House Church Talk - Questions concerning leadership

Scott Dowlen scottdowlen at
Sun May 9 11:18:49 EDT 2004

Hi, Dan B!

I think your post is right on the mark.  We have the same problem with the
term 'leader' as we do with the term 'church'.

Just like 'church' has become a building, or a place to go or a thing to do,
'leader' has taken on meaning and connotation from the world system that
doesn't line up with Christ's example.  How many husbands use scripture to
justify control and manipulation of their wives, even though the kinds of
rulership mentioned in the context is one of sacrificial servant leadership
like you mentioned.

The group with which I fellowship has a man whose heart is 100% filled by
God to be a pastor. He used to think this meant professional ministerial
position in a conventional 'church', but now realizes that his gift makes
him a servant of the body. He also knows that there are times that the body
will serve him, too, in a spirit-led reciprocating arrangement. It's amazing
how we can't always define who the 'servants' and 'leaders' are because the
service and leadership work their way in all of us at different times at the
leading of the sweet Holy Spirit.

The group that stands out as false are those who say 'I am your leader -
follow me' and forbid or dissuade the following of any others who may also
be raised up to lead/serve.  Most of the 'follow me' types lead in the way
worldly leaders lead - by rules of law, command, charisma (of personality),
by drama and emotional manipulation, and all kinds of other methods that
confine and condemn those who are the 'followers'.  A Godly leader builds up
and edifies. Even in discipline and correction, love is the key. God's
trials and discipline now are redemptive and corrective. Our rebuke and
correction of one another should be the same. If 'being right' or 'getting
things done my way' is more important than loving someone, then we've just
become a noisy gong.

The world's church creates worldly leaders, because they depend on worldly
systems and organization to 'get things done.'  I am glad to be part of the
body of Christ where freedom reigns, and where we submit to one another in
love. This whole area of leadership is a perfect example of the contrast
between 'organized' vs. 'organic'.  Why do so many IC 'leaders' burn out?
Because they are doing something unnatural, and something devoid of the
power of God. They never receive ministry because their job description says
they are supposed to do the ministering.  It is easy to fall into this trap,
even in HC settings, because worldly styles of leadership appeal to the
flesh.  It's good to talk about it and keep holding up the standard so we
can stay on track.

Let him who wants to be great among you become the least.


Scott D.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: House Church Talk -bounces at
> [mailto:House Church Talk -bounces at]On Behalf Of Dan Beaty
> Sent: Sunday, 09 May, 2004 7:47 AM
> To: House Church Talk
> Subject: House Church Talk -  Questions concerning leadership
> Hello everyone.
> There seems to be little consensus concerning this subject,
> as far as home church discussions go. Maybe I could take a
> mini survey here and find if any of you can relate to my
> understanding.
> When I first found literature relating to the direction we
> found the Lord taking us, I heard a lot about "leaderless
> churches." Also, on the internet I found an abundance of
> anti-leadership sentiment in the various conversations. In
> the end, I saw that the anti-leadership camp was really
> trying to control/lead the rest of us!
> Jesus however was not against leadership. He rather insisted
> on and gave the example of leading by serving. He spoke to
> His disciples concerning the dominating spirit of the world
> that "it would not be so among you."
> After looking back at the problems of the traditional church
> systems and presently at the non-traditional movements, here
> is my assessment, FWIW:
> The problem is not the existence of leaders, but the
> sometimes lack of true godly leaders who have become the
> servants of all. This void leaves open the possibility and
> inevitability of the wrong people taking the lead.
> Leadership does not necessarily come only from official
> positions. People who want things to be there way can find
> many ways of accomplishing their goals.
> Like children who pout or whine to get what they want, adults
> can be very skillful manipulators also.
> So, my thinking is that we should be praying for the Lord to
> chastise, mold, shape and raise up more effective servants in
> the Church who can exemplify His life before us. AND, then we
> should hope and pray that His people would be wise enough to
> appreciate what He has provided for our benefit, by following
> their examples of servanthood.
> Dan Beaty
> Columbus, Ohio

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