Thursday, January 5, 2012
What’s the goal and purpose of church leadership?
To be clear from the beginning, church leadership is not for the purpose of having a nice Sunday morning entertainment package for your local church. Leaders are called to equip you to be effective ministers. Leadership is to prepare you for battle and on how to live and give. Eph. 4:12 reveals that the goal of leadership is to build up the church! In Ephesians 4, Paul reveals the church needs so much work done on it. This fact keeps us from discouragement as we realize how imperfect the church really is. The church is a place where it’s OK to not be OK, as long as we don’t remain that way. This means we start by receiving God’s grace and becoming believers. Leaders equip the saints so that every one is a minister, fixing what’s broken and supplying what’s lacking. As believers, reaching out and giving in the way God has graced us, we avail ourselves to the leaders who equip us for ministry.
What does this goal mean for church leaders?
Leaders are to strengthen the whole church body, not just certain parts. It’s not just strengthening individuals but the whole church. As Americans we are devoted to personal individual fulfillment and satisfaction. Devoting ourselves to building the whole church is difficult to grasp in an individualistic culture. The aim found in Eph. 4 is unity of faith and knowledge. There is one faith and one truth.
What are we to look like as a community?
The answer is to look like Jesus… “to a mature person, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13-14). The aim is for the Church to take on a personality like Jesus, a strength like Jesus and a love like Jesus.
What should a mature church know?
We are to be solid in knowing the Bible so we aren’t influenced by every weird belief (v.14). Rather, we are to “grow up in all aspects into Him (Christ)” (v.15). The aim of church ministry with our grace gifts is to become a church that is unified in faith and knowledge, growing more and more into a body that looks and acts like Jesus. Church leaders are to call you to this glorious work, to stir you to pray for it, to equip you to give yourselves to it!
What is the conclusion for the question: Why Church? To provide an opportunity for every grace-gifted believer to be equipped to effectively minister to Jesus’ Church until we look like Jesus and therefore impact our world.