I wrote at the end of my blog post yesterday that I would write today about another direction the church of Christ is heading in as far as finding leadership is concerned. As I start this post it is important to note something in yesterday’s article. Paul and Barnabas appointed “elders”. This is a plural terminal I believe it to be incredibly important to acknowledge that God never intended one man to lead a congregation. He knew the importance of the exchange of ideas in leading, or shepherding, the flock of God which is among them (1 Pet. 5:2). It is also important to notice the instruction Peter gives to the elders to whom he is writing. They are to serve “not under compulsion, but willingly” (1 Pet. 5:2). They are not to be “lords”, rather “examples” to the flock. The question then comes when there are not enough qualified men to have elders what happens then?
It has been my experience that what happens is the men hand out responsibilities to those who will take them and random acts of leadership and communication happen. It borders on anarchy and this is not what God wants for the local work. It then becomes the job of the preacher, more often than not, to try to organize the efforts and this is not supposed to be a function of the preacher. The preacher’s job is to teach the word and preach the word primarily not to be the authority figure of the church. This pattern looks more like the denominational world where the “pastor” is the leader of the church by himself, or herself in some cases, and this is another failing of the denominational world. What we need to value is teaching the next generation the word and seeing to it that the church works and lives on the way that God intended it to.
I will write tomorrow on how this generation of the church compares with God’s people in the past. I hope that you who read this and any articles from this site realize how important it is for us to be teachers constantly and I hope you have a wonderful day in service to our Creator and the architect of our salvation.