Is the congregational meeting your favorite time at church? Probably not! Most people find church government frustrating, discouraging, depressing, or boring. Often, the focus is on permission denying more than permission giving. There must be a better way!
The two most common types of church government are: (1) Congregational; (2) The Church Board.
The congregational form is a democracy. The Church Board is a republic. These forms of government are culturally influenced. Neither is biblical or particularly useful for an effective church. Why? They give everyone, or a group, the say in deciding what is best. Freedom of speech approaches decision-making by what you (the majority or the leaders) want.
However, Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Your will be done.” As Christians we don’t want what we want, we want what God wants.
A more biblical approach to church government is a theocracy. The main objective is to discover what is God’s will for the church.
Focus on these issues:
- The New Testament organization for the church is focused on spiritual gifts. People have different spiritual gifts. Among those gifts is the gift of leadership.
- Leaders do lead. In the biblical approach, God raises up leaders who have a supernatural gift, given by the Holy Spirit. It is their job to lead. Everyone has a ministry, but not everyone is a leader.
- Our primary purpose for decision-making is to seek God’s will. In the New Testament, the church was much more likely to pray than to vote.
- Not everyone is qualified to vote. Some people are new Christians and their maturity is not at a level where they would know how to seek God’s will. It is easy for immature Christians, like immature people in general, to be self-focused and always vote their comfort and want they want. There is nothing sacred or intelligent about giving everyone an equal vote. We do not give everyone in our family an equal vote. Otherwise, the children would never go to the dentist.
- However you make decisions in your church, let the Bible not the culture direct you.
How does your church government function? We welcome your comments below.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.