Writing about the topic of â€śAbuse Of Trustâ€ť, I thought about how some readers might find it boring, perhaps thinking that a topic such as â€śBeing More Than a Conquerorâ€ť or â€śI Can Do All Things through Christâ€ť would be more appealing. However, I believe that you will find this study very interesting.
Many churchgoers who attend a gathering of the saints, wherever it may be, use it as a time to socialize, hear the message, and then go home. For others, it is just one of many engagements they have chosen to participate in along with group prayer, visitation, taking classes, etc. Usually, getting involved on a consistent basis in such church activities is encouraged, and sometimes mandated.
But, there is a big difference between encouragement versus mandate in terms of involvement, and the leadership model that is embraced by the theology of the believerâ€™s church undoubtedly determines these differences in approach. Why is this important? It is because the leadership model will indicate the relationship between those in authority and those who are not.
The reason one should be aware of the leadership model you are participating in is that it has everything to do with your walk with God, the goal or objective of which should be to become conformed to the image of Godâ€™s Son.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
Such conformity relates to a process known as sanctification, whereby the saint is transformed to resemble the Lord Jesus. How does this take place? The leadership model will determine the manner in which it happens, and we will examine two leadership models in this study. The first I will call the mandated leadership model, in which those in the hierarchy make all decisions that, according to them, are for the benefit of the attendees. It is expected that teachings from the pulpit be received as truth, and responded to as such. There is little or no dialogue between the hierarchy and the attendees in regards to church theology, church decisions, church behavior, church participation, etc. This model is especially desirable for those attendees who need others to make decisions for them concerning their spiritual walk. Everything about what a believer needs to do in order to please the hierarchy, and subsequently please God, and receive favor for entrance into heaven upon physical death is clearly delineated by those in leadership.
I will call the second leadership model the tested leadership model, in which input is encouraged from the attendees relating to church theology, church functions, church participation, etc. All of the assembly is expected to examine whatever is taught from the pulpit.
I would like to first provide sections of scripture that serve as the foundational basis for each model, and you might ask, â€śFor what purposes?â€ť I believe that each member of an assembly should be able to distinguish between these two leadership models for themselves, and scripture should assist them in determining which one would be more beneficial in their progression toward the goal of their walk with God, i.e. to be conformed to the image of His Son. Sections of scripture will initially unveil characteristics or perspectives of the mandated leadership model. Then we will look at these same characteristics or perspectives from the tested leadership model in order to see if this model would generate the same characteristics or perspectives. And finally, near the end of the study we will attempt to address the question, â€śAre those who are in the leadership positions in the church above reproach in their teachings and conduct?â€ť Enjoy.