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The Biblical Leadership Structure of the Local Church

The Biblical Leadership Structure of the Local Church

It seems that the practice of a church Executive model as the leadership structure of a Baptist church has been ‘The Baptist Way” since Baptists arrived in South Africa in 1820. But is this what the Bible teaches as to how Jesus governs his church? Is an Executive (which typically includes all elders and deacons) the best way to express how the church “is ruled by Jesus Christ, governed by its members, led by its shepherds, and served by its deacons.” (2017 Statement of Belief 9.5)

Rev. Juan Mosavel of Grace Ennerdale Baptist Church is doing his Masters at BTC under the title; “Towards Church Health Within the Baptist Union of Southern Africa: The Impact of Biblical Eldership on Every-member Ministry.” I got an opportunity to interview him last week and I believe his findings are worth hearing as we pursue biblical leadership structures in Baptist Churches in South Africa.

0:00 Intro

1:20 Defining terminology – eldership

2:00 Defining terminology – pastor or elder

2:50 What’s the difference between pastor and elder?

4:20 Defining deacon – how do these differ?

5:57 So every church should have an elders (plural) right?

6:11 Does every church need to have deacons (plural)?

7:00 The two phrases “towards church health” and “biblical eldership” implies you think that Baptist churches don’t generally have a healthy or biblical leadership structure. Is that so and how do you think it’s unhealthy and unbiblical?

9:33 What’s wrong with an Executive model of church leadership? It’s been around in South African Baptist churches for 200 years – that got to say something, right?

10:21 What types of other structures and even other Baptist structures are you aware of?

12:53 Elders lead the church – are you kicking the deacons out of leadership?

14:40 How should elders and deacons be organised? Is their biblical clarity on how they co-operate together?

17:14 Should deacons meet collectively together?

19:11 What are the big imperatives for biblical eldership?

23:30 Nomination forms for deacons and elders

25:54 Job descriptions for deacons and elders?

27:10 Rewards for serving well

30:16 What are you hoping for, for Baptist churches by the completion of this Masters thesis?

32:10 Contact details

33:00 Every member ministry

Post photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash


One Response

  1. Wim Van Dijk says:

    Very interesting interview, with lots of references to the New Testament scripture that address the principles and guidelines to church leadership. It would be interesting also to understand what the apostles drew from the Old Testament to come up with these guidelines. Rrally enjoyed listening to Pastor Juan.

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