The Church and leadership – Part 1
In this series, we are going to examine pertinent issues that are fundamental to understanding what the CHURCH means, who owns the CHURCH, the purpose for the CHURCH, what leadership means and its importance in achieving the purpose of the CHURCH and how leadership affects true Church growth. We would also x-ray how effective church leadership affects the society in contemporary times.
A convenient point to start is to ask the question, “WHAT IS THE CHURCH?” One of the early mentions of the Church in the New Testament is recorded in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said, “And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (ESV). Jesus was not saying He would build the Church on Peter, which also means the rock, but RATHER ON PEOPLE WHO HAVE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM LIKE PETER DID AND REVELATION KNOWLEDGE AS PETER SHOWED. What kind of “MEN” do you have in your congregation? Further to possessing that kind of knowledge, they should also be persons that have capacity to contain the AUTHORITY and POWER that Jesus gave believers in Luke 10:19. In your congregation are men being prepared with the capacity and potentials to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18)? If your answer is “NO” then go back to the basics.
JESUS CHRIST, as the Church foundation, is firm and unshaken and so, we must ensure that the building blocks are likewise solid, since they must conform to the image of the Son, Rom 8: 29. Paul to brethren in Ephesians 2:19-22, said: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built…” As we sketch this picture of the CHURCH, Paul adds another dimension, when he directed the brethren in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 thus: “as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” This revelation man or woman must WALK WORTHY of GOD, because he or she had been CALLED to fit into the building blocks. Ponder a while and reflect on the kind of persons that are being moulded, formed or prepared in your CHURCH. Note that those who walk worthy of God are CALLED: into fellowship of His son Jesus Christ, our Lord (1 Cor. 1:9); to follow in His step (1 Peter 2:21); into one body (Col 3:15); out of darkness into His marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9); to glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3); Eph 4:1; 1thes 4:7; 1 Tim. 6:12; Heb 3:1. What is the position in your congregation or with you knowing that Abraham and even Saul on the way to Damascus were called alone? Abraham was God’s friend in whom He confided, for instance, when Sodom and Gomorrah was to be destroyed.
The call of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-2; Isaiah 51:2) was truly symbolic of the pattern of the New Testament Church. The Church is, therefore, neither a building nor is it a place of worship, but it refers to the called-out who by grace are spiritually united with the living God through Christ who makes them holy through His holiness. Those called-out walk worthy of God under the countenance of His glory and therefore able to prevail against the gates of hell. The called out, for the sake of emphasis must be BORN AGAIN. According to 2 Cor. 2:15, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” This aroma activates the hedge of God over the righteous.