Leadership Questions Part One
Posted on April 11, 2017 11:04 AM by David Frasure
Categories: Leadership
Have you ever noticed that when Jesus taught, He enjoyed using powerful questions to get His audience to think more deeply?  Jesus never asked questions to get information.  He is the omniscient God in human flesh, after all.  Jesus used questions to influence people and to probe deeper into unexamined areas of the heart.  Jesus used questions to cause people to re-evaluate their lives and to help lead people in the right decision.  While attending a conference recently, I have been challenged with some probing questions related to the work of the church.
How is the church to govern itself and make decisions?  Should the church be managed like a business or corporation?  Should we be directed like a school?  Should the church operate on a political system where people try to influence people to endorse their point of view?  Should we make decisions like lawyers who argue their case in court?  Early in my ministry, I actually had a fellow suggest that the church should operate more like the military with a clear chain of command with the pastor as the commander-in-chief.  Frankly, I’ve seen pastors attempt to lead that way to the great peril of the church and their ministry.
It seems to me that the Bible teaches and implies a different kind of system than a business or political structure, although some principles may carry over to the church setting.  The Bible emphasizes a church working together like a family.  Some of the highest qualifications for pastoral leadership in the Bible are related to the pastor’s family.  The same is true for deacons. 

When the Apostle Paul gives instructions on how church members should interact and encourage one another he says, “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).  We can learn a lot from business models and various governing structures, but at the end of the day, we are a spiritual family, demonstrating mutual respect and love for one another as we seek the Lord’s will together with a strong desire to please Him.
Does the church structure itself for control or for growth?  When we structure for control, we feel safe.  All of our doctrinal “t’s” are crossed and “i’s” are dotted.  Like the farmer, we like our growth to be controlled in nice neat rows.  It makes our jobs easier.  In the church, we like our formulas for what percentage of the budget goes to missions and what percentage goes to ministry.  We like our classrooms to be a certain size and our teacher to pupil ratio to follow a certain formula.  We look at square-footage charts to determine parking lot size and ohm meters to determine how to set the volume on the speakers.  But too much control can stifle growth.
Certainly, we need to be on the same page with the fundamental teachings of the Bible.  Of course, we need to plan budgets and have a strategy for building size and classrooms.  The vineyard owner knows he needs to prune some branches and tie up the vines that get too close to the ground.  There needs to be some oversight, but when God blesses and moves in a church, it isn’t one-size-fits-all.  In fact, as we read through the Bible, we seldom see God use a cookie-cutter approach to His work.  He uses one approach to defeat Jericho and another to defeat Ai.  Jesus approached Nicodemus in a different way than He approached the Woman at the Well.  He healed one man with a spoken word and another by putting mud on his eyes.  Church growth is messy at times.  It doesn’t always follow a predictable pattern.  In the Book of Acts, the church had to continually adapt itself to what God was doing.  It is much the same today.
David Frasure is CABA's Disciple-making Catalyst and pastors FBC So. Lebanon, Oh.
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