Everything we need to know about governing the church is in the Bible, isn’t it? Unfortunately, I too often hear this idea from pastors and church leaders. It is often reinforced by seminaries where the education of future clergy is heavy on theology and light on leadership and management.
So, what does the Bible say about church governance?
The Bible clearly outlines roles for overseers (elders, bishops) and servant leaders (deacons) in First Timothy, but the level of detail about how those offices carry out their roles or how their roles are aligned is light. The lack of detail is further complicated by the dissonance of historical context. The churches that Paul was speaking to in his letter to Timothy did not have the complexity of paid clergy and staff, formal accounting and financing structures/requirements, and corporate status granted through a governmental entity. The scripture clearly identifies the need for some in the church to be set apart as overseers who will protect the “flock,” keep the believers entrusted to them clearly aligned with the truth of God’s Word, and pray diligently to keep their senses open to God’s guidance and to intervene on behalf of the sick in their flock. In the same chapter, the scripture clearly identifies the need for some members of the church to be set aside as servant leaders, ensuring that the work of the church is carried out. However, scripture does not say exactly how those roles are to be carried out in detail or how they relate to one another. And, of course, scripture doesn’t tell what those roles might look like in the 21st century. What if we could find guidance that aligns with scripture, is informed by an understanding of the context of the 21st century, and that provides clear simple answers to help establish effective church governance. I believe that Aligned Influence has done that, and several churches and their leadership teams agree. To learn more, please visit www.alignedinfluence.com