Church Leadership for Dummies

Last night in our Antioch class we talked about some of the more “official” leadership roles that are talked about in the New Testament Church. I, being more of a layman than a theologian, appreciated our conversation as we drilled down on what those roles were, what they did, and how they apply to our churches today. Here’s my take-away (in no particular order, that’s important).

  • Prophet > The Speaker
    Pros: speaks “supernaturally” the Word of God (that’d be biblical truth) into people’s lives to encourage and/or challenge people. Some might call this “forth-telling”
    Cons: speaks “supernaturally” – could be abused, especially by those who tend to “fore-tell” (predict pretty much anything).
  • Apostle > The Builder
    Pros: Church planter, messenger, ministry starter, idea generator
    Cons: Massive ADD, not necessarily a finisher, closely tied to Evangelist, needs a Pastor as a team-mate
  • Elder > The Spiritual Overseer
    Pros: Keeps others accountable, protectors of the church
    Cons: “With much power comes much responsibility” Could use position to rule rather than oversee
  • Deacon > The Servant
    Pros: Does a lot of the hands-on tasks of the church
    Cons: Easily over-used and/or unappreciated
  • Teacher > The Equipper
    Pros: Gives the church the tools they need to do the work of the Gospel
    Cons: Could compete with other leadership roles for position
  • Pastor > The Guidance Counselor
    Pros: Like a shepherd, he is caring, patient, understanding
    Cons: Like a shepherd, he is more interested in the flock than taking some ground or building something, needs an Apostle or Evangelist as a team-mate
  • Evangelist > The Gatherer
    Pros: Natural people-person, gathers people and is able to communicate (the Gospel) clearly and emotionally
    Cons: Narcissistic, can become toxic if he stays in one place too long, needs a Pastor as a team-mate, and/or Elder accountability

Could people have multiple leadership tendencies? I believe, Yes (Pastor/Teacher, Apostle/Evangelist, Pastor/Elder, etc.).

Is one leadership style more important? Yes/No. I believe each role has a vital purpose in the building & growing of the Church of Christ. At one point in time one leadership style may emerge as more prominent, for example: When planting a church, the Apostle or Evangelist leader will be the prominent role, however as the church is established, the Pastor/Teacher becomes more prominent.

PS – I’m still trying to figure out “Bishop”. I’m thinking maybe Denomination Leader, or church network pastor?