≡ Menu

Church Leadership II

Jesus is the head of the church.

It could be because this is far too obvious but I find that far too often Jesus is left off our or organizational charts.

Jesus himself states that he is the one who builds his church (Matthew 16:18). The Scriptures describe Jesus as our Apostle and High Priest (Hebrews 3:1) as well as our Chief Sheppard (1 Peter 5:4). Throughout Ephesians Christ is described as the head over the church body (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:15-16, 5:23).

Whatever structures are in place they must always submit to the ways of Jesus and the Spirit of God. While there is a human leadership structure, every person ultimately follows and submits to God Himself.

I’ve never quite seen a good diagram on church ecclesiology, where there is some form of structure, yet everyone submitting to Christ himself. Here’s what I’m imagining.

leadership diagram

Although I don’t expect those who are part of our community but not followers of Jesus to submit themselves to Jesus, I think they too have a role in leading. I’m not sure how to pictorially demonstrate it, but whether you acknowledge it or not, there are those in your midst that don’t subscribe to Jesus, but lead in influential ways.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Yu June 30, 2007, 1:50 pm

    hey man,

    what do you think about Pernell’s comments about the ‘myth of flattened leadership’? Esp the following up comments with hybrid models (ie. star and the spider) or chaordic leadership (which I find very fascinating).

    Interesting that this flattened vs. hierarchical model of leadership in the church is debatable in Pauline scholarship. One of the commenters on Pernell’s blog pointed to Dunn’s book – theology of Paul the apostle (which I have!), so will continue the discussion when I’ve read a bit more

  • Lon July 6, 2007, 12:32 pm

    Hey Yu, I just checked out Pernell’s posts on it. That’s a bit of what I was trying to get at with my diagram. Whether it’s traditional or APEST or whatever I think we’re all positionally only a single step from Christ.

    I think those who vouch for the flattened model are idealizing this truth though… God has ‘orders’ of angels and of creation even, I don’t see any reason why there wouldn’t be different roles, and even some form of hierarchy in the church.

    it’s definitely a bit of both, which is probably why the hybrid models are getting traction.

    Sometimes i feel like we prefer the flattened model because we want to abdicate the responsibility God has given to us on behalf of others…

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: