Last evening some elders from among our fellowships took time to share a meal at a local pizza joint and talk – just talk, with no agenda.
Our conversation turned to how the traditional model for church leadership is to inspire folks to “come” and be part of our own gift, calling or motivation – but that we don’t see this in Apostle Paul’s life.
Rather, Paul’s main approach was to unleash Christ within existing communities where God sent him. As Paul would “go”, he was secure enough to then let Christ be expressed through the wonderful diversity of the many unique gifts, callings and motivations He chose to bestow among His people in each church.
Thus, it was never about Paul inspiring people to come gather around his own gift, calling or motivation. Likewise, there is no example in the entire New Testament of any single “pastor”, one-man ministry or other person serving as a primary focal point “over” any local church.
As Paul put it:
“… speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Eph. 4:15-16 (NLT)
The amazing thing is that the folks gathered together last night “get it”. They are not about having their own “ministry”, “church” or “vision”, but are about letting others come forth and minister one to another – and to a waiting world – in amazingly diverse and unique ways that exceed their own individual abilities.
They serve and enable, rather than dominate and control.
I wrote a blog a few years ago about this called Organic Leadership, and it is exciting to see the New Testament at work today among us.
Be encouraged. God is quietly but surely changing the paradigm of what it means to “be the church” and to be a leader within the church, His body.
~ Jim Wright