This past Sunday was a monumental event for The District Church as we installed our first lay elder, Craig Knight. We are excited for Craig to come alongside our members, leading and shepherding them as he also watches over the doctrine, mission, and vision of our church.
Throughout the New Testament, we see the early churches being lead by a plurality of elders (Acts 15:22, Acts 20:17, Titus 1:5, James 5:14). It is our conviction that this is the way our church should be led. As we think about what leadership in the church looks like, we should reflect on the reality that all church leadership is under Jesus, our only Senior Pastor. He is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
We see in Ephesians that Jesus is the head of the church and the church is to submit to Him. We often look at this passage in the context of marriage, but we should see that the marriage relationship is a picture of Jesus and His bride, the church.
"For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." - Ephesians 5:23-24
Jesus is preeminent in our church and in our lives as believers, as we are taught by Paul in Colossians 1:17-18. We recognize that He is supreme over any pastor, elder, or deacon in our church. Our priorities are His priorities, and our mission is His mission.
"And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent." Colossians 1:17-18
We find Jesus’s mission for the church in the Great Commission passage in Matthew before His ascent.
"And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
“The District Church exists to make disciples by interrupting people’s lives with love because the gospel changes everything.” This is our mission statement, and it shows that our ultimate mission is to make disciples because this was Jesus’s mission. Making disciples includes people hearing the gospel, being baptized, and being taught obedience to Jesus. He is the leader, sustainer, and builder of our church.
So what does submitting to Jesus’s leadership look like for our staff, elders, and members? It includes submitting to His Word, the Bible, which is authoritative (2 Timothy 3:16), and submitting to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-9). Pastor Ray Ortlund said, “The Word of God and power of God always go together.”
"because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." - 1 Thessalonians 1:5a
As we reflect on this time of growth in our church, let’s be a people who are committed to the Scriptures and to submitting to the Holy Spirit. Let’s set our minds on the Spirit (Romans 8:6) and allow Him to transform our hearts by renewing our minds with the truths of God’s Word (Romans 12:2). Let's also be faithful to pray daily for our pastor, elders, and staff as they lead us.
Post by Peggy Starling