Monday, September 24, 2007

Eldership

It would be beneficial for us all to read the most recent series of studies on eldership, which Alan Knox has added to his blog.
I have no doubt that there will be those who would have Alan drawn and quartered for his views which challenge the status quo and the comfortable careers some have chosen for themselves and worked towards.
If we can see congregations led by men who are long-standing members of that congregation, whose spiritual and human development has been observed by people who know him intimately, know him for whom his present witness declares he is in Christ, not for what he did or was in the past, and now recognize him as a man prepared by God for eldership, we will see truly Biblical leadership and congregations who can follow their leaders, rather than their chief executives.
The implications, of what Alan outlines, are enormous, both for congregations who decide to understand eldership in the way he has written, and for those men who understand themselves to be members of a congregation who have been given a corporate ministry of making disciples in the community in which they live.
It is my belief, in my country, it will require a move of the Holy Spirit, which bypasses much of the established "church" which insists on functioning as a humanistic institution structured on humanistic principles, in which leaders see themselves as career men working their way to the top, sometimes using very humanistic methods.
A congregant who proposes a similar approach to Alan's series, will find themselves charged with any number of demeanors such as divisiveness, undermining the pastor's authority, etc., etc.
If we read Scripture, in the light of what Scriptures say, and not in the light of what our traditions say(many of which are trying to maintain an earthly tabernacle cf. Heb.9:6,8), we will find that much of our traditional views are forced, to say the least. We are not Old Covenant, but New Covenant people, we are Christ followers, with new orders, everyone gifted, and having a ministry, some gifted in the area of leadership.
All are equal, but with different responsibilities. There is simply no Biblical evidence to believe that an hierarchy, of any sort, is tenable.

2 comments:

DBULL said...

When I see the words "a congregant" in your post here, I almost want to puke-sorry for the brutality. Either we are brothers or we are not. A "congregant" is as offensive as being called "laity." Those terms might fit in perfectly for members of the nicolaitin, babylonian church, but they have no place in the true church. Would you call a member of your own family a "congregant?" okay brother, I've beat that horse enough, grace and peace~d

Aussie John said...

dbull,

Good to see your comment.

Let me explain why I use the word which so offends you: Tyndale rightly understood that the word "congregation" was the best translation, in most places, for the word 'ekklesia'.

Because the word "church" means almost anything in our day, even politicians use it in relationship with a community of people, I most often use the word "congregation", or "assembly".

I am a congregant in the congregation of Christ, and so are all who are members of His congregation, His Body, which is often called "church.

A "congregant" is a member of a "congregation". If you have access to a Vines Dictionary of N.T.Words, check out "assembly" and "congregation".

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