Please let me raise the issue of who should lead in the Body of Christ. This is another crucial question to see what the New Testament says as opposed to how we have been conditioned by the traditions of this world system.
The New Testament tells us the church is to be led by “elders” or “overseers” (same thing)… and notice that this is plural. There is no teaching in the New Testament that a congregation is to be led by one dictator who is the center of attention, and the life of the Christians revolve around his personality. That is not taught in the New Testament, and yet that is the pattern in the vast majority of religious system organizations.
Look what Acts 14:23 says:
“And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”
Every church had elders. That is every local assembly had elders. The New Testament never mentions anything about “clergymen” or appointing one clergyman over each congregation. It says elders… plural.
Next, when it comes to the question who should “pastor” the flock: Look at what Paul says to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28:
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Paul is calling to the elders to shepherd the flock. He didn’t say there was a separate office called “Pastor” that is different from elders. He told the elders to pastor the flock.
Look at what Peter says to the elders:
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
1 Peter 5:1-4
And this is key, because a committee of dictators is no better than one Celebrity Dictator! Peter says to the elders: don’t be Lords over your fellow Christians. So, somehow, leadership in the Church must be different than the worldly Lords. See what the Lord Jesus says:
“But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
There should be multiple Brothers-in-Christ who should serve as overseers in each assembly… and NONE of them should attempt to act as a Lord over anyone else. This all comes down to trusting in the Holy Spirit to rule in each other’s hearts.
Do you see this teaching in scripture? Do you see any other teaching in the New Testament different from this? Let me know.