The structure of the church should be guided by scripture and biblical principles with consideration of culture, tradition, and common sense. The nature of the church is key in determining its structure.
IMPLICATION: A good structure promotes unity and downplays differences.
IMPLICATION: A good structure operates on the basis of relationships not rules.
1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:18 and 2:19
Romans 12:4-6"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many from one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We each have different gifts according to the grace given us."
Ephesians 4:11-12"God gave...some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up..."
IMPLICATION: A good structure empowers people to use their God-given gifts to fulfill His purposes.
Jesus' favorite description of the Church: John 10:1-30, Matthew 26:31, Matthew 25:33
John 21:16-17"Jesus asked Simon Peter, 'Do you really love me?'" "Yes Lord', said Peter. Then take care of my sheep."
I Peter 5:1-2"To the elders I say...Be shepherds of God's flock, serving as overseers..."Three different terms are used in the New Testament to refer to the same church leaders:
Acts 20:17-18, 28 "Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived he said to them...Guard yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be pastors of the church of God..."
IMPLICATION: A GOOD STRUCTURE RECOGNIZES SOME INDIVIDUALS HAVE A GOD-GIVEN CHARGE TO OVERSEE THE CHURCH AS SHEPHERDS.
Lifehouse is overseen by a called, appointed, and congregationally ratified board of elders, led by the Lead Pastor, and with mutual accountability. Both the church and its Lead Pastor are accountable to both the congregation and the church's parent organization, Open Bible Churches. All leaders are subject to term limitations and periodic congregational ratification.