Monthly Archives: December 2015
In the New Testament, “elders” (overseers) were a group of leaders responsible for leading and teaching a local church. They are godly people, mature in Christ, who love, serve and protect God’s people (1 Tim 3; 5) as they follow in Jesus’ footsteps (Mark 10:45; John 15:20). Leaders may be paid or unpaid. Leadership is also a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8), and so I think that there are leaders within the church who may or may not be in leadership roles.
Hence, when looking at appointing someone in a leadership role, I look firstly at their character, maturity and conviction in Christ, their motives in serving, their willingness to serve, and then their ability to lead others in ministry. Regarding leadership ability, I think that this can be seen in how others relate to them, whether people respect and follow them. Regarding the skills and competencies required for leadership role, I think that whilst they are important, they can be developed as leaders learn in those roles.
So I define a leadership team as a group of leaders who lead a specific ministry (for example – children’s ministry has a leadership team, or the church wardens and parish councilors together with the Senior minister and senior clergy is a leadership team for the whole church). Functionally, the leadership team works together to set vision, plan and strategize, review and pray for the ministry they are leading.
What is your position on the recent movement in churches to become mission focus and market place oriented?
As suggested in the question, there has bben a recent movement to direct evangelism and other Christian activities toward the secular marketplace (I understand ‘market place’ as somewhere in the secular domain, outside of ‘walls’ of the church). In Australia, for instance, the number of non-churched is growing and people are no longer willing to step into the church. Hence, the push is to create gospel opportunities wherever we are in the market place (workplace, schools, gym, sporting club,etc), rather than relying on the attracting people into our regular church ministries for evangelism.
My view is that churches should become more mission focussed and market placed oriented, however, not at the expense of traditional church ministries. Evangelism at church and regular ministries (e.g. men’s, women’s, children, youth, marriage, parenting, etc) form an important platform for gospel proclamation. Moreover, the church building is an extremely valuable resource for evangelistic events and ministries.
At St Paul’s, by way of example, we try to encourage and support evangelism in any form and anywhere. We’ve set up evangelistic enterprises that have mainly been involved in market-place evangelism (e.g. cocktail party in business district, coffee club at cafes, community carols, etc). However, I am in full support of all our existing attractional structures at church (e.g. youth group, play groups, children’s holiday clubs, high teas, musical events, etc) and I am always seeking to better utilize our church buildings to further evangelistic ministries.