Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Leadership in the Church

God, in his goodness and grace, called me to be an evangelist, pastor, and teacher. These different responsibilities have been mine for over sixty years, both in and outside churches. During these years, I have been aware of unpleasantness in some churches. Here are a few general examples:

• The pastor is an autocrat.
• The pastor has been called to a “pastor-eating church.”
• The church is “owned” by one or two families who hire and fire pastors, who “chew them up and spit them out.”
• The church finds it easy to choose up sides within itself.

People condone, allow, and tolerate all sorts of irregularities in a church until they are in excess. Then the Christians get angry and endeavor to correct the situation with bitterness, anger, and clamor. The correction is not done in a Christian way. (If you are in such a church, please read How to be Free from Bitterness here.)

Correction must be done gently, spiritually, and with all planks removed. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). Notice that the text says “you who are spiritual,” not “you who are right.” If you are not spiritual, you are not qualified to do the restoring. If you are not gentle, you are not qualified, nor will you be effective in restoring your brother. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5).

My next two posts will not address all church problems. They will be limited to the subject of the authority of elders. According to 1 Peter 5:1-5, all elders are pastors and overseers. If you are an elder, please consider this teaching prayerfully and be open to correction. If you are under authority, please do not have a critical spirit.

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