Local Church Leadership

by Timothy Tay


Apart from the traditional churches that are around for centuries the relatively newer churches are characterised by multitudes of church leadership style ranging from fully democratic1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy to complete totalitarian.2)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism

There are strengths and weaknesses found in all forms of leadership as it faced up to changes in the population, the economy, in politics and also from the influence of neighbourhood churches, denominations and movements.

Leadership too have to account for ageing, sickness and death within its ranks, sooner or later.

The New Testament churches are governed by elders who are supported by deacons (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9). In our days many churches are governed by a board consisting of people who would biblically be called elders and deacons.

The danger with this deviation from the biblical base is that when the board makes a majority decision that undermined the spiritual oversight the church can no longer be considered led by elders.

If the church constitution requires the setting up of a board it will be wise to ensure that the board has a majority of elders within it.

Recently, my wife and I were invited to address a local church leadership that was clearly in disarray with the same problem that I have just highlighted. The majority in the board was bending on replacing the pastor whom they considered not up to the task in a changing environment.

Rather than Christian principles taking precedence with grace, mercy and patience abound there were obvious incrimination and malice voiced.  Even though the radiance that once exudes (2 Cor 3:13) had faded from the pastor the issue needs to be addressed in brotherly love through prayer and submission to God’s will.

It is no wonder that there are senior pastors who acted like business-owners or CEO’s by appointing agreeable board members in order to prevent dissent. Again we cannot judge a book by its cover alone but by its content and the goodness of a tree by its fruits. How then can we aim for the perfect will of God in the leadership of the local church?

We need first to acknowledge that it is Christ who builds the church (Matt 16:18; 1 Cor 3:9). And His house is a house of prayer (Mark 11:17).

Let the church be truly led by elders rather than a board or even to become dominated by one individual for even the kings of virtue in Judah submit to the priests and prophets of God. Be like Peter, anointed by Christ to lead, shared this glory with the likes of James, John, Paul and many others.

Acknowledge the leadership provided by God in the forms of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11) within and without of a local church.

Considering the final days we are in where knowledge abounds and people travel through and fro (Daniel 12) – like frantic ants in times of crisis -be the church that are prepared for The wedding (Rev 19:7-9).

Like the five wise bridesmaids let us fill our lamps with oil and keep watch (Matt 25:1-13).

References   [ + ]

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism

Timothy Tay

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