Sunday School: What is a Healthy Church? Mark IX: Biblical Church Leadership (Part 2)

Mark IX of a Healthy Church

“Biblical Church Leadership” (part I)

 

Big Picture: The Bible places the authority of the elders inside the authority of the congregation since elder authority exists to help lead and equip the congregation to exercise their authority regarding the what and who of the gospel.  

  1. Authority of the Congregation
  2. There are different kinds of authority in the church.
  3. The authority of the keys of the kingdom belong to the congregation as a whole.
  • Matthew 16:18-19
  • Matthew 18:15-20
  1. Church membership (therefore) is an office, or job.
  • Job #1: Help preserve the gospel – (Gal. 1)
  • Job #2: Help affirm gospel citizens – (Matt. 18; 1 Cor. 5)
  1. The Church has office authority in discipline and membership (Matt. 18: 1 Cor. 5) and doctrine and leadership (Gal. 1).

In summary: Jesus grants the church authority to guard and protect the gospel, to affirm credible gospel professions, to unite such professors to itself, to bar or exclude non-credible professors, and to oversee the discipleship of believers. It has the authority to draw a line in the sand around those who give a credible profession of faith.

  1. Authority of the Elders

Authority of teaching and oversight

The congregation cannot wisely adjudicate the what and the who of the gospel unless they have gospel teachers teaching and giving oversight.

Responsibilities of elders

  1. The ministry of the Word - (Acts 6)
  2. The ministry of prayer - (Acts 6)
  3. The ministry of gathering and protecting – (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-4; Heb. 13:17)

III. How Do These Fit Together?

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:11-16)

Discussion question: What implications might this have for how pastoral care should work in our congregation?