Leading in the Church

It’s Monday afternoon, and we’ve just concluded the first meeting of our newly expanded church leadership team. As you know, Casey and Jonathan were recently affirmed, along with Paul and Chris, as elders of Chatham Christian Church. They, along with Mark and myself, will be meeting together regularly to hopefully discern the will of God for our church family in 2020. To introduce Casey and Jonathan to the eldership, we decided to meet for breakfast before spending the morning together in study and discussion.

We began our time together with a brief look at our congregational history and the basic expectations and responsibilities of elders. We then looked a recent article from Christianity Today that exposed the danger in viewing leadership in the church as it is viewed in the corporate world, and encouraged the church to “put the pastoral dimension of all Christian leadership in the driver’s seat and let the CEO dimension sit in the back.” The article noted the tendency to “talk the talk of servant leadership but walk the walk of ‘Gentile rulers’ who ‘lord it over’ others.”

We then read a sermon on leadership that was presented at a pastor’s conference I attended in California back in 1979. It’s a message that we have reviewed several times over the years at elder’s retreats and extended meetings. It’s also a message that may have helped the four “dynamic, gifted, movers and shakers” that were listed in the CT article avoid the mistakes that led to their downfall.

The thrust of the message is simply that leaders in the kingdom must lead by serving others, and not by trying to lord it over anyone. The stick figure diagram of servant leadership was compared to the typical pyramid structure of leadership on the printed copy of the sermon. If you want to read the entire sermon it can be found at chathamchristian.org under “About Us.”

God Bless, Rick

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