Overview: The Government of the Local Church

Brief thoughts on how the church can have protection and strong guidance and pastoral ministry…with unity and spiritual health

 The Lordship of Jesus Christ and His Word
The Word of the Lord as given by the prophets and for these last days by the eternal Son is clear and leads us, when we obey, to godliness and church as God intended.

There still are people who say things like, I know the Bible says that, but we want to…They must be given no influence in the church.

Congregational government
The members of the church select their own pastor, oversight board, and must approve any changes to the constitution.  They approve of the budget and any property purchases or building  additions.   Denominations sometimes have district and national authority also.

Some have memories when 50 or 100 people or more sat and argued about the specifics for the church and details for ministries. It did it did not work as well as some remember, and it certainly does not work well today.

Board oversight
The main board, only one, gives oversight to the ministries and staff by taking care of the four boundaries of the soccer field: foundations, resources, guidelines, and goals.   This is big-picture wisdom and advice for the pastor and staff,  with protection spiritually and even legally.

When the board seeks to get involved in everything or do day-to-day management, they are guaranteeing frustration and smallness for the church. When they care for oversight they are protecting the pastor and the people and helping to guide the ship.

 Pastoral leadership
The  senior or lead pastor captains the Sunday services and the daily ministries, leading staff and many  volunteers of the church to carry out the clear commands of our Lord and functions of the church, His body.  The pastors train and empower teams of ministry, including outreach,  to evangelize,  to build the believers, to do the work of ministry and mission.

This is not leadership without boundaries,  for “the soccer field model” has clear oversight of the big picture entrusted to the board,  and ministry freedom and teamwork “on the field.”

 Every-believer ministry
The goal as prescribed in Scripture is for every believer to be equipped “for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:13) — serving each other in love with community, and showing outsiders what action-love does and explaining the cross and what it means to follow Christ in today’s world.

Together, we are the church, obeying His Great Command to love and His Great Commission toward the world.

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