Churches need plural leadership

From Dave Black yesterday: (Dave is Christ-follower, a husband, father, grandfather, NT scholar, mentor, missionary, and surfer)

The church at Ephesus had no pastor. (If it did, surely we would know his name.) In the New Testament, ministry was shared. Pastors were always members of a team.

Moreover, in the New Testament, "ministry" was the privilege and obligation of all Christians, not some. Pastors are no different from the rest of us in this respect. They are not "called to the ministry" while we sit around and soak. All Christians are commissioned to ministry.

It is often assumed that the church at Ephesus had a single pastor (sometimes Timothy is incorrectly identified as such). But in Acts we read that Paul met with the Ephesian elders (note the plural) in Miletus. I am quite certain that this is the New Testament pattern, despite the fact that so many of our churches are in effect one-man bands.

Where I live in southern Virginia, pastors come, and pastors go. We live in a day when the "pastorate" is often considered a job rather than a ministry. (There are many exceptions to this, of course.)

As honorable as the desire is to serve as the pastor in a local church, would it not be healthier to follow the biblical pattern? Shared leadership protects the congregation from the idiosyncrasies of one man, and -- let me add -- it protects the pastor from becoming the lightening rod for various and sundry complaints from disgruntled parishioners. Shared leadership pays handsomely. I wonder why this is so difficult to see?

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