Church Leadership Reflections Part 2

The Biblical metaphors for the church reveal an assembly, a household, a community, a body, and the people of God.[1] These metaphors subsequently shape the formation of ecclesial leadership by serving as a “true north.” For example, if one views the church as a corporation, then they may move away from certain relational elements that are essential to effective ministry. Likewise, if one reduces the church to a weekly assembly of like-minded people, then they miss out on the intimacy that flows from community and communion.

Ironically and almost tragically, church leaders have systematically moved away from a biblical ecclesiology and toward church growth and management models that were birthed in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.[2] While there is nothing inherently wrong with church leaders possessing competence in business administration and human resource management, there is something wrong with losing the foundational purpose of vocational ministry for the sake of “success.”[3] Rather than rejecting contemporary business and management practices, church leaders should apply the former only after they have passed through the filter of the Sacred Text.

More tomorrow.

[1] G.K. Beale. The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A biblical theology of the dwelling place of God (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2004), 402;Wolfgang Vondey. People of Bread: Rediscovering Ecclesiology (New York: Paulist Press, 2008), 43-45.

[2] Thomas E. Frank

[3] Yau Man, Siew. 2013. Pastor as shepherd-teacher: Inside stories of pastoral and educational imagination. Christian Education Journal 10, 1: 50

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