Christís Organization For The Church

by Darwin Hunter

 

Some have sought to minimize the importance of following the Bibleís organizational structure for the church by asserting, ďThe church is an organism, not an organizationď.The church is a living spiritual organism, to be sure, but all organisms must function in an organized way.The human body has organizational structure (I Corinthians 12), and every school and company knows the importance of organization.The churchís organizational structure is mandated in the Gospel.As with every aspect of divine teaching, the instruction is not optional.

First, the church as a whole is under the headship of the Lord Jesus Himself (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23).No earthly head is a part of Godís design for the church.The Lordís church has no pope, or human council, or governing convention which exercises authority over the congregations.Jesus alone has all authority over the church (Matthew 28:18).Any attempt to subject congregations to some other head is an arrogant usurpation of the authority of Christ Himself!Christ rules His church by means of His inspired Word alone (II Timothy 3:16-17).

Secondly, local congregations are scripturally organized by having elders or shepherds who oversee the local autonomous church (Acts 20:28-30; Acts 14:23; Hebrews 13:17).Appointed In accordance with qualifications listed in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1, they are charged with feeding the members the Word of God, being examples to them, and watching for the souls in their respective congregations.Next, the local church has deacons who serve as special servants in appointed work under the direction of the elders (Acts 6:1-8), who meet the qualifications of I Timothy 3:8ff.Next, evangelists faithfully preach the Word in the local congregation, teaching the whole counsel of God (Ephesians 4:11; II Timothy 4:2ff; Acts 20:26-27).Finally, members work and worship under the spiritual leadership of the local shepherds (Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians 4:15-16).May we all realize that even a divinely-given plan of organization cannot succeed when we do not work the plan!Godís plan for the church is perfect, but it will only accomplish what God desires when we decide to obey it with zeal and devotion!