Illation on Leaders 1 – October of 2017
I am seeking to review the New Testament verses teaching about Leadership in the church. I have realized my assumptions, however dear they are to me, are not organized enough to begin a detailed writing. In creating space for writing these thoughts, I am critically asking:
“Why? Why do I hold these assumptions?”
Unraveling and sorting them for this blog requires more organization and details. Read through Paul’s letters picking out verses that talked about aspects of Leadership: Titles (Pastor Deacon, etc.) and job descriptions (duties). But I soon captured more tags: a leader’s character, relationships to other people or positions, demeanor.
So I gathered, as I read through each letter, a list of verses bearing a pertinent aspect of leadership. After reviewing a good chunk of all the letters in the New Testament I realized this is going to be an overwhelming task.
I have set aside over 1800-words! just from the book of 1st Corinthians. Breaking these into categories and subcategories is going to be a daunting task. I still have to review the book of Revelation and the Gospels (Jesus’ own teachings).
My 3 underlying assumptions I have held for several decades:
• That Leaders / Pastors are servants of those they lead: This comes from Jesus’ own statement to the Apostles. (Matthew 20: 26 and elsewhere.)
• Spirit as absolute or final authority: not Scripture, Pastor, Denomination, or Theology. (John 14: 26) I do recognize that our Churches’ Leaders go through great pains to properly lead us.
• Bible schools and Seminaries would teach; imparting these New Testament teachings as solid, empirical, never-to-be-deviated-from, but practical. It seems as I see the Church in its daily life, an increase in how the Spirit leads, for both the Leadership and the “Laity”, is needed.
Simply, the word ‘Pastor’ in a different version of the Bible might be translated ‘Leader’ or ‘Shepard’; and Leadership terms are usually in their plural form, not the singular. (Pastor, Elders, Leaders.)
Comments on job positions or duties from different NT Letters, made by the same author or by another author, might be applying different job duties to a same ‘office’. And, some of these ‘offices’ could have 2 or more names (what is the difference between Deacon and Elder?). It is likely some ‘offices’ are missing, such as ‘Music Leader’; even though most, if not every church has a Music Leader.
Most notably, the thing realized so far is the lack of the word “Pastor,” which is the office we use most often in today’s church; in the vast majority of our churches there is only a single office in the church: the Office of Pastor.
Protocol for Blogs on this Topic
I have decided — because of the length and breadth of the topic, and sheer number of verses — to make this study a running series. This will probably resemble a literary work like, The Confessions of St. Augustine, which has a rambling to its structure. At least I will number them as I go.