Church Leadership

Any discussion on Church Leadership must start with Jesus.

  • The Church Belongs to Jesus
    • I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18
  • Jesus is the Head of the Church
    • He is the head of the body, the church. – Colossians 1:18

Once we have established the place of Jesus in Church Leadership, we turn to the structures of human leadership that He has put in place in the Bible.

Three Groups in the church

  • Congregation
  • Deacons
  • Elders

Paul and Timothy,  servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: -Philippians 1:1

How do these groups work together?

Elder Led
Deacon Served
Congregationally Affirmed

The congregation is a specific gathering of regenerated believers, who in obedience to scripture; organize under, and willingly submit to, biblically-qualified leadership; come together regularly for preaching and worship; observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; are held accountable through discipleship; and go out into the world to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity.

Matthew 16:15-19, 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47, 5:11-14, 6:3-6, 13:1-3, 14:23,27, 15:1-30, 20:28; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2, 3:16, 5:4-5, 7:179, 13-14, 12; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 3:8-11,21, 5:22-32; Philippians 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3, 21:2-3


Deacons are biblically-qualified believers who are called by the congregation to the work of guarding the unity of the church through service.

Acts 6:1-7 & 1 Timothy 3:8-13


Elders are biblically-qualified men who, in council with other elders, lead the church as shepherds.  This shepherding responsibility includes three primary tasks; leading, feeding, and protecting.  Elders are to lead by example through service, feed through the regular teaching and application of God’s Word, and protect the congregation from both internal and external danger.  An Elder is a steward who has been called to love and guard the flock of God until the true Shepherd, Jesus, returns.

Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 & 1 Peter 5:1-5

You can listen to the message here.

Colossians Study (Week 7) Colossians 2:6-7

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
– Colossians 2:6-7

Imagine that this white line represents your life.  As a result of our first parents decision to rebel against God, we are all born under the penalty & power of sin.

Colossians (Week 7) copy.002The only way that this reality can be changed is by believing the good news of the completed work of Jesus on the cross (The Gospel).

But even after the penalty & power of sin is dealt with, we continue to live in the presence of sin in our lives.

Colossians (Week 7) copy.003


So how should we deal with the presence of sin?

Many believe that it all comes down to hard work.  Jesus saves us, but to live a faithful life in Christ we must do our part and be obedient.  While this may sound appealing, it ultimately leads to legalism which produces either pride (for those who work hard) or despair (for those who fail).  Either way, we are defeated by sin.

Colossians (Week 7).004


Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
– Colossians 2:6-7

The Gospel is not just the introduction, it is the whole story!

The Gospel moves us to love the One who first loved us, which leads us to want to know Him better, which produces even greater love in our lives.  Instead of prayer, reading, fasting, giving, and service being a duty, they become delights. As a result of these new delights, God leads us to a greater understand and application of the Gospel in our lives. Through the Gospel sin is subdued.

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How can you keep this mindset?

Preach the Gospel to yourself!  Remember that Jesus has accomplished everything that you can’t accomplish.  When you fail, remember that He paid the penalty for your failure.  When you aren’t perfect, remember that He was perfect for you.  When you succeed, remember that your success is a result of His unending grace.

The Gospel destroys both pride and despair.

 The Gospel is the good news that God through His Son Jesus has, on the cross, done on your behalf what you could not do for yourself.

Repent, Believe the Gospel, and Worship God.

Questions to think about.

  • Do you trust that Jesus has saved you? (Justification)
  • Do you trust that Jesus will save you? (Glorification)
  • Do you trust that Jesus will keep saving you throughout your life? (Sanctification)

You can listen here.


Recommended Resource:

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing

Adoption is the Gospel

In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

-Ephesians 1:4-10