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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
So what place does this have in the "contemporary" church, where somebody is appointed over an entire congregation, or over, a specific ministry within that congregation (e.g. Sunday school director)?


with my emphasis...

Somehow we have to get past this whole concept of leaders being 'over' others. I can only see 'elders' as a specific biblical recognition within (not over) a local assembly. 'Leaders' is not really a bible term. There were those who took the lead but that does not mean they we 'the leader'. Acts 15 is a fascinating example; you will see that Peter took the lead, then Paul, and Barnabas then James. I believe 'leadership' is a moral power rather than a legislative one in the local church and the world wide church.

If 'leadership' had been formal and legal Paul would not have said; Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Ti 4:12 KJV). he would have said use your power to remove the opponents.

There is an interesting comment on early church 'leadership' from the First Epistle of Clement. Clement was probably an elder in the church at Rome; there were no monarchical bishops or single rule churches at this time. Trouble had broken out in Corinth and Clement wrote from Rome to admonish them. Apparently the cause of the trouble was that they had dismissed their elders. I am not advocating such behaviour but it is interesting that such a thing was possible at this time. Leadership was due to moral power not legal right.

Of course, it is possible for men to create roles like director of music or director of evangelism or some such. God's silence must never be taken for his approval. Such men, even though appointed by men, may still serve in the spirit of the early church.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/6 17:04Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:


Somehow we have to get past this whole concept of leaders being 'over' others. I can only see 'elders' as a specific biblical recognition within (not over) a local assembly. 'Leaders' is not really a bible term. There were those who took the lead but that does not mean they we 'the leader'. Acts 15 is a fascinating example; you will see that Peter took the lead, then Paul, and Barnabas then James. I believe 'leadership' is a moral power rather than a legislative one in the local church and the world wide church.



Great example. Especially since many often just point out the authority of James in this council.

Quote:

If 'leadership' had been formal and legal Paul would not have said; Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Ti 4:12 KJV). he would have said use your power to remove the opponents.



Wonderful insight.

Quote:

I am not advocating such behaviour but it is interesting that such a thing was possible at this time. Leadership was due to moral power not legal right.



Indeed. But, such is not totally without basis even in today's modern church. In some denominations, all the leaders remain in their office only by election, and likewise can be removed by election.

Quote:

Of course, it is possible for men to create roles like director of music or director of evangelism or some such. God's silence must never be taken for his approval. Such men, even though appointed by men, may still serve in the spirit of the early church.



One of my professors a year ago is a youth pastor at a church. He mentioned that biblically speaking, there is no basis to his ministry of youth pastor. Yet, I like how he did point out that there is freedom in Christ. Granted, perhaps his quotation of 1 Cor is a little out of context, but I cannot flatly reject his proposal.

This past Thursday when I went to UNC Charlotte, I ended up praying for a man when the Lord prompted me to. When I did, almost instantly 3 other believers came from the middle of nowhere and surrounded this man in prayer as well. It dawned on me later that this was a great example of Biblical leadership. I was not appointed by any as "the" intercessor to go about praying for folks, but, the Lord used me as one to spearhead what occured, and others ended up following my leading by God. Btw, if you aren't aware of what occured, you can read about it at: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2953&forum=35#19046

--great thoughts philo...


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Jimmy H

 2004/9/6 20:01Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
This past Thursday when I went to UNC Charlotte, I ended up praying for a man when the Lord prompted me to. When I did, almost instantly 3 other believers came from the middle of nowhere and surrounded this man in prayer as well. It dawned on me later that this was a great example of Biblical leadership.


Hi Jimmy
I think this is a great illustration. I do recognise the unique responsibility of elders in a local church, but I in the gathering of the saints I think that 'leadership' is an event rather than a role. I think what we have in Acts 15 is 'leadership' as an event rather than a a role.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/7 3:56Profile
Nasher
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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

How does this fit into the equation:

1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.


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Mark Nash

 2004/9/7 7:52Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.



The word 'over' just isn't there in the original.

Youngs Literal Translation is interesting and provocative...
and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness, (1Ti 2:12 YLT)


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/7 8:38Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Greg

Quote:
Myself going to a protestant "presbyterian" church which its name being derived from the greek word I believe for order or heirachy.


I missed this earlier. The Greek word presbuteros (the latin would be senator!) is the word for elder. The Presbyterian system of church government has 'elders/presbuteros' governing the church in contrast to the Episcopal system which has a single bishop.

Perhaps this little list will help.
The word 'elders' meaning those older, and often by virtue of that in a role of counsellor or advisor, is presbuteros in Greek.

