TEXTS: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-31; GALATIANS 5:13; 1 PETER 5:1-11.
OTHER TEXTS FOR READING: PROVERBS 7:7-10; MATTHEW 18:1-16.
INTRODUCTION: The Church is the assembly of believers in God through Jesus Christ. The core life of the church is shaped by worship of God and devotion to the apostles’ teaching, the fellowship and the breaking of the bread and to prayer. Acts. 2:42.
These four are the essential elements of the Church:
The privilege to be part of the Church which is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 5:23; Colossians 1:18) should not be taken for granted or underestimated. The Church is constituted by individual members who have been baptized by one spirit into one body of Christ and each member has been graciously empowered by the Lord to take the lead in certain ways and at the same time follow those who are leading (Read 1 Corinthians 12:12ff).
Every member in the Church has dual role of leading and following to play. Each member has been positioned to lead by offering one service or the other (Matthew 20:20-22; Mark 10:35-45; Luke 22:24-27) whereas each member is also expected to submit and follow as others lead.
Leaders and followers in the Church ought to imbibe the spirit of mutual service and respect as members of the same body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
To believe in the Church is to live out the conviction that grace abide in her, teaches and guide her common life, and flows from God to all the faithful. (Ephesians 2:8 & 9; Titus 2).
STUDY NOTE 1
Leaders are chosen to guide, to take custodian of the doctrinal life of the Church (people of God, who of course are followers). The first set of leaders are the twelve disciples of Christ, chosen or called one after the other. (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-19, 2: 13-14; 3:13-19).
Jesus trained His disciples to take over from Him, leading, grounding the followers in the way of truth.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit founded the Church (Acts. 2) Peter, the chief disciple led others who became Apostles. He preached the truth recorded as apostolic sermon and throngs of thousands were baptized. The leaders of the Church, called Apostles used the word “Ekklesia” (1 Thessalonians 1:1) “called of the Lord” to refer to the act of assembling of persons brought together by God’s own calling for the purpose of hearing the gospel and sitting at the table with the living Lord.
Study the following passages James 2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:25; 12:23; Deutoronomy 4:10; Leviticus 8:3.
The terms used to describe the Christian community are, the “Church of God” the people of God and Church of Christ-1 Corinthians 1:2, 11:22; Galatians 1:13; Hebrews 11:25; Romans 16:16. Common worship expresses this calling and makes it authentic Psalm 95:1; Hebrews 10:25.
Leaders are to guide the community of the Lord. The Bible contains several examples of leaders, leaders such as Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the Kings of Israel and Judah, Ezra and Nehemiah were Old Testament leaders. The apostles, elders and deacons were
leaders raised in the New Testament. Leaders are to guide the people by exercising authority that they received from God.
Generally, leaders (Elders, Deacon, Priest, Bishop, Society, Presidents, Secretaries, PCC members, Youth leaders etc) should follow Christ’s examples Matthew 10:25; John 13:14-15.
It is important to note that the key to true leadership is service Ezra 7:10; Nehemiah 13:25; 1 Timothy 4:6; Matthew 20:26.
STUDY NOTE 2
These are members of the Church of Christ, believers in Jesus Christ who must worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
The part to play by God’s people includes:
STUDY NOTE 3
Read 1 Peter 5:1-11 and note six commands to the elders
STUDY NOTE 4
CONCLUSION: Let us conclude this study outline with concern for both the leaders and the followers in the Church as follows:
Being a Church member is an opportunity to lead and follow by rendering services to God and fellow members.
PRAYER: Father, give me the servant spirit to lead and humility of heart to follow in Jesus name. Amen.
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