Peers / Equals

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by qwerty, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. qwerty

    qwerty
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    What is the pecking order in most churches?
    Who is peer or equal to each other?

    The question comes out of a situation at a local church in our area.
    One of my friends is a deacon.
    During one of the deacons meetings, a question was asked of the pastor.
    The question was, “Do you as a pastor have any peers in this congregation?”
    The pastor was taken back by the question, and danced around it for a while, but after some further dialog, stated that he, the pastor, did not have any peers in the congregation.

    Should the pastor have this view? Does the pastor of a church have the top position, and therefore, does not have any peers? Who is the peer of a pastor? Another pastor?

    How does this view reconcile with 1 Peter 5? If a pastor views himself without peers, how does he keep himself from “lording over” the group?

    Is the pastor over everybody in the same way? That is, does a pastor have authority over the men (husbands) and the women (wives) without any differentiation?
     
  2. Abiyah

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    I disagree that the pastor is "over" anyone in a
    congregation. When a pastor starts thinking this
    way, in my opinion, he has a problem. However,
    a congregation will push a pastor to take this
    place; if the pastor is wise, he will not let it go to
    his head and he will be unmoved by it. This goes
    for their wives and families, too, who have a
    tendency to think that they are "at the top," and
    "it is lonely there."

    A pastor is actually the servant of the congrega-
    tion, and if they cannot recognize that place,
    they need to find another line of work. However,
    the congregation is not to treat the pastor as a
    servant! He and his family are to receive the
    same respect and love as anyone else in the
    congregation.

    A pastor needs to be autonomous and totally
    independent of a congregation, able to readily
    walk away from the salary there and to work
    with his own hands to provide for himself and
    his family; if he cannot, then he can be held to a
    congregation's inordinate demands and he
    cannot readily say, "Thus says the Lord!" and
    stand by it, should there be a congregational
    uprising. If he cannot do this, he is not a
    servant but a pawn, and the Bible does not say
    for pastors to be pawns of the congregation.

    Not all congregations can do this, but mine is
    very fortunate to have two pastors. It was not
    always this way, and the first pastor who
    started my congregation had to wait until one
    the one chosen from the congregation received
    his education and training. The two of them
    pastor together now. They each definitely have
    a pastoring peer, but I have watched them as
    they treat all of us as peers.

    Regardless of that, I have also seen them
    stand against the proverbial "sin in the camp"
    when one of the long-standing members re-
    fused to admit and abandon adultery. They
    worked with him a while, but when he would not
    reneg and leave the sin, they removed him from
    the congregation.

    They have said to us all that they are not depend-
    ant upon us, and if we as a whole congregation
    will not follow our God, as prescribed in the
    Bible, they can walk. And they would.

    [ August 14, 2002, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  3. Optional

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    I would have to say my pastor is a servant. The guy is on call 24 hours a day and works harder than any guy I know. He is without peer.
     
  4. donnA

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    My pastor see himself (and the deacons)as a servant(s).
     
  5. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
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    Actually they way I see it the Pastor does not have a peer in the chruch he oversees. The Pastor is the Shepard of the flock. The shepard must keep an eye on all the sheep, he must lead them to green pastures and still waters. If the shepard was not the leader of the flock then the sheep would go every which way and never the lie down in green pastures.

    Does this mean that the Pastor is not a servant. Of course not, it just means he serves the Lord in a different capacity than I do.

    Bill
     
  6. 7-Kids

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    The pastor is the shepherd of the local flock. He is not THE shepherd, because he is also a member of the flock. It's kind of like the lead sheep. Back in the Old West when they used to do trail drives, teh cowboys would use an old steer or cow to lead the herd. The cowboys were in charge of the drive but it was the lead cow who led the herd. It's a little like that in the church. Christ is the Shepherd. The pastor(s) are the lead sheep. We are to follow them because they are our examples. They are members of the body (an example Paul used). Perhaps they have a more visible role, but certainly not a more important one. Shall the eye say to the foot, I have no need of you? Just for the record though, I think the Biblical example is usually to have multiple elders (or pastors or bishops--all three terms are used interchangeably in the KJV). This would solve the problem entirely!
     
  7. Bible Believing Bill

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    We are on the same wavelength SixKids. The better term perhaps should be undershepard. That is the term my Pastor uses.

    I think a Military analogy also works here.

    Jesus is the Gen. the Pastor is the Col. , The Deacon is the Maj. , Sunday School Teacher is the Capt., and eventually you get down to the Prt. All of the ranks are necessary, but that dosn't mean that the Pvt. is less important than the Col. The only place this dosn't work is that in this example the Gen. truely is more important than everyone else, in the realy military he is not. Everyone has a different rank and a different job to do, part of that is following the leaders appointed over you.

    Bill
     
  8. Jonathan

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    This is a common view that I have seen in a number of Baptist (mostly SBC) churches. The problem with it is that only pastors and elders appear to have any kind of authority in a church, according to Scripture, and there are serious limits on this authority. Deacons and Sunday school teachers are co-laborers with the rest of the congregational members and have no more/no less of a "say" in church matters than any other member.
     
  9. onevoice

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    The word servant leadership comes to my mind. A Pastor must answer to the entire community for the actions of his church (whether they want to or not) and therefore MUST show a certain degree of leadership, however, he must not be a dictator. He is one of the flock, but also an under-shepherd. He must deal with problems in the church appropriately, but also let the congregation know he is also only human.

    My opinion anyway. [​IMG]
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    Knowing my pastor's heart, since I work with him on staff, I can and will say the following.

    Raymond prays and strives to follow God's leading in his life and the life of the church. I believe he is the bottom line fall guy when God holds the accountability party later on.

    In respect to this, Raymond does not use the "lord over" card much, if at all. When we staff were hired, there was interviewing and praying going on. Now that we are here, we have our own responsibilities, and we are supposed to do them. Many of us do. Some don't. Raymond is the fall guy to make sure we are doing our tasks, but we have to be responsible, too, or it is "dopobachenya --(goodbye in Ukrainian) to you".

    Raymond also uses his deacons to serve and minister. They, in turn, are not to lord over.

    Peers? I feel I am a peer of Raymond's, as I think the other staff do. Yet, Raymond's the man as God has placed him here. But, he asks what I think, and therefore, I am in a sense, his peer.

    [ August 16, 2002, 02:04 PM: Message edited by: SaggyWoman ]
     
  11. Bible Believing Bill

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    Common sence dictates that if my Pastor will be held accountable for me and the rest of the church and I will not be then he is in a leadership position over me. We should all follow the leader that has been appointed over us. That does not mean we BLINDLY follow them. We must keep our eyes and ears open to be sure we are turely following a man of God. If the church has a true man of God leading it then there will be no reason for the Pastor to lord over the membership. The membership will follow the example of the man of God as he is lead by the Holy Spirit in his leadership of his church.

    Bill
     

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