Thursday, April 24, 2008

Throwing Bones In Church

Chris presented a great question to me in the comments on the leadership pipeline post in which I asked for some feedback from you the readers.

Chris wrote, "Do you believe the Bible presents a clear structure in order for us to adopt or do you believe structures must change with time and culture?"

Chris, as I read the Bible I see some clear principles in which God paints for structure in the church. I also even see within Scripture that structures change over time and through cultures.

Look at the church when it first began. I don't see that these men had any guidelines for church. In fact, I love how they chose the first replacement for Judas. They prayed and then cast lots. I wonder if maybe we should go to that. I can see churches everywhere throwing bones to chose their deacons or even to select their pastor. Later on, as the church matured, they set a few guidelines in choosing the deacons. These examples, to me, point to structure within the church.

I don't believe they were a stopping point as much as an example of God showing us principles that should guide us. God is a God of order and does things on purpose. When He made creation He did it with order. Systems and structure are everywhere throughout nature. Why then all of the sudden do we as the church cast off structure?

When Moses was being overwhelmed in leading the people of Israel he didn't have any example, any Scripture....God simply sent his father-in-law who helped him set up structure that would alleviate his pressures. This structure helped Moses and the people he was leading.

Thoughts???? Am I the only one that sees that God is structured and paints a picture of structure for His church???

[photo credit]


Chris said...

Jason, thanks for the post. I haven't been reading blogs lately and I won't until Monday, but this is something I've been thinking alot about lately. The main principle is "eldership", but people get hung up on the word. The principle is important and the so is the function though a church may opt to call it something other than eldership. I'll get back with you. Thanks again.

Chris said...

By the way...when I asked about leadership structure I had church government in mind i.e. shepherding the "flock of God." Surely this involves teaching, exhorting, rebuking etc.

Jason Curlee said...

yet another one I will try and commit to a post...

I will say this...there is clearer to me a structure God has given us as well as principles that guide us.

I also think that though the terminology may change it still is based on biblical guidelines.

db said...

I know my opinion will be in the minority but I'd like to see the current church structure thrown out. I went to church yesterday first time in quite a while and don't plan to go back. Its full of pride. God is one of order, I won't argue that. But if you think today's culture church is God's structure for his Body. Then i disagree. And Moses is a great example. One man shouldn't take care of so many. If i recall they were broke down to groups of tens. God didn't plan for Moses to mediate between the israelites and God. THat's what the people wanted. People feared hearing from God themselves. If you consider Jesus he sent the apostles out in 2's to minister to people. Most of the time the apostles traveled and preached in 2's. Even in Revelation there are 2 witnesses. Maybe Jesus did show us structure in the gospel but we don't recognize it.

Jason Curlee said...

very interesting db ... I would love to hear more of your thoughts...

It's tough that people go to church and are turned off from church no matter what the reason.