It’s all very good to discuss what church, church ministry, and the role of pastors are and aren’t, but it’s quite another to know what it ought to be and how to get there from here.
I believe that the church has erred in that leadership often grasps for power. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard leaders say that people ought to submit to them because they have authority over the congregation. There’s too much emphasis on getting authority rather than being the servant. This has been a problem through the centuries ever since Constantine gave favored status to the church. We have forgotten what Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 20:25-28.
Our experiences at the little church we attended, as well as other churches has caused me to question what CHURCH ministry really is.
The next few posts–about church and church structure, pastors, and church ministry–are all very closely related. They are so closely linked that it was hard to separate them, but I wrote about them separately so the post wouldn’t be so long. In fact, I wrote them all at once, so I could decide where to put various pieces of thought…
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)
I am not a feminist, and I never really questioned the role of women in the church until we attended a very tiny church (at most 20 people attended) with a pastor who believed women were under the submission of men to a degree I had never encountered before. Most churches I have attended believed that women were under the authority of men and, therefore, could not be in positions of leadership over them, but they believed it to varying degrees. Also the churches were large enough that there were plenty of ministry opportunities for women. It just wasn’t a problem.
Several years, ago, my family attended a very small church. After awhile we became concerned about some of the teachings and practices of the church. Eventually we left. Our time at this church was painful, but it was also very interesting, and it is responsible for us going down an unexpected road. I think that just because things are difficult, it doesn’t mean they are bad.