Housechurches can be gender-role-controversy-free

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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Comments

GuyMuse said…
I would be interested in knowing more about John Wimber's thoughts on the gifts are for the church. I too tend to emphasize gifts over offices, and am still trying to understand this whole issue of church leadership as found in the NT.
jpu said…
i don't have the history of the vineyard book i mentioned here, http://umbl0g.blogspot.com/2006/01/living-stones-dont-stay-in-walls.html

so i'll be real fuzzy on this... btw, my present church is a Calvary Chapel that used to be a vineyard and i've taught the same spiritual gifts class with both signs out front...as i understand from the book, Wimbe thought that since Jesus is our model and he exercised most of the gifts as needed, as limited by his humanity, we can also. i have few entries, mostly in the prayer blogs from March about my solitary experiences of healing prayer and a word of knowledge but i also regulary use the gift of tongues when i pray. i know of friends who have lost their gift of tongues. i also think that talents and gifts are not always the same. maybe talnets can be learned, but not gifts. also at our church we title people who are already doing. the title follows, not precedes. the problem is with paid titles. what if that person no longer does? its not family like to simply fire him or her. hence the appeal of the fluidity of simple church.

thanks for reading. i'm not a church planter. i'm an elder with a focus on our members at large, AKA our missionaries. and i've enjoyed your posts.

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