Government in the Church (God’s NT Ministry)
1. THE ROOTS OF THE ORIGINAL MODEL OF THE FIRST CENTURY
Among the ‘doctrinal’ ideas developed within the theology of the WCG, that could be numbered among things regarded as “doctrinal inbreeding”, was the matter of our concept of Government within the Church. We developed an operational model that most refer to as ‘hierarchal’ that largely dictated how we regard and relate to our ministry, and by reflection, how we relate to one another. That model was not employed in our earlier years, but as the Church grew, challenges came to bear that made it seem necessary to ‘protect the flock’ by means of a formal political structure more authoritarian than the approach employed in the past. Why this matter remains relevant, even after the effective dissolution of that organization, is that so many groups who descended from it retain the same orientation to one degree or another.
In the book of Ephesians, chapter 4, we read of different kinds of ‘leaders’ that God has placed within His Church. These are in large part the base upon which we built our concept of government. But we never really asked ourselves how do these ‘offices’, if that’s what they represent, differ from one another? It is something we should have considered, but to have done so at the time would’ve been rebuffed.
One thing for certain, these operations, do not differ from one another in the content of their theology. Each understands and represents the same exact teachings, so it isn’t a matter of doctrinal difference. Then, what could it be? We presumed it meant ascending levels of &;squo;Authority’, and from there built a mental and operational structure that frustrated our growth dynamic as things played out. What we should have considered is the operation of each of these as differing service functions, not some chain-of-command authority structure operating in place of the operational model Christ placed in the Church.
Below is one question of several sent in by an affiliated pastor in another country, someone familiar with our positions, but not as fully informed in certain aspects. The bold lettering is his question, the lighter or italic is the reply.
Read the rest here.