Pastoral Leadership in the Church
Today’s church needs to change. And it needs to change radically. I was reading a post in Christianity Today about a Dallas megachurch pastor who steps away from the pulpit due to sin of pride, along with various comments from other readers. While I commend the pastor on his humility to step down from his leadership role, my spirit immediately turned to what the Scripture reveals about order in the church.
God sets order in the church through leadership roles that when functioning according to God’s design for the church causes it to grow and flourish. In Ephesians 4:11-12, Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. Today’s church tends to ignore what God has sanctioned for the building of His church by limiting the leadership of the church to the role of pastor. Elders in the church were given to steward and shepherd the flock (e.g. Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
We have put chains on the people of God by restricting the various grace giftings or anointings given by the Holy Spirit for the very purpose of building Christ’s body up in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God until the church matures, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13; 1 Cor. 12:4-6), and establishing the church on a Biblical foundation with Christ being the Head. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul had to address the issue of spiritual gifts in the church. “Now there are many kinds of grace gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are many different ways to serve, but they’re all directed by the same Lord. There are many amazing working gifts in the church, but it is the same God who energizes them all in all who have the gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-6 The Voice). Many of today’s western churches are not operating on the Biblical model of the New Testament church. Each believer has received a gift that manifests the Spirit’s power and presence. That gift is given for the good of the whole community.