Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Leadership is not decision making

Alan over at the assembling of the church got me thinking this morning with a re-post of Leadership is not decision making.

He makes the claim that:
When we study the idea of leadership in Scripture, we find that leadership in the church is not decision-making, and decision-making is not leadership. When we study the idea of leadership in today’s church, we find that leadership is primarily about decision-making.

Then he summarized a few passages to support this notion. This caught my attention. Is Alan onto something?

Acts 6:1 - 6 (NIV)
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

Interesting. The leaders gave their idea, but the whole group took the idea, found workers to solve the problem, and presented them back to the leaders. I have never noticed this before.

I suspect if a similar senerio happened in a typical 'church' group today, it may look more like this:
  • Somebody observes a problem (possibly either lay person or clergy)
  • The problem is reported to the leaders
  • The leaders meet to discuss and pray about a solution behind closed doors
  • If the decided upon solution requires volunteer workers, the leaders will seek out suitable volunteers
  • If the decided upon solution requires more paid staff, the the leaders will seek out suitable staff
  • The leaders will present the solution to the rest of the body
Alan also looked at examples in Acts 15, and 1 Cor 5 with similar observations. But... I am wondering if there are also other examples in the New Testament Church where the leaders imposed their decisions on the body. There may be. However Alan has pointed out these passages that show the leaders didn't assume it was their right or duty to make these decisions on their own.

Is it too much of a pie in the sky idea that we could actually just let Christ be head of His church? That he could lead each of His children individually. Members of His body would give discernment, encouragement, teaching, admonishing etc to one another. Leaders would be examples of those who serve others... leading the the way that others would want to follow... but not leading by lording over or making decisions on behalf of others? I'd like to taste a piece of that pie. :)

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