Knowing who you are
Sat May 25, 2013
by Jeremy Pace
Resurgence roundup, 5/24/13
Fri May 24, 2013
The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
Who Leads the Church?
This is the story of why I’m no longer Lead Pastor of Mars Hill Church, a title I carried for a few years, until just recently. The story begins with Jesus.
Prophet, Priest, King
The Old Testament establishes three primary leadership offices for the people of Israel:
- Prophets: God’s messengers to his people
- Priests: Mediators who approach God on behalf of his people
- Kings: Rulers who govern God’s people
In the New Testament, we see that Jesus perfectly fulfills each of these offices. He is our final and authoritative Prophet (John 1:1). He is our Great High Priest (1 Peter 5:4). And he is the conquering King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15).
Does your org chart preach the gospel?
Our organizational chart has endured countless iterations over the years, but the same leader has always remained on top. Colossians says Jesus is “the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:8), so we literally write his name in as the Senior Pastor, the Head of Mars Hill Church.
Of course, slapping Jesus on your org chart can be the church leadership’s equivalent of a fish on a car bumper: though it may indicate something, it won’t make you a faithful disciple. But we put it on paper as a visible reminder—that Jesus is in charge, he will build his church, and his Word is our ultimate authority—and more and more practical implications emerge over time.
With Jesus established as Senior Pastor for all eternity, at Mars Hill we’ve decided to follow his example and organize our human leadership according to the key roles he fulfills:
- Prophet – The people must be taught the Bible.
- Priest – The people must be loved.
- King – The people must be led.
The men who lead the church must lead like Jesus—not to replace him, but to follow him and serve his people according to their need, as described in the Bible. Though we are imperfect and incomplete, by God’s grace we can still reflect the One who teaches, loves, and leads the way to glory.
What this looks like
At Mars Hill, we have a small group of senior leaders that oversees the totality of our church. For the past few years, I've served on this team as lead pastor in charge of all Mars Hill operations and helping to cast vision.
The lead pastor title isn’t a problem, and my role hasn't changed all that much since letting it go, but collectively we decided to take a triperspectival approach (Pastor Mark describes the concept in this video). This allows more room for mutual submission, equality, and dependence, an illustration of the humble authority found within the Trinity:
- Pastor Mark Driscoll is Pastor of Preaching and Vision, fulfilling the prophetic functions as leader of the “air war.”
- Pastor Dave Bruskas is our newly appointed Mars Hill Network Pastor, fulfilling the priestly functions by overseeing campus leadership and church-wide ministries that comprise the “ground war.”
- I’m the Executive Pastor, fulfilling the kingly functions as the head of our centralized operations.
The three of us complement each other, and we can lead the church more effectively than any one man. This basic prophet-priest-king structure repeats itself across various levels of Mars Hill Church leadership as we strive to communicate the person and work of Jesus in as many ways as we can.