Archive for February 29, 2012

Feb 29

Biblical Church Leadership, Sheep, and the Blood of Christ

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

Mark Dever, pastor at Capital Hill Baptist Church, has published a fine little book, A Display of God’s Glory: The Basics of Church Structure, which unfolds the Bible’s teaching on how the church should be organized and led. Dever also founded 9Marks Ministries, a ministry devoted to helping churches pursue biblical priorities and so reflect the glory of Christ.

9Marks Ministries has published numerous books to this end. A new book by Thabiti Anyabwile, Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons, will be our third free book for those who attend Clarus (Book 1, Book 2). Anyabwile helps churches reflect the saving wonder of the cross in the selection of biblically qualified leaders who faithfully shepherd God’s blood-bought flock.

Do you like the smell of sheep?

I don’t mean the smell of lamb chops roasting in the oven. And by “Sheep” I don’t mean the imaginary animals conjured and counted by insomniacs. I mean the living, bleating, woolly animals roaming in green pastures. . . .[On a visit to Scotland] I learned that it is not really the snell of sheep that need concern you. It is what sheep indiscriminately drop around the pasture tha tposes the greater threat!@ With vistas as breathtaking as those in the Scottish highlands, the sheep-herding nvice has a tough time keeping his eyes down to watch his step. But you should. Sheep are messy and shepherds need either good work bookts or careful footing!

Repeatedly the Bible describes Christians as sheep. It is not a flattering description. But it is an accurate one. Christians are messy people. Our lives are filled with brokenness, waste, trouble, and sticky situations. We are timid, and we sometimes wander. . . .This is why we need shepherds, men who know what to do with sheep, how to care for us, lead us, and navigate our mess.

And here’s the really good news: in the Bible God reveals himself as our Shepherd. . . .[And], as a gift to his flock, the Chief Shepherd appoints godly men as under-shepherds to tend the flock that he purchased with his blood (Acts 20:28). We know these under-shepherds by various titles used interchangeably, including: pastors, overseers, bishops, and elders. Like the Chief Shepherd, elders or pastors watch over the flock entrusted to their care (1 Pet. 5:1-3) by leading, feeding, and protecting the sheep.

Visit the 9Marks website for more helpful reading on the subject of biblical leadership and church life, and look forward to conference discounts on numerous 9Marks titles in the Clarus Books and Resources Room.

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.