The important thing for us to distinguish is “His.” It’s not a man or woman saying, “I will be a leader,” or even a God-appointed leader saying, “I am going to build up my ministry.”
The New Testament gives us a fourfold purpose for the Body of Christ:
- Mobilizing for evangelism
- Organizing for more meaningful ministry
- Making disciple-makers
- Caring for one another
We see God’s leaders involved in all of these aspects—
Mobilizing for evangelism—Peter pointed out the need for an apostle to be appointed to replace Judas, thus returning their ranks to the 12 apostles just as Jesus had originally said (Acts 1:15-22).
Organizing for more meaningful ministry—Everywhere Paul founded a church, he also appointed leaders to oversee and shepherd that church.
Making disciple-makers—Paul tells us that God appointed five offices of leaders in the church who had the specific task of preparing church members to do the ministry of building maturity in the church (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Caring for one another—The First Church set the pace for providing care for all who were in need, including organizing leaders to oversee specific care ministries (Acts 6:1-5).
What about a church congregation’s responsibility to their leaders? I see five areas:
- Hold them accountable to the Word (Acts 17:11). The Bible has to be THE standard to which leaders are held.
- Give them your confidence and submission after they have shown accountability to their biblical mandate (Hebrews 13:17).
- Pray for them (Ephesians 6:19).
- Pay them (1 Timothy 5:17).
- Be very careful about accusing them (1 Timothy 5:19).
A church and its leaders following this biblical pattern is a church that can effectively fulfill the Great Commission which Jesus gave us.