Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Implications of Eph. 4:11 for the local church

I continue to ponder the implications of what Paul says about leaders in Ephesians 4. It would be unfair to build too big a case based simply of this verse alone, but it does have some big implications for most local church leadership teams.

First off, it asks some fundamental questions about who is n the core leadership team and what does it spend its time doing. That's not a criticism, just a question. In many a baptist church, the only leadership team to speak about that is formally recognised by the church is the team of deacons. Typically their job is more akin to maintenance and  management than it is to vision and equipping. All of that stuff gets delegated to the full-time or not so full-time minister.

Secondly, there's a question about the role of a senior leader in the church. I've blogged before about building on the foundation of teachers and pastors rather than on apostle and prophets. Now I'm not elevating one above the other, but we do seem obsessed with getting pastors at the top and I question the validity of that approach.

What is certain to me is that we've become so focussed on pastoral leadership that we have neglected any other leadership role and we endlessly force non-pastors into pastor shaped holes because that is what we think they are supposed to be. I think we lose a lot of leaders this way and I think we make a whole lot more ineffective in the process.

The problem is that if we are going to develop a broader view of leadership, if we are going to train leaders in a broader context, then the one thing we have to address is the historical attitude in the church to the role of the minister as leader. And we will have to address the fundamental principle of ministry being the responsibility of the whole church body and not primarily the responsibility of those highly trained Bible College graduates.

I continue to ponder.

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