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Lead me in a Plain Path
Wednesday, 19 January 2005
Biblical Leadership
Now Playing: Are we following the scriptural pattern for service to God ?
Topic: Service
Biblical Pattern for today

In recent years, there has been an organizational explosion in Christendom of such proportions as to make one dizzy. Every time a believer gets a new idea for advancing the cause of Christ, he forms a new mission board, corporation or institution!

One result is that capable teachers and preachers have been called away from their primary ministries in order to become administrators. If all mission board administratorswere serving on the mission field,it would greatly reduce the need for personnel there.

Another result of the proliferation of organizations is that vast sums of money are needed for overhead, and thus diverted from direct gospel outreach. The greater part of every dollar given to many Christian organizations is devoted to the expense of maintaining the organization rather than to the primary purpose for which it was founded.

Organbizations often hinder the fulfillment of the Great Commisision. Jesus told His disciples to teach all the things He had commanded. Many who work for Christian organizations find they are not permitted to teach all the truth of God. They must not teach certain controversial matters for fear they will alienate the constituency to whom they look for financial support..

The multiplication of Christian institutions has too often resulted in factions, jealousy, and rivalry that have done great harm to the testimony of Christ.

Consider the overlapping multiplicity of Christian organizations at work, at home, and abroad. Each competes for limited personnel and for shrinking financial resources. And consider how many of these organizations really owe their origin to purely human rivalry, though public statements usually refer to God's will. (Daily Notes of the Scripture Union)

And it is true that organizations have a way of perpetuatung themselves long after they have outlived their usefulness. The wheels grind on heavily even though the vision of the founders has been lost, and the glory of a once-dynamic movement has departed. It was spiritual wisdom, not primitive naivete, that saved the early Christians from from setting up human organizations to carry on the work of the Lord.

G H Lang writes: An acute writer, contrasting the apostolic work with the more usual modern missionary methods, has said that "we found missions, the apostles founded churches." The distinction is sound and pregnant. The apostles founded churches, and they founded nothing else, because for the ends in view nothing else was required or could have been so suitable.

In each place where they labored they formed the converts into a local assembly, with elders --- always elders, never an elder (Acts 14.23, 15.6, 23; 20.17; Phil. 1.1) --- to guide, to rule to shepherd, men qualified by the Lord and recognised by the saints. (1 Cor 16.15; 1 Thess. 5.12, 13; 1 Tim. 5.17-19) and with deacons, appointed by the assembly (Acts 6.1-6; Phil. 1.1)--- in this contasted with the elders --- to attend to the few but very important temporal affairs, and in particular to the distribution of the funds of the assembly . . . . All they (the apostles) did in the way of organizing was to form the disciples gathered into other such assemblies. No other organization than the local assembly appears in the New Testiment, no do we find even the germ of anything further."

To the early Christians and their apostolic leadership, the congregation was the divinely-appointed unit on earth through which God chose to work, and the only such unit to which He promised perpetuity was the church.

[from the Believer's Bible Commentary, William MacDonald, p 1591, with author's permission]

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:37 AM EST

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