Friday, February 13, 2004


I want to share a bit of background. I have had a deepening relationship with God since 1995. I gave my life to Christ in July of 1995 and was baptized in February of 1996. I love God very deeply and His church.

In this modern day, I fear for the church very much.

The business world is being turned upside-down by "rock-star" CEO's, venture capitalists, investment bankers, you name it. Instead of lauding great companies for their productivity gains, profitability in down cycles and ability to stand firm in the face of global competition, much of the business media points to those who sit, as one of my professors liked to say, "around the mahogany table". The leaders get the praise. Those who should receive the praise, get nothing.

Much of the New Testament is dedicated to the idea of churches being led by a group of elders and deacons. Among the elders, there are those who excel at teaching and preaching the Word of God. Certain among them, who dedicate their full-time and resources to serving their flock are, according to 1 Timothy, worthy of "double honour", which I interpret as a paycheque. However, those receiving a paycheque are not to be exalted above the rest. Canadian churches and, I suspect, many American churches, are slowly getting away from this idea, allowing the full-time pastor, priest, whatever, call the shots and apply his "vision" to the church. While this is happening, the elders' board, full of men with full-time jobs, family commitments and other ministry work, simply serves in a "rubber-stamp" capacity, asking a few questions, but ultimately approving the pastor's vision with little argument.

Now I am along way away from achieving a depth of spirit where I would hear God's call to serve as an elder, but I fear for the church, nonetheless. As we continue to allow churches to move to a "one-man, one-vision" type of leadership, we run the risk of drinking the magic Kool-Aid. We need elders boards who are committed to full service, and less of the pastor-elder-flock heirarchy.

More on this as I think it through further.