Leadership in the Church
Did you know that you are a saint already? The Roman Catholic church unfortunately makes it much harder to be a saint – you have to be dead, do 2 posthumous miracles and then there is a holy convocation to decide if you are worthy to be a saint. The Apostle Paul wrote to the saints in Philippi, because all believers are saints! The word means “holy ones” and you have been made holy by the grace of God when you believed. Much simpler!
The verses show us that the church is made up of elders, deacons and saints. Elders are godly men of proven character (1 Tim 3:1-7 lists the qualifications). Their task is to guard, guide and govern the church – guarding from wolves coming to attack, guiding people to know Jesus better and governing the affairs of the church.
Deacons are godly men and women of proven character, full of wisdom and the Spirit (Acts 6:1-4; Tim 3:8-16), who serve the church in various roles. The first deacons started out serving food to widows in the church.
Oversight for churches is provided by people with an itinerant gifting. Ephesians 4 lists some ministries that are used by the Lord to equip churches – apostles who help plant, lay godly foundations and care for churches, prophets who help churches hear from God, evangelists who equip us to reach out to non-believers, pastors and teachers who look after the individual churches.
Leadership is a spiritual gift – Paul wrote in Romans 12:8 that if your gift is leadership – govern diligently. Spiritual gifts are abilities that are empowered by the Holy Spirit to enable the church to flourish. The Bible encourages us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts!
Recommended extra reading
Courageous Leadership (Bill Hybels)
This classic is still one of the best books on Christian leadership out there.