Readers of Lamb’s Harbinger will recall many posts over the last 2-3 years, which call for a reformation of pastoral, professional ministry. At the time of posting this blog article, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation dawns. Yet, those reformers and dissenters did not push their reform to the matter of church polity/governance. For too long, American Christianity has followed the model set forward by Europe and Rome concerning professional clergy… a thing Jesus and the Apostles never demonstrated. The error has led to:
- Denominations, Bible colleges and universities/Seminaries as centers of spiritual authority and societal influence (especially among Christian thought) above the effective function of the local church, i.e. hierarchal, institutionalism & politicized religion.
- A resultant looking to charisma, credentials & “professional experience” as the determining factor in choosing church leadership, rather than also looking for emotional, relational & spiritual maturity over time.
- Lording over God’s heritage by organizational hierarchy, leading to more than a few spiritual and even criminal abuses.
- A consumerism in church-goers and corporate structuring and marketing (branding & traffic creation / maintenance) by leaders.
- A dearth of spiritually mature Christians from quenching and grieving the Spirit (the One who directs and empowers His gifts to the Church)
- A love/service of money &/ or notariety (power/influence/commercial prominence) among “men of God.”
There is inestimable worth in scholars aiding the Church by providing its pastors reliable content. But, the worth of the Church’s pastors is in their readiness to assimilate & dispense content (FREE of charge) for the relational maturation & spiritual discipleship of believers.
I merely call for a reformation of the corrupt model in exchange for the authentic one, as is detailed in the posts below:
10 Signs of a Cultic Church
Arriving at a Late Date for the Didache
Q&A: How Do We Avoid the Draw toward Toxic Power, to Institutionalize Egalitarian, Organic Faith Community?
The Betrayal of Jesus by… Eusebius
Reclaiming the Meaning of “Pastor” as Care Giver
“Preacher” and “Preaching”: Some Lexical Observations | Craig A. Evans
Lamb’s Harbinger on Clement I
Nicaea: not Rome’s Authority
The Presbytery as Agency in Recognizing God’s Gifting and Calling
Rule Well and Double Honor in 1 Timothy 5:17
Ray Stedman Corrects Lording and Professional Ministry
The 5 Step Solution for the 10/90 Problem
The Other Master
The True Extent of Pastoral Authority, Parts 1 & 2
The Greatest Sin in the Church: Lording
Ignatius of Antioch: a Bloody Diotrephes
5 Passages that Correct Pushy Pastors
Mercy Wins When Abusive Church Leaders Threaten
Civil Religion has No Place in God’s House
Frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Pastors
5 Warning Signs of a Controlling Pastor
On Meddling & Professional Ministry
Uncovering and Facing Spiritual Abuse
Abuse and Authority
Warning Signs of Spiritual Abuse, Parts 1 & 2
Machetes, Enough and a Free Gospel
Is Church Membership Biblical?
12 Clearly Stated Facts on Biblical Church Leadership
Diagram of Biblical Church Leadership Roles (*not endorsing institutional organization but a reflection of what the author once held*)
Spiritual Gifts: Discovering which Part of Christ’s Body God made You [Presentation]
The Scary Word: Give
A Portrait of the Church
What Really is the Church?
The Book of Micah (See esp. Part 2)
Free Pastoral Review Survey
Why do People Stay in an Abusive Church? | Counter Thought
The Kingdom of Heaven & Its Keys
Ray Steadman: Body Life
Frank Viola’s books: Pagan Christianity?, Reimagining Church, and Insurgence
The Institutional Church’s Existential Problem of Subjectivity
Origin of the Word “Church” | Andy Zoppelt
Articles — Searching Together | Jon Zens
How Not to Start a House Church | One Body Life
Why Francis Chan Left His Megachurch
The “Great Commission” is NOT what Fundamentalist Evangelicals Say
Constantine The Puppet