Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What does New Covenant ministry look like?

Dave Black has a pretty good list, What Does a New Testament Church Look Like? Take a look and let me know what you think.

Here are a few of my favorites.....

I am convinced of the normacy of tentmaking leadership.

I am convinced that any local church that takes seriously Jesus as the Senior Pastor will not permit one man to become the titular head of the church.

I am convinced that Paul's letters were not intended to be studied by ordinands in a theological college but were intended to be read and studied in the midst of the noisy life of the church.

I am convinced that the whole church, the community of all the saints together, is the clergy appointed by God for ministry.
Love it!


Andrew said...

Wow - this is really bad. Christ is the "head" of the church, granted. He is also the "Chief shepherd." But this does not mean that there is no leadership within the local body of believers! Acts itself should be sufficint refutation of this.

Tentmaking may be normal - but it is not exclusively the "right" way of doing it. Paul often exhorts his readers to support their leaders (implication: monitarily).

I don't necessarily endorse seminary training as the only way to study the Word of God, but this guy is way out of balance! The reason we have so many NT epistles is because there was a student, named Saul, who sat at the feet of Gamaliel and learned how to interpret OT theology! And he came to realize that the OT, even the "law" was designed to reveal Christ. Moreover, who says that you can't have "noisy life" or "community" studying the Word in seminary?

Yes, all saints of God are called to world-changing ministry! But if no one leads them, it won't happen. The best example of this is found in your typical home-church. Where the Church "turned the world upside down" was where there was Holy Spirit-filled leadership working in human leaders.

Andrew said...

I just typed a line-by-line rebuttal that was lost and don't have time to re-write it...sorry. These excerpts may not be entirely without merit, but they are entirely out of balance with Scripture.

Arthur Sido said...

Hi Andrew

Thanks for your comment (apparently the first one went through, commenting has been kind of off on blogger today). As far as your points.

Dr. Black is not "anti-leadership". He is, if I may speak for him in this case, anti-clericalism and in favor of servant leadership among the body.

Paul never took money from a congregation he was ministering among and when he did speak of financial support (i.e. 1 Cor 9) he did so in context of itinerant leaders.

Just FYI, "this guy" has been teaching at seminary for a very long time. He is an instructor at Southeast Baptist Theological Seminary so he has a pretty thorough understanding of the benefits and limitations of a seminary education. I would argue that Paul was chosen to write the epistles in spite of, not because of his education and none of the other disciples had any sort of formal training and still managed to proclaim the Gospel far more effectively than we do now.

I actually am part of a typical "home-church" as were all of the New Testament church. Conversely there are an awful lot of traditional churches with traditional leadership with lots of seminary education that are having minimal impact on the world and their local community.

Alan Knox said...


Every one of Dave Black's statements can be backed up with Scripture and more Scripture. Consider just these two points as we consider what is "normal" in Scripture:

Concerning "leaders," do you think Matthew 20:25-28 should help us understand leaders among the church? (See also the parallel in Luke 22:24-27 which uses the term "leader".) If so, then what do those passages tell us about leaders?

Can you give me an example in Scripture of a servant of Christ (minister if you prefer) who accepted money from the people in the location he/she was serving?


Tim A said...

This is one of my favorites with it's thread of sarcasm:

I am convinced that top-down structures of leadership are unquestionably more efficient -- efficient in doing almost everything than equipping, which is the primary task of leadership.

Top-down leadership is always (99,9% of the time) perpetual dependency rather than reproductive.

2 Tim. 2:2
Luke 6:40
and many more.