Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Elders: Governing, Managing, Shepherding
Church leadership is complicated. It must start with deference to Jesus as the Chief Shepherd and ultimate head of the body (Eph 5:23). He’s in charge, and we need to submit our plans and leadership to him.
Human Leadership: Elders
In addition, the Holy Spirit appoints human overseers who must follow Jesus’ leading (Acts 20:28). The highest office of leadership in a church is that of elder (1 Tim 3:1–7). The elders must fulfill a wide range of responsibilities and address a variety of issues which grow in complexity as a church grows in size. The law of the land, for example, is extraordinarily complicated for large churches, and the elders must ensure that operations remain in compliance (2 Cor 8:20–21).
A Trinity of Complexity
The complexity must be dealt with in order to ensure a healthy and fruitful church. Therefore, the elders must organize in order to properly govern, manage, and shepherd the church as an organization and as a people. Every church needs these three functions to develop in concert:
- Govern: An overseeing body must ensure that proper systems and controls are in place to promote wise stewardship of all the resources entrusted to the organization’s care. Resources include the mission, leaders, finances, and people.
- Manage: Delegated leadership is responsible for day-to-day decision-making and operations oversight.
- Shepherd: Pastoral care includes preaching, teaching, counseling, and discipling the people of the church.
Case in Point
Here is how this plays out at Mars Hill: our Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of the church; our executive elders, department heads, and campus pastors are responsible for the management of different components of the church; and our shepherding is led by the campus pastors and their elder teams.
As a church organization grows, leaders become more and more specialized. Each elder at Mars Hill has a general obligation to govern, manage, and shepherd, but typically specializes in one of these three areas (Rom 12:4). Our aim as church leaders is to build an organization under the authority of Jesus and his Word, governed diligently, managed faithfully, and shepherded with great care for its people. Find him on Twitter and Facebook: