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Plurality Leadership: Final Installment

This concludes our series on plurality leadership. Next week we will begin a number of posts dealing with various other issues in our lives as followers of Jesus. People who are used to a lead-pastor model often wonder just how plurality leadership cashes out, when it comes to making hard decisions and leading the church. What follows is a behind-the-scenes look at our meetings, our relationships with one another, and the decision-making process. I have slightly edited several pages from the last chapter of Embracing Shared Ministry. Except for the fact that five of us draw a paycheck every couple weeks, [...]

2019-07-18T22:53:53-08:00September 24th, 2018|Leadership|

Practical Benefits of Plurality Leadership #4

So far in our series, we have focused primarily upon ways in which a team of pastors benefits a church as whole. In today’s post I will reflect on a key advantage enjoyed by pastors who minister as a team. Pastoral depression and burnout have become hot topics of conversation. The increasing demands of the job, along with the relational isolation that often characterizes a pastor’s life, have generated some highly troubling trends. The following statistics come from H.B. London and Neil B. Wiseman. Pastors at Greater Risk (Regal, 2003): 40 percent of pastors and 47 percent of spouses are suffering from [...]

2019-07-18T22:54:26-08:00September 11th, 2018|Leadership|

Practical Benefits of Plurality Leadership #3

This is our sixth blog post discussing the topic of plurality leadership in the local church. The first three entries surveyed the biblical datathat favors the model. What follows is our third installment addressing the practical benefits of having a team of pastors at OCF. People get attached to their spiritual leaders, especially when that leader is the head pastor of their church. Indeed, whole congregations often take on the personality of a senior leader who instructs and inspires them, Sunday after Sunday, through the teaching of God’s Word. What happens when that leader leaves? Change is a fact of life. But change [...]

2019-07-18T22:54:53-08:00September 3rd, 2018|Leadership|

Practical Benefits of Plurality Leadership #2

More than a decade ago Oceanside Christian Fellowship terminated “Bill,” one of our paid pastors. Bill’s poor use of time and his lack of productivity had generated not a little frustration among others at the church, who were carrying more than their weight in their respective areas of ministry. A move to a new facility, which called for sacrifice and a servant’s attitude on everyone’s part, sharply accentuated the latent resentment that had been building among the staff. We knew that something was seriously wrong when another staff person—one of our most productive and effective ministers—began to explore the secular [...]

2019-07-18T22:55:27-08:00August 20th, 2018|Leadership|

Practical Benefits of Plurality Leadership

Our first three posts surveyed the biblical data supporting plurality leadership: 1. The churches in the New Testament were each led by a team of pastors. 2. Jesus’ teachings about divine Fatherhood and natural fatherhood most naturally support the plurality approach. 3. Team leadership best reflects (and models to the congregation) the relational heart of the Christian faith. We turn now to consider some practical reasons for having a plurality of pastors at OCF. Even if the Bible supported a variety of approaches, I would still opt for a team of leaders over one lead pastor. Plurality leadership benefits both [...]

2019-07-18T22:55:40-08:00August 13th, 2018|Leadership, Teaching Style|

Is Plurality Leadership Biblical? (Part 3)

This is our third and final post examining the biblical evidence for plurality leadership in the local church. The first post surveyed the numerous descriptions of team-led churches in the New Testament. In the second installment, we traced the model to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. Today we turn away from specific passages about leadership, in order to consider how plurality leadership fits with the broader scriptural contours of Christian life and ministry. As it turns out, the very essence of our faith in the God of the Bible virtually demands a team approach to pastoral ministry. What [...]

2019-07-18T22:56:02-08:00August 7th, 2018|Leadership|

Plurality Leadership in the Teachings of Jesus?

I ended the previous post with a question: What led the apostles to adopt plurality leadership as the preferred option for church structure? The model is radically counter-cultural, given the universal preference for one-man leadership across the empire. So, where did it come from? Did Jesus instruct his disciples to organize the early Christian congregations like this? We really don’t know for sure. But we can tease some hints out of the Gospels, where we see Jesus preparing his disciples for their future role as church planters. Jesus had a whole lot to say about the character of leadership (leaders as servants). But [...]

2019-07-18T22:56:25-08:00July 31st, 2018|Leadership|

Is Plurality Leadership Biblical?

Our last post explained why we preach through the Bible the way we do at OCF. In this and the next several posts we will consider another OCF “non-negotiable,” namely, our team approach to pastoral ministry. OCF has no senior pastor leading our church for two reasons: BIBLICAL: We believe that shared ministry is God’s ideal for his church. PRAGMATIC: We believe that having a plurality of pastors is healthier for both the leaders and the members of OCF. The first three posts will outline the biblical data. PART ONE (today) looks at specific New Testament passages that portray early [...]

2019-07-18T22:56:46-08:00July 25th, 2018|Leadership|