A Spirit Led Church and Leadership

Muddy commented on my post from earlier today:

I did not say that the pastor was the sole person in charge-leaving out Christ. I wrote that those in the church however, are under him, who is ALSO under Christ.

Paul may have had a team, but he was indeed the leader of that team. He might have relied on their Godly counsel, but this does not replace the fact that he was the leader, and the one God put in that place of leadership.

At our church, we not only have a pastor, but several other pastors that are in different leadership positions. There are also elders and assorted others in different leadership positions throughout the church. Nothing though is done out of a consensus , it is done because God is leading the pastor in the way the church should go-much as God led Moses to lead His choosen people through the wilderness. I am sure he respects the opinions of others in the church, especially among those that are in leadership-but it is God that guides him, not his congregation giving the ok, or the leadership.

I still go back to my prior comments, that churches are modeled by our families. You are the spiritual lead of your home UNDER Christ, much as the pastor is the lead of that congregation/the body UNDER Christ. Being a pastor is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Not everyone is given this gift, but to the man that is, he will be held accountable for how he uses that gift in the edification of the body-
My reply was too lengthy for a comment, so it became a new post. Enjoy and rip apart. You make me better.

In an unhealthy church (similar to the examples of Moses and some of the churches Paul was in) the leader cannot lead by consensus. The Spirit of God is not living amongst the believers. I am not talking about those situations.

However, when the Spirit lives among the body and is guiding them, it seems that God leads them to go in the same direction at the same time. There isn't an intermediary between God and his follower, why should their be when it comes to the church?

The Spirit does not create chaos. It would be chaos if people were acting as if they were being led by the Spirit and were actually seeking selfish ambition. However, if the body is walking in sync with the Spirit, the only thing that will result is unity and love. Chaos will erupt when we stop walking with God.

I can't comment on how your church is ran or how the senior pastor conducts himself in the meetings. I would be very scared of a pastor who doesn't check his leadings with other godly counsel. I would also be terrified if he didn't listen to God's leading through other people. A pastor, no matter how large or spiritual the church, does not have a greater link to God than the layperson serving incognito.

If the body of Christ is told to go in a direction that is of God, then that is where they will head. Consensus in a healthy body allows the leadership to check themselves.

However, concsensus will not work if the body is not seeking God. It will not work in an unhealthy situation. I believe it would work in a church of imperfect people who are seeking God and are open to his leading.

And the family illustration is perfect. In a healthy family, the man will never force the others to do something. They will all want to do what is pleasing to one another. The father of a healthy family is not a dictator. I might be wrong, but I do run my family by consensus. I don't make decisions and then bring them to my wife for submission. I work with her. We come up with what we are going to do together. I've never had to say that this is what we are doing whether you like it or not. I try to love her as Christ loves the church. That means that I allow her to choose wrongly, just like Christ loves the church. And I also choose wrongly. We are there to help guide one another to not choose wrongly. When my children reach an age where they can be involved in important decisions, I plan on incorporating them. I feel it will teach them to live when they get out on their own if they are involved in the important decision when they are still living at our home.

And I don't disagree. Being a pastor is a gift from the God. However, I think we disagree on what that entails. Every gift is giving to the body for its edification. If God is giving a pastor a vision for the church and the church rejects it, then either he is out of step with God or the congregation is. If he waits patiently, the congregation might come in line. If he forces it on them, then I think he is exhibiting a characteristic that God does not exhibit with us. God does not force anything on us. He gives us free will to reject him. Why do we expect church leaders to exhibit a characteristic that God does not?

Maybe we don't disagree and this is all semantical. I don't really know. I believe God does guide a church through leaders, but I don't think his guidance is exclusive to leaders. It is very unhealthy for a leader to not check his guidance with what God is doing in his church. And it is extremely unhealthy to not have some way for God to lead through someone other than the pastor. It seems that God does lead through a pastor the majority of the time, but I think it is a very unhealthy church that requires all leading to be done through the pastor.

Watch out for the potholes.