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Healthy Targets

Healthy Structure – Leadership

This week I share the seventh of nine targets for healthy churches – Leadership.  The next three targets fall under the third category Healthy Structures and they are Leadership, Membership, and Discipleship. For churches to be healthy it is important to have a biblical polity in place.  It starts with the basic truth that the Chief Elder of the Church is Jesus, the head of His Body. Additionally, He has called and ordained that the local body be led by under-shepherds (1 Pet. 5:1-4).  While every church member is a minister, God gifts the church with pastors as servant leaders who provide oversight of souls, sound preaching, godly examples, and overarching leadership and direction for the church.  Paul uses three different terms for the same office – elder, pastor, overseer – in his instruction to the leaders of the church of Ephesus. “Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.  When they arrived he said to them… Guard yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be pastors of the church of God…” (Acts 20:17-18, 28).  So, the answer to the question “Why does the church have pastors?” is because God designed the church and has called pastors to lead, shepherd, instruct and equip his people for maturity in the faith and service (Eph. 4:11-16).  Also, God provides deacons as leading servants to care for the church’s physical needs, oversee benevolence and protect its unity (Acts 6:1-7).  When both offices are fulfilled by those qualified with the character and competence needed (1 Tim 3:1-13), the church is able to function well as a Body and accomplish much for the Kingdom.  Join in me in praying for those who God has called to serve our CPBA churches.  I am grateful for each one. – Dr. Gary Mathes