Church organization is a topic essential for my congregation in the future. When people get together for any reason, they quite often create power structures, meeting places, rubber seal/stamps, internal/external legitimacy; and various other entities. What are your thoughts on this topic? -- Spiro Antzoulatos
You are describing politics, a word often associated with corruption. I have already written about church polity (at this website), so let me answer a little more briefly than I usually do:
* Despite our claims to the contrary, the church of Christ is not "above" politics. We have much to learn by reading (1) church history, (2) secular history, (3) political science, (4) business literature, etc.
* One of the best safeguards against the downside of church politics is the Reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. There is no clergy. We must strive to break down barriers. There is leadership, but only one "class" of Christian.
* If each individual congregation is autonomous (the buck stops there) yet remains interconnected with other congregations (interdependence, not dependence or independence), there can be cooperation and harmony, on the one hand, along with healthy congregational dynamics and maturity, on the other.
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2004. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.