The word 'overseer' in Greek is episkopos. This is the word that the English word 'bishop' derives from. HOWEVER... the English word 'bishop' is now used of a monarchical bishop at the head of a church structure known as hierarchy. (originally hieros-priest rule) It now usually means a 'chain of command' structure or a gentile power structure of the kind that the Lord said was not to be the pattern for his church!?!

the word for pastor (latin) or shepherd in Greek is poimēn, meaning a herdsman. The only person specifically referred to in the New Testament as a 'pastor' is Christ Himself. The verb 'to shepherd' is used in Acts 20:28 where in the KJV it is translated 'feed'. This passage refers to a group of men earlier described as 'elders' (Acts 20:17). So we see that they were 'elders' or 'overseers' and that their responsibility, corporately, was to 'shepherd' the flock in which the Holy Spirit had placed them.

The concept of a single pastor with leading responsibilities was not present in the early church but was seen to be pushing in by the end of the 1st century. It seems to have begun with a single elder representing the oversight at wider gatherings. This person gradually became the head of the local assembly and then as things grew the head of a district. He was then called a 'the bishop/overseer' and the head of the local assemblies became known as priests... it was all downhill after that.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/10/6 13:51Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

*bump*

Ron had placed a link to this in one of his replies. It was so good I decided to bump it back to the top for others to read.


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2005/10/5 12:24Profile
sdidde
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Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 27
Milpitas, CA, USA

 Re: Early Church Leadership

I heard a Pastor defend the singular leadership by referring to Rev. 2 and 3, where our Lord Jesus mentions the phrase "...to the Angel of the Church of...". Can someone explain.
In His Love,
-Stephen


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Stephen

 2005/10/5 18:15Profile









 Re: Early Church Leadership

Hello. I am new to SermonIndex; please pardon this intrusion in to your discussion.

I have been reading several different discussions on various topics posted and am a bit confused, both with content and purpose – please bear with me for a moment.

Regards this particular posting and related contributions, I get the impression that there is the need to define terms, i.e. accountability and decision making vs. leadership and example setting; and who is responsible for each. Without term definition, it is difficult to stay focused and come to a conclusion.

With any organization (including churches) there is a need for legal/organizational delegated authority and accountability for establishing and maintaining of doctrine, direction, and application of resources (Jerusalem council) – policies and procedures that align with and support the organization’s purpose. This position (office/title) carries with it by necessity the attributes and responsibility for carrying out the stated and agreed upon policies and procedures as set forth by a “council of elders” or board of directors. If you look closely in Acts, you will notice that all of this is encapsulated in chapter 15.

The single Authority for the Church of Christ is God, and He delegates, as He wills, certain authority and holds accountable men whom He has selected (ordained/called) for such responsibility within the church organizational structure. While each believer (including those of the church organizational structure) has the responsibility to be a true and faithful witness of Jesus Christ to everyone they come in contact with (example setting), whether by word or deed (1 Timothy 12-16), church organizational office holders/staff members have a peculiar additional set of responsibilities in relationship to the organizational office/position they hold for which they are held directly accountable – both to God and to man.

The Apostles, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, established the church organizational structure, doctrine and application. They in turn set an example, as leaders in living out (setting an example) that which the Holy Spirit spoke to them – again see Acts chap 15.

Husbands and wives do this very same thing in the establishing of the family. Rules/guidelines are developed and then parents communicate those to their children by word and hopefully by deed (example). They teach and instruct (train), and also live out through leadership by example (disciple) those rules/guidelines to their children.

Shalom.
Y’shua haMeshiach!

 2005/10/6 13:51
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

I heard a Pastor defend the singular leadership by referring to Rev. 2 and 3, where our Lord Jesus mentions the phrase "...to the Angel of the Church of...". Can someone explain.
In His Love,
-Stephen



Actually, Rev 2-3 is full of writing against such a notion. In Rev 2-3, Christ mentions the doctrine of the Nicolatians infecting the churches. No description is ever offered of what exactly this doctrine was. However, the greek word for this group of individuals means "people conquerers."

It would seem the problem of 3 John, where an individual had jumped to the forefront by putting others down, had infected the churches of Asia-minor. If you study closely the writings of the early church fathers, you will find the development of a single pastor rule accompanying a group of elders took place earliest in these regions, and was by no means a universal practice of the early church. The apostle John was indeed fighting this developing trend in the early church. It is interesting to note though, that he simply did not assert his "authority" to fix the problem though.

It cannot be proved who the 7 Angel's of Rev 2-3 are. It's even a further stretch to assert they are the single pastor of a church.


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Jimmy H

 2005/10/6 16:31Profile





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