The basic idea of church leadership is to teach sound doctrine and explain how to apply it. The basic task of the people is to be Spirit-filled as they learn doctrine and then apply what they learn. The congregation is the object of the leader’s ministry. It’s a good chance that someday as a result of that ministry, members of the church will become deacons and deaconesses, elders, or even evangelists and pastor-teachers. We all start at the same point somewhere in the congregation. For example, there was Philip – he was chosen to be a deacon, and ended up as an evangelist. Stephen was another of the original deacons – became an awesome defender of the faith. He later was the first Christian martyr. Ephesians 4:12 tells us that the congregation is to do “the works of the ministry.” Hebrews 13:17 gives a good description of the obligation of the congregation: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.” Assuming that the leadership of New Covenant Community Church is Spirit-directed, we are to obey them because they are ministering on behalf of Christ as His undershepherds. The congregation is to subject itself to their godly ministry, although they may not understand it all, and may even disagree sometimes with what the elders are attempting to do. The church’s obedience is a living testimony to the world.
There are many things that hurt a church and destroy its testimony. The primary one is poor leadership or false teachers who fail to build the church on the Word of God. Another thing that weakens a church is a congregation that won’t follow its leadership. That causes church splits as well as other problems that are exposed to the full view of the world. Every church member must follow the design of the Spirit and be faithful and obedient.