Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gifts and Governance

Eph 4:9-16 is an important passage about leadership in the church. Christians have tended to apply it to three different situations.

1. Management
Modern churches will often have a large paid staff. Someone will have to take responsibility for managing this team of people and organising their activities. This chief executive role is usually taken by the pastor. Eph 4 has nothing to do with this rule, because the church in Ephesus that Paul was writing to did not have a full-time professional staff.

2. Governance
Modern church control some very large and expensive assets. The governance of these assets will be important.

3. Growing the Body of Christ
Ephesians 4 explains how a body of people is built up and grows into the fullness of Christ. It is about people being joined and linked together through strong relationships. It is about the body being strong as each part does what God has equipped it to do.

The ascensions gifts have nothing to do with staff management or church governance. Applying them in that context produces confusion.

The gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor-teachers can only find their fulfilment in a body of believers that is bound together by love.

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