July 22, 2007

Planting Missional Church - (CH 6) Church Structure

So we come to the chapter on church structure and more specifically, how do you organize and structure leadership for the new church plant. Stetzer lists and describes the following methods:

  • Elders Only
  • Pastors And Elders (Preferred And One With Most Biblical Support)
  • Pastor And Board
  • Board And Pastor (Little To No Biblical Support)
  • Pastor Only (Most Dangerous Path For Church To Problems)
He then goes on to discuss why he believes and why Scripture supports the Pastor-Elder model. He gives a brief treatment of deacons and then moves onto applications for the preferred model. Here they are:

  1. New churches should call few pastor-elders
  2. A smaller group promotes greater intimacy and higher mutual accountability within the leadership
  3. New churches don't need many committees to function appropriately
  4. The congregation should allow its pastor-elders to "direct the affairs of the church"
  5. From the beginning of the new church, the planter-pastor should tell the people that the pastor will lead the church and that a group of other pastor-elders will lead the church alongside the pastor
Here's the money paragraph for the entire chapter:

Just as switching worship styles can divide a church, changing structure and leadership styles can polarize a congregation and sap morale. Selecting a new plan for church structure also frustrates people. The bottom line is that the church planter must decide on structure before hanging out the welcome sign.

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