Identity Crisis: What it Means to Be the Bride of Christ
Elder Pastor Bishop
Cultural leadership has lost its way as it historically does—polling popularity
Last week—Governance (accountability, empowerment) is by the local church membership—minimal structural detail scripturally; plenty of organizational biblical principles.
This week –Leadership (direction, execution)—much scriptural detail
“The church of the living God is the pillar and foundation of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15)
The church has been entrusted with the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven—authority to bind and loose. (Matt.16:19; 18:18)
5 questions for establishing NT Church leadership…
1. What is the NT evidence for leadership in the church?
“It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” (Acts 6:2) “This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 11:30)
“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” (Acts 14:23)
From Macedonia Paul gives specific detail on church leadership (1 Tim. 3:1-15)
In Acts, Luke describes the leaders—“to the elders…among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (bishops), to shepherd (pastor) the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:17,28)
Peter confirms –“I exhort the elders…shepherd (pastor) the flock of God among you, exercising oversight (bishop)…” (1 Pet. 5:1,2)
Elders (continuity with the Jewish worship system) who oversee and shepherd. Elder is the person. Overseeing and shepherding is the role. Elder, Bishop, Pastor is the same person. These are not separate structural levels of church leadership. Unless you qualify to be an elder, you do not qualify to be a pastor.
2. Why men?
“…if any [man] aspires to [the office of] overseer, he must be the husband of one wife…who manages his own household well,…” (1 Tim. 3:1,4)
Context - 1 Tim. 2:12
Male/female relatedness as an object lesson of higher divine realities 1 Cor. 11:3; Gen 2:18; Eph. 5:23-24.
Male leadership of the church and the home is biblical because it is ideally illustrative of the theology of who God is, how he has created, and how the Godhead relates to itself and the church.
3. What men?
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” (Heb. 13:7)
- Moral respectability-examples (1 Pet. 5:3)
- Marriage and family excellence
Much is made of character, almost nothing of education or giftedness.
4. What do these men do?
“Appoint elders…who holds firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage/exhort others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)
- Provide (1 Tim. 3:2; 5:17)-healthy food
- Protect (Acts 20:29-31)-from toxic food, snakes and wolves
- Care (Heb.13:17)-wakeful vigilance
- Oversight/Leadership (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 5:17)-God’s household manager, direct affairs
Certain men are called to watch over God’s flock, his people and are directly answerable to the Chief Shepherd (Jesus).
5. What should the church do?
- Appoint biblically
- Support biblical leadership
- Pray for
- Pitch in
Highly value the gifts God gives to the church, to you, to equip you, to protect you, and to lose sleep to care for you.