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.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eric on leadership

A blogger brother Eric (former paid pastor) posted some thoughts that fit well with my post yesterday on leadership.
The more I ponder this conversation, the more I see what the confusion was. We were thinking of leadership in terms of how we think of the church. If the church is what the bible describes plus additions such as the big building, the programs, the budgets, etc., then leadership almost has to come in the form of one strong senior pastor. Someone has to be in place to keep track of all of the stuff that the scriptures do not talk about.

However, if church is what the bible describes and no more, then leadership can fall into the hands of multiple people. In fact, each person in the body can show leadership in his or her particular areas of giftedness. The elders should primarily display leadership through being sacrificial examples of servanthood to the body. No one man is needed to take care of all the extra stuff.

How we view leadership in the church necessarily stems from how we view the church itself.
Yes, it will be tough to convince church folk who see a need for buildings, staff, budgets and programs that you don't need someone appointed to oversee it all. So I imagine most Christians will just think I'm some kind of crazy anarchist. :)

But if the church is simply the family of God... I can imagine it functioning with only Jesus as the head.

7 comments:

Frank said...

I also watch what Eric writes, with interest and respect.
I believe he is right but back to front, if that makes sense.
Eric says, "We were thinking of leadership in terms of how we think of the church."

I believe it is far more accurate to say, "We were thinking of church in terms of how we think of leadership."

Every institution on this planet needs a system of leadership. Otherwise it will have no clear direction and will be pulling itself apart every which way.

Hierarchy, one way or another, is the normal answer to this. Hierarchy allows commands to be passed downwards from the top to all members at the bottom. Hierarchy allows information to be passed all the way to the top. This is good.

Even in a democratically changeable organisation like western governments, or a tyrannically fixed dictatorship like naziism or soviet russia hierarchy is the method. All business and commerce operate via this also.

Therefore when people gather to worship as a body, the same is naturally asked. Who is in charge? Who is the main man? It is a deception to claim that God is in charge when a man clearly is.

However JESUS SAID, THIS SHALL NOT BE SO AMONGST YOU.

Yes Eric is right that the institution we mislabel as church needs a hierarchy. But that institution came about because of unbelief. We have done, because of ignorance and unbelief, exactly what the Israelites did in 1Sam8, when they demanded, "give us a king like all the nations".

As far as God is concerned, the church (and Israel) was and is, NOTHING LIKE THE NATIONS. They didn't have an omniscient God at the helm. We do.

Examine the reasons for hierarchy mentioned above, and think about Christ's Body. There should be NO NEED FOR HIERARCHY. Christ the head, has no need for information to be passed up through the system. Christ the head, OUR HEAD, EACH OF US, has no need to pass commands downwards through the system. CHRIST LIVES WITHIN EACH MEMBER. The need for hierarchy is negated if the members functioned as Christ Jesus taught.

Not only did he teach it, but he banned the method we have chosen. Paul also rebuked the idea of man following man. (I am of Paul, I am of Apollos).

Like the Israelite's demand for a king, the churches all demand to have a king. God's response is the same both times.

"THEY HAVE REJECTED ME, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM"

Frank said...

I also watch what Eric writes, with interest and respect.
I believe he is right but back to front, if that makes sense.
Eric says, "We were thinking of leadership in terms of how we think of the church."

I believe it is far more accurate to say, "We were thinking of church in terms of how we think of leadership."

Every institution on this planet needs a system of leadership. Otherwise it will have no clear direction and will be pulling itself apart every which way.

Hierarchy, one way or another, is the normal answer to this. Hierarchy allows commands to be passed downwards from the top to all members at the bottom. Hierarchy allows information to be passed all the way to the top. This is good.

Even in a democratically changeable organisation like western governments, or a tyrannically fixed dictatorship like naziism or soviet russia hierarchy is the method. All business and commerce operate via this also.

Therefore when people gather to worship as a body, the same is naturally asked. Who is in charge? Who is the main man? It is a deception to claim that God is in charge when a man clearly is.

However JESUS SAID, THIS SHALL NOT BE SO AMONGST YOU.

(((((I have had to put this in two comments as blogger rejected the length.)))))

Jonathan said...

Thanks Frank, I agree.

Frank said...

When the church in the early book of Acts was exploding in size, 3000 added in a day, can anyone tell me why there is no mention of the need for elders?

Surely, by the rule book of the "must appoint elders brigade", they would critically need to continually appoint hundreds of elders to keep order. Otherwise chaos would reign wouldn't it? Did it?

The absence of any mention of Elder appointment, speaks volumes.

Where are all these Elders then?

Who was there to tell the believers what to do. Surely without elders being appointed, they would be wandering about jerusalem like sheep with no shepherd.

Come on all you "Elder appointing" people tell me what they did. Where is it?

wieger kooistra said...

Wat de protestantse kerk in Europa ,dus ook de Nederlanden , van de R.K. moederkerk klakkeloos heeft overgenomen , (zei het misschien in iets andere vorm) is het denken in hiƫrarchische structuren betreffende leiderschap binnen de kerk .
In Nederland noemt men iemand met een theologische titel Dominee ( Heer )'Vaak en vooral in orthodoxe kringen domineren ze de aan hen toevertrouwde gemeente .Hun functioneren lijkt soms meer op heersen in plaats van dienen .Want wie leiding geeft zou toch aller dienaar zijn ?
Eigenlijk zou Bijbels gezien Diakonos (dienaar) een betere titel zijn , maar deze is toebedeeld aan z.g leken en is duidelijk van lagere orde . Men vergeet vaak dat de Ecclesia een Theocratische instelling is , waarvan Jesus Heer is !

Jonathan said...

Thanks Wieger!
(google translate here:)
As the Protestant church in Europe, including the Netherlands, the RK mother church has uncritically taken on board (albeit perhaps in slightly different form) is to think in hierarchical structures for leadership within the church.
In the Netherlands, called someone with a theological title Reverend (Lord) "Often, especially in orthodox circles dominate the entrusted to them church. Their performance is sometimes more dominant rather than serve. Who guidance would be very servant?
Actually Biblically diakonos (servant), a better title, but it has been assigned to so-called lay and clear of lower order. We often forget that the Ecclesia Theocratic an institution, of which Jesus is Lord!

Jonathan said...

And thanks Frank for part 2. I just found it in a spam folder... sorry. That wasn't spam. Thanks.