in an area of the United States where true revival growth was unheard of. The people united behind their pastor and built a solid congregation of believers in only a few years. Sadly, the pastor strayed from sound doctrine and holy example and the result was a broken, splintered church. The people had the wrong one on the throne. Instead of following Jesus Christ and His Word, they were blindly following a man.

An example of diehard, exemplary followers getting behind a God-follower leader is a thriving Apostolic church with many years of revival. The church was born out of one couple’s burden and has survived decades by exemplary followers getting behind their pastors, men and women of God who have God on the throne.

Emphatically, the Church can learn from diehard followers, both those who blindly follow and those who are exemplary followers. We must be exemplary followers in that we must be critical thinkers, not blind followers. Once we have determined that a leader is a God-follower and that the plan is God’s plan, then we must be totally engaged. Fully engaged Christians following a God-follower leader can accomplish great things for the Kingdom.


All Said the Same Thing

Genesis 11:1, “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words” (ESV)  Genesis 11:6, “And the LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them’” (ESV). The people of Babel were all in one place and in one mind. They weren’t arguing over how to build the wall, they were following a leader and it was their wall! They were united together for one cause. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:10 (KJV), “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Paul recognized a great leadership/followership principle here. To be successful, we must all speak the same language (doctrine) and bind together in unity. Unanimity is essential.

Another example of unanimity in the Bible is Acts 2:1 (KJV). “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Philippians 2:2 exhorts us to, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” When a people bind together in unanimity, great things can be accomplished.

The opposite of unanimity is division. “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25 KJV). One of the great failings of Christianity has been its deep divisions along doctrinal lines. One has only to study early Christian history to see how the Message of Christ has been over-shadowed by division among believers. What would happen if everyone who called themselves a Christian would band together under one banner, all saying the same things. Let’s take that a little further. What if all those who call themselves “Apostolic” would unite under one banner, putting aside petty differences for the sake of unanimity? There is no room for Scriptural compromise, ever. But, there is plenty of room for differences in ideology not based on Scripture, but on tradition or culture, to be set aside for the purpose of unanimity among brethren.

The Church must be united under our God, our Man, and our Message. The enemy is wandering about looking for those he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), but though he try, he cannot destroy us. They enemy cannot destroy us with all his fiery darts from outside; only we can destroy ourselves from inside. Unanimity in the Church is essential.

When Did This Get Started?

Carolyn P. Simoneaux, Ed.D.


Do you have a Bible app or your phone or tablet? I do, and I love it. My Bible is with me everywhere I go and the search engine is especially useful. Is this a good or bad thing? No inanimate object is bad in itself. It is the user of the object that determines whether it is bad or good. I heard a sermon recently that talked about “the proof is in the pudding”, but went further and said, “the proof is in the eating” (Scott Graham, June 2017). The proof of the benefit or negativity of technology is in the doing – how it is used.

I recently saw a picture containing a group of young people on the front row of church totally engaged in their technology. Behind them was a man engrossed in his phone. When did this become a common practice in church?

I was recently in a church and watched a parent give a tablet to their three-year-old. No, this wasn’t a tablet made of paper, but a sophisticated piece of technology loaded with games, cartoons, and even movies.  The child became oblivious to what was going on around him, as he played the game on the tablet. Someone told me that they observed a child in a church service with headphones on as they watched a movie. How did this become acceptable? If a child is old enough to be able to use a tablet, he or she is old enough to benefit from what is happening in church.  Parents, or future parents, I urge you to teach your child to sit quietly and listen in the main church service. If you do, they will be singing songs they hear in church rather than “Let it Go.” They will be playing the preacher, or the musician, or the praise singer, rather than a make believe super hero. Their super hero will be Jesus.

You may say that it is too hard. I know, it’s hard. I raised three children on the church pew, often with services every night of the week and twice on Sunday. They didn’t have a color book, much less an iPad. Believe me, it can be done! Those of my children’s generation who were brought up without “distractions” in church will tell you, it can be done. They are the testimony. It will take patience and consistency, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Encourage your children to participate. How young is too young to start worshipping God? Never too young.  It is a beautiful thing to watch a child playing “church”.  It is a proven fact that children learn from play. If they are engrossed in a screen, rather than what is happening around them in church, they will not know enough about church to role play a church service. What are your children playing?

Parents, you must set the example. Have you been guilty of texting, answering emails, even shopping online during a church service or prayer meeting? It is so convenient to have the Bible on our phone or tablet, but are we allowing ourselves to be drawn into technology use instead of being engaged in worship and active listening to the Word?

While many parents draw the line at using technology in church themselves, they ignore their child or teenager texting, or playing a game, instead of being involved in the service. Standards should be set and enforced. Parents take a stand, be the parent! TURN IT OFF yourself and expect the same from you children! If your teenager does not have the self-discipline to keep her phone off, simply require that she give it to you to keep until after church. She might get upset for a while, but thank you later for helping her build personal discipline and character. A word of caution: if you set the standard, be ready to explain the reasons behind the standard, and enforce it consistently. Setting a standard, then not enforcing it, trains a child or teenager that rules are not important, and can be broken without consequence.

