This SBC missionary plants house churches. His point is that house churches need not be role or title based but gift based.
"Very few of the house churches have leaders who are called 'pastors'. Leadership is usually shared amongst several individuals according to their spiritual gifts and talents...being the 'church planter' does not make them the 'pastor'..."
I continued, "In the New Testament we find several roles/functions mentioned: apostles, evangelists, prophets, teachers, shepherds (pastors), servants, etc. At least some of these roles/functions were filled by women like Junia (apostle), Phoebe (servant/deaconess), the four daughters of Philip (prophetesses), Priscilla (missionary/church planter/church worker), Lydia (church leader?), etc."
The volunteer continued to press the issue, "call it what you want, but the office of pastor is limited to men..."
I, of course understood where he was coming from and what his point was, but it was important to me that he understand that there can be a 'church' without the offices of pastor and deacons...
"Can we have a church without having the two offices," I asked?
The volunteer hesitated, "well, I guess, but..."
I asked, "Are offices needed if the church as a whole is covering all the ministry bases: teaching, evangelism, nurturing, exhortation, encouragement, discipleship, worship, etc.? Where in the NT is a church required to have an officially named pastor in order to be a functional NT church?"
I also keep coming back to an intriguing idea of John Wimber's that since the gifts are for the church, anyone can have any gift at the time God wants them too. I'm trying to see a connection between these two topics, but its all on shaky ground. Yet I'm amazed at how much baggage can be tossed by house churching. Yes its very scary in its freedom but really cool to us counter cultural folks.
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