Leadership in the church and being a priest

It seems to me the model of church leadership was to have a team of elders dedicated to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:2-4; Acts 14:23; Acts 15:22; Acts 20:17; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5). Churches also had deacons (Acts 6:1-6; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13). 

When people come into positions of power or respect, they need others in the same/similar position to help them stay humble. They also need others in the same/similar position to help them not get over burdened.

I think pastors (particularly in churches where they are not part of a team of elders) sometimes get carried away with themselves. And the congregation allows it, even sometimes encourages it.

The Bible spells out the requirements for leaders in the church. All elders should be able to teach (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:2-3; 2 Timothy 2:2). But not all have the same responsibilities (1 Timothy 5:17). The elders are to come from the congregation (2 Timothy 2:2). Too often we put people in positions of leadership before they have been tested (1 Timothy 3:10). Deacons (and possibly deaconesses, depending on how you read 1 Timothy 3:11) also have their own qualifications that we also too often ignore (1 Timothy 3:8-13), to the peril of the church. 

There is a difference between a pastor and a preacher. A pastor, simply based on the meaning of the word (shepherd), is to protect, lead, guide, encourage the congregation. A preacher is to proclaim the word of God, like the prophets of old.

We each have different gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-10, 28-31). We each have different roles. But we are all called to be holy (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15-16). In fact, we are all priests, called to proclaim the praises of God  (1 Peter 2:5,9). Too often these things are forgotten or never taught to begin with. Instead, we put pressure on a single man to do everything in the church – when we should ALL step up and do our part, as is the role of a priest.

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8 Responses

  1. Wb, this post is really a blessing and I wish I could post something like this on my blog.

  2. There are some topics that I will not post on, and church government is one of them.

    • Interesting. I haven’t yet found a topic I wont post on – so long as I find Biblical support. My goal is evangelism and discipleship. I can’t ignore something like church government, or much of anything else, really. I get asked all kinds of questions and I try to address them all Biblically.

  3. Ahh…but you are free. I still have to answer to bishops and ministers who are opposed already to the blog, which is fine. To tackle church government would to further isolate me, and at the moment, I do not need that. I feel that I am helping to erase some errors, and to address some concerns. If I was ‘exiled’, or my blog was, then I could not reach those in my fellowship that I need to.

    • Makes sense. I was already taken to task by one church for my position on sign gifts. Of course, I was able to support my position but I felt marginalized afterwards. I do understand. Just not sure I’d do it.

  4. After I launched my attack on KJVO, I had an entire conference of preachers going after me, and I wasn’t even there. So, it will take time for me to get to Church Government.

    Personally, I see the Elders and the Deacons. Of the Elders, there are the other ministers. In a team of Elders, however, is the first among equal, or overseer.

    • Heh. :) I can picture what you are saying occuring. Its sad though.

      And I agree with you concerning 1st among equals being the overseer.

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