I like a practice that I see in church regularly. An announcement is made on the screen before service, “Remember to turn your phone back on after service.” This is a great way to politely remind parishioners of the rudeness and unacceptable behavior of having a cell phone on in a church service. Let’s keep God’s House a place of communal worship and fellowship for all ages.



The Cyber Effect

Carolyn P. Simoneaux, Ed.D.

Anything that we put before God becomes an idol. “Thou shall have no other Gods before” (Exodus 20:3). Internet use has now become an addiction.  Dr. Kimberly Young wrote the book Caught in the Net in 1998 when internet use was still a novelty. This was the first book to deal with internet addiction. Twenty years later, this is now considered to be a rapidly growing field: considered today to be as real addiction as alcoholism

In any group of people, whether it is a classroom, a sports arena, or even a church service, almost everyone over the age of twelve has a smart phone. Most adults have personal computers and/or tablets, as well as their smart phones. An office is not an office today without a computer system and internet access.

In my life time, we have gone from propeller aircraft to jet engines; from ice boxes (that use ice delivered to your door) to complex refrigerators; from no telephone service in many rural areas to the cell phone in everyone’s hand; from the radio to the cable and satellite TV; from snail mail to email; from the manual typewriter to word processing; from the one car household to the three-car household, and on and on. The world is changing and technology has exponentiated that change. We buy the newest technology today and within two years it is obsolete. The new iPhone is due to come out soon and people are anxiously awaiting it. The one I have works perfectly well and is on the cutting edge of technology, but will be obsolete next month. I love my Surface computer, but I want the newest one. Why? Because it is the latest!

An article published in 2015 in PC Magazine states the following will be obsolete by 2025: (Some are almost already)

·       Car mirrors

·       Plastic credit cards

·       Cords and chargers

·       Streaming devices

·       Live Human Operators

·       Dedicated remote controls

·       Delivery People

·       Cable companies

Private Ownership is another soon to be outdated practice. The millennials, for their part, have jumped headlong into the "sharing economy." It is less complicated to buy subscription services, than to buy actual things. We no longer buy software, but subscribe to it (Microsoft 365; Intuit products). Millennials, especially are not even interested in buying things like houses or cars.

Technology has facilitated a mass communal lifestyle built around sharing resources. You can envision how this trend will only expand moving forward. As things like self-driving cars develop, why would you ever own a car and take on all the responsibilities that entails when you could just buy-in to a fleet of self-driving vehicles to get where you needed to go? That certainly seems to be the model that Uber has in mind (PC Magazine, 2015).

Is technology bad in itself?  When does it become “lust”. When does it become an idol? The following charts illustrate how the exponential increase of technology use over the past two decades.



Growth of internet subscribers.


World Internet Users (per 100 people)

The field of cyberpsychology is new and still emerging, and each year it draws more interest. The sense of urgency is escalating. I think most of us who work on the front lines can feel it, along with a profound sense of loss of control. Our lives are changing, and human behavior is evolving. As a cyber behavioral scientist, I believe this is because people behave differently when they are interacting with technology than they do in the face-to-face real world (Aiken, 2016, p. 4)

How much time spent using technology devices is too much. As it is difficult to quantify how many drinks a day makes one an alcoholic, it is also difficult to say how much is too much. It is possible, however, to judge by what is a priority in our lives. We must monitor ourselves. How many times in a 24-hour period have I checked my phone, tablet, or laptop? Have you or someone you know gotten into an accident because you were texting or checking social media? Do you and your friends sit together with your phones in your hands, with eyes glued to your own personal virtual world?


Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others (Ephesians 2:3 KJV).

Have our devices become a compulsive desire of the flesh and of the mind?

            Stories abound of mothers or care givers so engrossed in social media that a child is neglected or abused. In her book, Akien (2016) tells the story of a mother nursing her baby while on social media. The mother’s eyes should have been connecting with the child, but instead was involved in a social media fantasy world. The sense of bounding, love, and security that the baby needed was lost because of the mother’s preoccupation. Social media games have become addictive; games like Candy Crush Saga, Farmville, etc. They are designed to pull us in and we are consumed. Anything that we cannot control is an addiction.

Have you ever looked around a restaurant and noticed how many tables are filled with people looking down at their phones, rather than at one another? I was recently in a restaurant alone. I looked around at the tables filled with people; couples, families, young, and old.  In one family, the kids were on Ipads and both parents were on their phones. A couple at another table were both on their phones. This wasn’t just two tables, but throughout the restaurant, I saw the same thing over and over. When was the last time you ate a meal without checking your phone? How do you think this woman in the photo above feels? How much real communication is going on here? Have you sat at a table with others while they were on their devices? How did that make you feel?

I know what you are thinking. I would never become addicted… I have total control over my technology; over online gaming, social media, emailing, and texting. Do you? Consider…..

·       Could you turn your phone and all internet access off for the next 24 hours? 3 days? 1 week?

·       When was the last time you were on your phone during church – and it wasn’t using your Bible?

·       When was the last time you checked your email or text messages as soon as you woke up?

