Church Leadership Reflections Part 1

When one says “Yes” to a life of church leadership they are saying “Yes” to a life that has no other vocational contemporary.[1] In my 10 years of vocational ministry I have functioned as a preacher, teacher, therapist, media technician, musician, painter, crisis counselor, and event planner. I have celebrated with families at birthday parties and holiday functions and I have prayed with families as they stood in the ashes of broken marriages. I have dedicated babies to the Lord and I have grieved in emergency rooms in times of death and tragedy. I have stood before a crowd to teach from the Sacred Text no less than 750 times. Yet every time I am reminded of the burden and responsibility that comes with the task. Indeed, church leadership is more than a job. It is a great responsibility that depends upon a solid foundation. One could argue that church leadership is void when separated from a balanced and biblical ecclesiology.

Church leaders are tasked with the care of God’s most prized treasure, the Body and Bride of Christ. This vocation is not for the weary, the prideful, nor is it for those who aspire for recognition and glory.[2) On the contrary, a life of ecclesial leadership is a life of following One who consistently demonstrated a path to greatness marked by suffering, sacrifice, and selfless service. Sequi vestigia Christi hinges upon an intimate understanding of the biblical principles and purposes of church leadership. Forsaking a biblical ecclesiology is like attempting to travel north by walking east: no matter how hard one travels, they will end up lost in the end. The lens of biblical ecclesiology reveals several important aspects of church life. Specifically, it is through the Sacred Text that one discovers the church as more than a simple assembly that is run on the popular leadership theories of the day.

More tomorrow.

[1] John Piper. Brothers, we are not professionals: A plea to pastors for radical ministry (Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2013), 259.

[2) W. H. Willimon. Pastor: The theology and practice of ordained ministry. (Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 2002.), 35.; John Piper

10 thoughts on “Church Leadership Reflections Part 1

  1. I have no idea what I wrote I meant to write the first time. Ha! Read all three and agree with you mostly, just not sure if it’s as black and white, clergy and laity, as it seems you are saying (maybe I’m misreading). I think a person can be pastoral, a teacher, apostle, prophet, or evangelist without being in full-time ministry. We do the full time thing because we live in this world, and in America, where someone needs to go full-time to accomplish all we American Christians require of them. However, I don’t believe that’s the orginal intent nor a necessisty of the New Covenant. That is, just cause I’m not full-time doesn’t mean I don’t have to do ministry or take a lead in my local church body (if others will let me).

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      1. See, you did it too! Leasership. I understand that you mean in accordance with an old covenant view, i.e. seperation between laity and clergy, and not the New Covenant practice of all Christians serving as priests. With that in mind, I get it. I just don’t believe that paradigm is the same one Jesus actually designed. But just as we have war because all of us aint saints, we have clergy because all Christians won’t oney God. So I get the need.

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    1. I also believe that regardless of one’s full-time, bi-vocational, multi-vocational, etc. view of church leadership, church leadership is unique in purpose, form, function, and mission. We mess it up when we try to pass Ephesians 4 through the filter of the best business practices or organizational theory. The former should inform the latter, not vice versa.

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  2. I agree but it’s like how Video Gaming is now a sport and people argue that it shouldn’t be compared to football or baseball or use those two sports as a measure to determine how it should be officialed. It ain’t a sport. The vocation of clergy really shouldn’t even be a vocation (according to the New Covenant) but it is a vocation in this world (just like Video Gaming or Ultimate Fighting is a sport.) I understand what you are doing and applaud it and think you are right. You shouldn’t run a church like you would Wal-Mart. It’s just that it shouldn’t be a business/corporation/sport/thing in the first place, in my opinion. If all Christians did what pastors do (like 1Pet 2.9 commands)….

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