In Part 1 of this blog series, I talked about how it is very important to be involved in your local church. In Part 2 of this blog series, I talked about how there is more to it than just being nice and performing good works. In Part 3 of this blog series, I talked about how God wants to be intimately involved in all areas of our lives, even the small stuff.
As we continue on today, I would like to address the 4th lie that Christians tend to believe:
We believe that only pastors or those in “leadership” can, in fact, lead.
Churches use words like pastor, counselor, minister, or lay person. They are essentially stating that you must be a professional to serve or lead within the body of the church. The beauty of the Body of Christ is that God calls ordinary men and women to do His extraordinary work. You do not need a seminary degree, a certificate of training, or a title from your church’s administration to serve, disciple, or equip those around you. You only need three things: a willingness, faithfulness, and the Holy Spirit.
Many churches today are trying to redefine the roles in the church today so that they can be more in-line with the way Christ wanted the church to function. Here is how the hierarchy should look in a church molded after the way Jesus wanted to look: I will compare the roles to normal business roles so a comparison can be made. In this model the boss is God. The management is the church staff and elders. The employees are the members of the church. The customers are the surrounding community, occasional worshipers, and worshipers in need. As you can see, the traditional “leadership” of the church will help manage the direction the church goes in, but it is the congregation that should be doing most of the work.
In this new model, the regular staff and elders of the church are called leader-equippers and the members of the church are the ones who are called ministers. The preaching and teaching of staff/elders should be viewed as equipping activities. They are providing the congregation with the knowledge and teaching that will allow them to go out and serve God’s people. They help church members discover their spiritual gifts and equip them to become effective in the ministry God calls them to do. All other activities within the church should be viewed as ministry that members can be equipped to perform. The members of the church are responsible for discovering their gifting and where they can use it in ministry, while seeking equipping to become more effective in that ministry.
This model does not work if the congregation sees themselves as customers where the church’s role is to serve their needs. The congregation needs to see themselves as employees and ask themselves how they can serve the church.
This is not some crazy, new idea that someone thought up. The bible actually instructs the church to be set up in this way. Check this out:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His 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 people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and guilds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
I had never read that until just about a month ago. I had never thought of it like that. What an amazing idea! It has totally changed how I have looked at my involvement in the church.
I would like to challenge all of us to step up and be the church. Look for ways to make our church better instead of focusing on how our church can make us better. Let’s put on a hat that says “serve” and enter our churches boldly and really make a difference. In the process, you will find that you will end up getting much benefit as well. Let’s break down the old idea that only the traditional leaders in the church are the ones who can get things done. Blow them away with what you can do!