We’ve taken time in recent posts to show that leadership is not about hierarchy, inner circles, power or control. Leaders are not to Lord it over the church, nor to rely on their position or charisma to push things through. Church leadership should not be authoritarian. Leaders and teachers are gifts to the church and so we should focus on being gifts rather than on status and titles (cf Ephesians 4:11). Continue reading
For most of my adult life, one of the most potentially contentious conversations in church life has been the question of men and women in church leadership. Women have been allowed to preach in the Methodist Church and some other denominations for a long time, they have also served as ministers/pastors in those contexts. However, it was only in the 1990s that the Church of England allowed women to be ordained into the clergy and very recently indeed that the bar was lifted on women bishops.
Generally speaking the view within independent evangelicalism has remained that eldership and public teaching roles should be restricted to men, though some churches have started to include female elders. A lot more churches would include female deacons but there are still some who see this role as male only. Continue reading
When I first came to Bearwood Chapel, one of the things I said at the start was that I cannot guarantee that I will get everything right. I am human and fallible, I will make mistakes. So, the promise I made was that when I get things wrong I will be the first to hold my hand up.
I’m reflecting on that for two reasons as we talk about leaders in the church. First of all, I have always felt that an important requirement of leadership is that leaders should be teachable. We must not put them on a pedestal and infallible. Continue reading
Our “Discerning a Calling” series of articles have mainly focused on the individual considering whether or not to pursue a particular calling. However, there’s also something to be said about our responsibility as church leaders to proactively watch out for people and encourage them to grow in their gifts. Indeed that’s where the primary responsibility lies. Continue reading