Several weeks ago I talked about a Third major reformation coming to the World. I proposed that this reformation would involve great changes in the structure of the Church. One of these changes is going to involve how the Church is governed.
A democratically elected board of people governs most churches in the West. The reasons people are elected are often not based on their gifts but on popularity, or another measure. I propose that this type of democratically elected government is not how Jesus wants to set up His church.
Democratically elected governments have the advantage of maintaining the status quo. It is also a familiar model of government since this is how we elect civil officials. But Christianity is rapidly declining in the West and the status quo is no longer desired. We need a government which will allow for gifts, flexibility, creativity, and purpose. The current government cannot rejuvenate the church and bring back the entrepreneurial Spirit needed. We are praying for a new wine but new wine cannot be poured into an old wineskin structure. If we insist on this the old wineskin will burst and cause much havoc in Churches.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:15-16
Jesus is the head of the Church. He is the ultimate boss. This passage clearly shows He wants to run His church through a group of people with a specific gift set. The day of one person trying to do everything is to be replaced with many people doing something they are called to do. Jesus distributes the gifts needed in a church across a team of people not in one man.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God ís people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:11-14
If the Church is to be run by a team with a specific gift set given by Jesus we have to admit:
- The hierarchal type of government where the person ‘above’ you has all of the answers is no longer valid. The person with the gift appropriate for the situation has the answer.
- We don’t always defer to the person ‘above’ us to do the job but to the person with the gift needed for the job.
- We don’t fill positions anymore in the Church with bodies but we fill positions based on the gifts the position requires.
- There is a Senior Leader – the Apostle – but they don’t order as much as facilitate the gifts/people to the appropriate job.
- We have to move from a me to a we mentality because not one of us can do it by our selves anymore and have the blessing of Jesus on it.
- The ability to form teams and work through conflict is a critical required skill.
- We don’t pick people for government based on popularity. Instead we find out what gifts people have been given by Jesus and then place them they are called.
- The gifts to run the Church have to be more than just pastor and teacher. They must also include apostle, evangelist, and prophet are else the team will only be 2/5ths staffed no matter how many people you hire.
- Competition must be eliminated between positions and people and replaced with the concept of completion of each other.
- Role based leadership instead of function based leadership is a huge shift in management thinking.
- This will lead to a decentralization of leadership.
- If the Senior Leader leaves the structure or ministry it won’t fall apart because the leadership and responsibility is decentralized.
- This will promote a stronger team with respect towards one another because we are secure in our gift/calling and not trying to climb the Church ‘corporate’ ladder to get a better position.
I know this has been more of a long lesson than a blog but your thoughts?