September 12, 2003

Leadership in the Em-Church

I've been pondering this topic lately, and was preparing to make my inaugural post at Open Source Theology on the subject when I ran into Justin Baeder's latest at Radical Congruency. It's an email he sent to the team he's planting Seattle Metro Church with. Excerpt:
I would like to add a bit on church structure, leadership, and administration, as this will no longer be an abstract "model" on paper, but something we deal with on a daily basis... I'd like to discuss a paradigm of "three types of groups..."
He goes on to discuss briefly his ideas for "incarnational hanging out" groups, "Spiritual conversation" groups, and "Christians only" gatherings as a basic (and one would imagine only preliminary) structure for this church.

As intriguing as these ideas are, what really struck me about his email was how his post informed the discussion currently going on at OST about "Emerging Authority" by highlighting the need for a human "guide" within local expressions of the Body of Christ. I'm beginning to think that, because this need seems to be common across the millennia, the teachings of Scripture on the leadership structure of the church are, in some sense, normative.

For me, at least, the question would then become, "How do we reframe the concepts of apostles, overseers, and deacons (assuming these are all Biblical) so that they have a transformational impact on our generation?"

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