My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
Recently, these blips have been discussing Wolfgang Simson’s 15 Theses towards a Re-Incarnation of Church. Thesis #6 is “No church is led by a pastor alone.” On this idea, Simson says, The local church is not led by a pastor, but fathered by an elder, a man of wisdom and engaged with reality. The local house churches are then networked into a movement by the combination of elders and members of the so-called fivefold ministries (apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers) circulating from ‘house to house’, like the circulation of blood. Here there is a special foundational role to play for the apostolic and prophetic ministries (Eph. 2:20, 4:11,12). A pastor (shepherd) is an important member of the whole team, but he cannot fulfill more than a part of the whole task of ‘equipping the saints for the ministry’, and he has to be complimented synergistically by the other four ministries in order to function properly.” (unquote)
The whole idea that a healthy church has a balance of ministry from the five ministries mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 and 12 and with more than one person with each of these giftings is an idea that I, personally, have not heard of being examined, period, but there it is in scripture as a direction for the church. Much of the church in the west is stuck on one person given the title pastor, without regard to his or her actual gifting, if any, as the end all in ministry and a title within a hierarchy which has words found in scripture as an excuse for the hierarchy’s existence. Leadership in the church is not to be militaristic, but a structure for the purpose of helping everyone higher up and further into Jesus.