House Church Talk - Questions concerning leadership

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Sun May 9 23:08:01 EDT 2004

Hi Dan G, Scott, Glenn and Dan B,

An excellent and much needed topic for discussion!  I wholeheartedly agree 
that new covenant leadership is very different from the world's concept of a 
leader which is so prevalent in  many congregations!

Yet leaders are still very necessary and they NEED TO LEAD!  Not by "laying 
down the law" or demanding that others "follow me", but by setting a godly 
example and teaching what God has placed on their hearts and taught them.

Glenn, you mentioned how some seem to need to "unlearn" so much of what they 
have experienced in IC's.  You are so right!  What they have learned over 
the long haul has been learned by following the example of others but not 
from personally searching the scriptures.

It sounds to me like the Lord has really burdened you to communicate what 
you have learned from scripture. Brother teach it simply to others with an 
open Bible and seek to equip others in how to read and search the scriptures 
for themselves. Some simple lessons in how to study the Bible inductively 
will go far to equip others to begin to mine the treasures of God's Word!  
(i.e. READING the text, OBSERVING what it says by asking "Who?", "What?", 
"Where?", "When?" "Why?" and How?',  UNDERSTANDING what the author was 
saying, and APPLYING truth to our own lives.)   Encourage others to get a 
Strong's Cioncordance or, if they have computers, "The Online Bible" and 
teach them how to do word studies in scripture. That way they will never be 
dependent on commentaries to tell them what scripture means! Rather they 
will be able to evaluate the commentaries by what scripture says for itself!

The success of true shepherds is the ability of the sheep, for whom they 
care, TO FEED THEMSELVES!  Shepherds cannot "feed sheep"!  They cannot 
produce grass or milk!  But, if sheep are healthy and lead to good pastures, 
they are capable of feeding themselves and nurturing their young.

BAKERS, on the other hand are only successful when a large number of people 
who are unwilling or unable to bake for themselves are dependent on the 
BAKER to prepare "baked goods" for them!  I'm afraid that our concept of 
church leaders has been conditioned by a system which trains men to be 
"BAKERS" instead of shepherds!   I was one of them and so do not say this in 
a derogatory manner.  I believe that both pastors and people in the IC 
system are in bondage and desperately hurting because of the system to which 
they are trying to conform, thinking they really are serving God!   This is 
the prime reason why so many of the "clergy" are burning out and why the 
"laity" are not being equipped for ministry as God intended. Sheep can never 
be healthy on a diet of baked goods!!!  In this system, both pastors and the 
people are in bondage because neither can function as Giod intended they 

BTW, my wife and I are just in the middle of an excellent book that deals 
with these very issues! If you can locate a copy of Francine Rivers "And the 
Shofar Blew"  (Tyndale House Publishers),  get it and read it!!  We have 
read a number of her books including: "The Atonement Child",   "Redeeming 
Love", and "The Last Sin Eater".   She is an excellent story teller with a  
heart to communicate divine truth.

Dan B., please do not think that a single family ministering to one another 
is any less a church than a larger multi-family gathering!  Remember, where 
2 or 3 are gathered in HIS NAME, He is there in the midst!  It is His 
presence that makes all the difference!

I look forward, with you all, to see how we may minsiter to and be 
ministered to by others in this excellent discussion!

Your brother in Christ,

>From: Glenn Frank <glennfrank at>
>Reply-To: House Church Talk <House Church Talk  at>
>To: House Church Talk <House Church Talk  at>
>Subject: Re: House Church Talk -  Questions concerning leadership
>Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 13:47:43 -0700
>Hi Scott,
>You said...
> > If the weight of responsibility keeps falling back on one or two people, 
> > other folks may need to be encouraged to use the gifts God has given 
> > When they hold back, they cheat the whole body out of a blessing.
>I agree... That that is kind of our situation. It seems that some people 
>more apt to step out and ask questions, present views, lead songs or other
>things... Maybe just because of their personality... But others are still 
>IC mode and are sitting and waiting to be fed or led.
>We have discussed the issue in our gatherings and asked everyone to pray 
>read and be prepared ahead of time to contribute something to the group 
>we meet. But it does not seem to change things.
>I guess I was wondering if there is place for leadership (true, Biblical,
>servant leadership) to kind of "get the ball rolling" in a gathering or set
>the tone of a gathering so that those who are not naturally likely to step
>out first and contribute to the gathering can feel like they have a place 
>share. But we have not really done that because we don't want the 
>to become another typical "service" or directed bible study. We want the
>body to function naturally by the Spirit.
>So I guess I feel like we are in a dilemma. People who have only known the
>typical institutional church format (where a leader asks the questions,
>leads the study or presents the material in lecture format) seem to need
>some kind of 'un-learning' so they can realize that they can and must pray
>themselves, study themselves, seek the Lord themselves... Let the Spirit
>give them a song or a prayer to share with the group...
>But it seems so artificial to try to "kick start" this or do the
>"unlearning" because it feels like we are going back to the old typical IC
>format when we do that.
>All that to say... I can picture how the church could function openly... 
>I don't know how that looks in realility. I'm not sure if there needs to be
>some kind or leadership that sets the pace for people.
>Glenn Frank
>     --- Info and subscription management at 

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