The Myth of Christian Leadership

On July 17, 2012 Frank Viola wrote a post entitled ‘The Myth of Christian Leadership‘, which I just re-read, that is both quite enlightening and definitely challenging.

In it he states,

“I believe that the New Testament envisions all Christians as leaders in their own sphere of ministry and gifting.”

“……according to the New Testament, there is no clergy/laity distinction. Instead, all Christians are kleros (clergy) and all Christians are laos (laity).”

“The clergy/laity dichotomy is a tragic fault line that runs throughout the history of Christendom. Yet despite the fact that multitudes have taken the low road of dogmatism to defend it, this dichotomy is without biblical warrant.”

As I read it again, along with the scriptures, I realized that I must agree with his findings.

I have always believed we as ‘followers‘ of Christ are also ‘ministers‘ of Christ. The idea of the clergy/laity caste system has been something I’ve struggled with even as a pastor. It is a chasm that should not be, especially when I read these verses of scripture,

But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Matthew 20:25-28 ESV)

“But you must not be called ‘Teacher.’ You are all equal as brothers and sisters. You have only one Teacher. And don’t call anyone on earth ‘Father.’ You have one Father. He is in heaven. And you should not be called ‘Master.’ You have only one Master, the Messiah. Whoever serves you like a servant is the greatest among you. People who think they are better than others will be made humble. But people who humble themselves will be made great.
(Matthew 23:8-12 ERV)

So, in light of what I have written here, I encourage you to read Frank’s entire post The Myth of Christian Leadership and perhaps come back and share your thoughts no matter whether pro or con.

For extra reading check these too.

Christ is our Leader

Gatherings in the Early Church

I Don’t Like Servant Leadership

ReImagining Church

Spiritual Authority: Should We Claim It Over One Another


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