·       Do you have devotion first before opening a device?

·        Do you complete obligations first before opening a device?

Research has shown that people can be more open, more generous, or more confrontation online than they are face-to-face. This is shown by the growth of nonprofit fund raising online. People tend to disclose personal information online that they would never expose in person. Aiken (2016) posits that this leads to quickly developed friendships and intimacy and people tend to feel safe, when actually, they aren’t. Cyber bullying has become prominent because of the tendency of people to be bolder, less inhibited, and to use poor judgement (Aiken, 2016).

Technology is a net that draws the innocent in as surely as a spider’s web draws its prey. Parents, be especially diligent with your preteens and teens; monitor what they are doing online and how much time they are spending in cyberspace. Gullible teens can quickly be drawn into a web of deceit. They are susceptible to sexual advances by adults masquerading as teens. Deceptive sites can trick the unsuspecting into divulging critical information or spending money. Popups lure them into pornography and other dark sites.

One of the most dangerous aspects of compulsive technology use is the prevalence of escapism, or virtual lives. On the site one can build an alternate self. The site invites visitors to “explore a second life”, “become a creator”, “have an adventure” and to become what you desire to be rather than what you are. That is only one site out of several found using the search term “online virtual lives”. It is all too easy to be lured into a fantasy world and escape the world that we are not happy in. In a virtual life, the individual that is unhappy with himself can become his perfect fantasy person, ignoring God’s perfect plan for his life

Online gaming has caused the gaming industry to explode exponentially. It is convenient, it can be done clandestinely, and it is designed to be addictive. Aiken (2016) discusses the dangers of compulsive gaming online.

Phillips describes “compulsion loops” as tasks that are repeatedly required, done over and over by the gamer in order to reach the next level of play. Game designers intentionally employ these loops, fully aware that they are derived from behavioral experiments of classical conditioning. They are similar to the hooks that encourage excessive gambling, using positive reinforcement to create addictive patterns. When the designer talks about players, it sounds a little like she’s talking about lab rats that are being trained (Aiken, 2016, p. 75.

Online gaming compels the user to keep going, deeper and deeper into the game. The longer you play, the harder the game becomes, enticing you to play longer and longer in order to win. You can’t quit until you have won! When you reach a new level, you have a false sense of satisfaction and are compelled to push through to the next level. Some games are free when you start, but then draw the user in to buying extras, enabling them to win. YouTube has scenes of “Gaming Freak Outs” where gamers become berserk over failing to defeat the game. You might say, “I would never act that way over a game.” Or would you?

What about technology use by young children? How young is too young for technology? BELIEVE IT OR NOT – You can actually buy an I-Potty with an activity pad for toddlers from popular retain outlets. Just Google it! 

How young is too young?

Fifteen years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended against screen use, including television, for children under two. Today, this recommendation is based upon science driven research…No TV for babies. No apps with funny cartoons on a parent’s or babysitter’s mobile phone. The AAP believes these things could potentially have a negative influence on a child’s development” (Aiken, 2016, p. 100, Kindle Edition).

Pedagogical experts believe that babies learn to talk and develop by interaction with their mothers, dads, brother, sisters, and other humans around them. No matter how innovative, creative, and interactive, technology can never take the place of human interaction. I have seen babies as young as three months with a smart phone or iPad held for them to watch the movement on the screen. While it might entertain the child in the short run, what are the possible side effects and long-term outcomes? More and more pedagogical experts are coming out against technology use in early childhood.

            What about older Children?  Excessive technology use has been linked to:

·       ADHD

·       Isolation instead of connecting with friends.

·       Reading deficits – scrolling, skimming – not reading.  The more screen time – less reading line by line – practicing the linear process of reading.

·       Obesity because of activity.

According to Rowan, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, as many as one in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (Aiken, 2016). Rowan attributes this to too much screen time and technology use in young children. His recommends little or no screen time: “Only one hour of television per day for children ages three to five. No handheld devices or video games recommended before the age of thirteen, and a restriction on video games to thirty minutes per day for thirteen- to eighteen-year-olds” (Aiken, 2016, p. 106, Kindle Edition).

Do you think this is too restrictive, or that there are more positives to technology use at an early age than negatives? Current research is learning more each day about the negative effects of early childhood technology use and the outlook is not good. Parents beware and be informed. Advertisers would have parents believe that their child must have the latest technology in order to develop properly. Children need human interaction, not technology, in order to develop naturally, cognitively, socially, and physically.

Is technology bad? In itself, technology is neither good or bad. How it is used determines its worth or negativity.  Use the technology – do not allow the technology to use you. Just like a physical diet, you should practice a digital diet.

A few suggested guidelines:

·       No devices when in a social situation with others.

·       Turn your devices off at dinner, whether at home or in a restaurant.

·       Limit your device use to “need only” in church, the work place, or class.

Be intentional about how, when, and where you use your devices. You are in control! Or, you should be.


Aiken, Mary (2016). Cyber Effect. Kindle Edition.

Dashevsy Evan, PC MagazineAugust 20, 2015,2817,2489562,00.asp

Young, Kimberly – You-tube Ted Talk