This post is not about what a church’s leadership structure, governance, or decision-making process should be (even though I have beliefs about that). This post is about why it matters and why it should be given a great deal of thought. Here are 4 reasons why the way your church structures its leadership, governance, and decision-making process matters.
1- There is a Biblical Pattern to Follow.
Most importantly, how your church is structured matters because the Bible speaks to it. This is more than just personal preference. This is more than just tradition. This should be based on more than just some practical considerations. If you ignore the biblical pattern for your church’s leadership structure and overall governance, you will be setting your church up for some major challenges.
2- It Will Determine the Health of Your Church.
An unbiblical or unwise leadership structure will directly affect the health of your church. If decisions can’t be made when they need to be made, there will be problems. If the wrong people are tasked with making the decisions, there will be challenges that arise. If there is an unhealthy process in order for decisions to made the church will suffer. I am convinced that many problems in church have risen as a result of a wrong leadership structure.
3- It Demonstrates Whether or not You Trust Scripture.
Since there is a biblical pattern of church governance and a leadership structure that is presented in the Bible, your willingness (or unwillingness) to follow what is presented demonstrates if you trust God’s design or yours. If you are unwilling to trust God’s design for leadership in the church why would you trust him in other areas?
4- It Reveals How You View the Church.
Churches are not for-profit companies, nor are they social clubs. As a result, they should not be led as such. When the leadership structure of a church is set up to mimic the leadership structure of a social club you can expect problems. When those making all the decisions are only concerned with the financial standing of a church, there will be issues. When you fail to structure your church in a biblical way, you may be revealing that you don’t really view the church as a spiritual body.
The primary problem I see is that churches are structured without any thought given to what the Bible says. As a result, they face challenges and difficulties that they would have avoided if they would have simply asked the question, ‘How does the Bible speak to this?’
The church is not a pure democracy. The responsibility we have is to structure our churches in a way that is consistent with clear biblical instruction and wise biblical principles. When we ignore those, we can expect challenges. We must care about what the Bible says and rely upon God’s plan instead of our own.