Thursday, May 15, 2008


A while ago, I learned a very important principle of leadership. Authority does not come with a title or position but by influence. Whoever has the influence with the most people has the most authority in any given group. In a recent discussion with a local church about merging, I was asked, "Who would be the SENIOR pastor? You?"

I was caught off guard by the question and responded that I hadn't time to think that far ahead.

In a conversation with another preacher looking for a church, I was trying to see if he would be interested in moving up here and helping in the ministry of VCC. Do you know what his very first question was? "Who would preach on Sunday morning?"

Related to this, in discussing a Reformation Society and the possibility of hosting a preaching conference, this struggle was brought out in both contexts. If you want most pastors to come, you will have to invite them to speak. Which, my brother says, is why they are not speaking.

3Jn 1:9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.

Where do we get senior pastor in the Bible? One guy running the show with perhaps a few assistants, hired and fired by him and a youth pastor?

I think the title of senior pastor ought to go to whoever pastors the seniors in the congregation. or perhaps to the oldest pastor- he is the senior. Why not take a title that reflects your gifting? I hereby designate for myself the following title: Joe VonDoloski pastor of vision & education

Why have churches gotten away from a plurality of elders, equal in authority, differing in gifts?
I believe this post is tied to my previous one. As churches, when we lost sight of the centrality of the gospel and all its implications, we stopped keeping the main thing the main thing. So we major on the minors.

Men in leadership cannot stand it when anyone disagrees with their understanding of the Bible. So areas like eschatology, bible versions, music, wine/grape juice etc. etc. etc. become reasons for leaders to split from their church, taking everyone they can with them, because the people 'refuse to submit themselves to my clear teaching/clear teaching of Scripture (which are always the same, until they change their minds years later).'

We cannot compromise the gospel. There are certain beliefs and doctrines that are necessary to consider yourself in the Christian faith.

But can't there be people in the same church who differ on the nature of the second return of Christ? Can't there be unity amongst those who differ on whether 'That which is perfect has come" is the completed canon of Scripture, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, etc. etc. etc. ?

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