Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Perhaps the best thing I have ever read on Christian leadership

Check out this post by Frank Viola on leadership in the church and how we have completely changed it from what the Bible describes: The Myth of Christian Leadership. Many people accuse Frank and others like him of being anti-leadership when in reality they are simple against forms of leadership in the church that are not only not found in the Bible, they actually work against the Biblical model.

Some who haven’t read my work have misconstrued my position to suggest that I believe there are “no leaders” in the church . . . or that there shouldn’t be any.

Not true.

My position is the opposite. I believe that the New Testament envisions all Christians as leaders in their own sphere of ministry and gifting.

To put it another way, according to the New Testament, there is no clergy/laity distinction. Instead, all Christians are kleros (clergy) and all Christians are laos (laity).

The clergy/laity dichotomy is a tragic fault line that runs throughout the history of Christendom. Yet despite the fact that multitudes have taken the low road of dogmatism to defend it, this dichotomy is without biblical warrant.

His treatment of the words we misuse, clergy and laity, is outstanding and understandable by anyone. We are all laity, the people, and we are all clergy. As Frank writes, the New Testament doesn't do away with clergy, it makes all believers part of the clergy! Certainly we lead in different ways but those differences are functional rather than hierarchical.

So many alleged leaders in the church are truly obsessed about being respected and recognized as leaders. Waving around their ordination certificates, insisting on being called "pastor" to the point of making their Facebook or twitter user name "Pastor Smith". Expecting deference and respect because of a title.

A true leader simply leads by living how they already live and doesn't have to keep telling people they are leaders. The more you have to remind people that you are a leader, the less of a leader you probably are.

Be sure to also read one of the comments from Jim Wright, I think he makes some good points as well.

Why aren't you reading it yet? Arnold has something to say to you...

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