The Role Of Church Leaders

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RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON THE ROLE OF CHURCH LEADERS

INTRODUCTION

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

-Matthew 20:25b-28;NIV

Servant leadership is the consistent model in the whole counsel of Holy Scripture, especially in the New Testament and for the leadership of the Church. The Word is full of examples, from the exalted humility of Abraham, to the perfect example of our Lord.  The man the Lord honors is the one who humbles himself in knowledge of his place before God.  One fully aware of his inability, and unworthiness, to offer the Lord anything of merit in one’s own strength, is on the way to being ready to serve Him.

Leadership is an issue for all Christians, the values a leader is to live up to are examples for all brothers and sisters in Christ.  The longer one has been a Christian, the more the opportunity that person has had by the power of the Spirit to grow in conformity to Christ.  In the New Testament, the community of the Church and our relationships with our siblings is the context for this growth.  But who has authority in the local church, and does anyone other then the Word of God, have authority over the whole of the Christian Church? As all Christians are specially gifted for the role God has providentially prepared for them, the leadership styles and emphases of Deacons and Elders will vary just as the work and ministry focus of each of the Apostles was varied.

Leadership by these offices of the Church was established for the Church age, a specific time period.  At least one of them is similar to a recognized Old Testament office, but its authority and responsibility is clearly restated in the New Testament for the Church.  Another, had only a foundational scope, but the third is clearly a model for all believers of any age; all are to “serve.”

The purpose of this paper is to explore the offices of leadership in the Church, local and universal, the scope of their function, and how they are filled.  Also it will be argued that all members of the local church can show leadership.  Because this paper is covering the offices of the “church” and there are a variety of understanding of the nature of her origin, it is important to set a foundation.

 

Barber, Warren, Inspiration, Unpublished paper for CTS – 101 Bibliology , 1998.

Enns, Paul, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1996.

Glasscock, Bibliotheca Sacra: 1955–1995, Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary , electronic media, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 1997.

Hodge, Charles, Systematic Theology, Oak Harbor, electronic media, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 1997.

Kittel, Gerhard, and Friedrich, Gerhard, Editors, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 1985.

Meisinger, George, Ecclesiology: Class notes

Ryrie, Charles C., A Survey of Bible Doctrine, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press) 1972

Strauch, Alexander, Biblical Eldership, A call to restore Biblical Church Leadership, Littleton, CO, Revised and Expanded 1995

Vine, W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell 1981

Webster, Merriam Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated 1993.

[1]  Hodge quoting Winer in his “Comparative Darstellung” (Hodge, Charles, Systematic Theology, [Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.] ), 1997.

[2]  Ryrie, Charles C., A Survey of Bible Doctrine (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press), 1972.

[3]  John 16:7;NASB

[4]  Acts 1:4-5

[5]  Acts 11:15-16

[6]  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.           Galatians 3:26-28

[7]  1 Corinthians 12:12-13

[8]  Barber, Warren, Inspiration, Unpublished paper for CTS – 101 Bibliology , 1998

[9]  Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated), 1993.

[10]  Vine, W. E., Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell) 1981

[11]  Enns, Paul, The Moody Handbook of Theology, (Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press) 1996.

[12]  Kittel, Gerhard, and Friedrich, Gerhard, Editors, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), 1985.

[13]  Ibid

[14]  Strauch p124, and p148

[15]  Glasscock, Bibliotheca Sacra: 1955–1995 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary), 1997.

[16]  Dr. Meisinger class notes lesson six

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