In yesterday’s post, I wondered how small a church could be and still function.  Today, I went to class with guest lecturer David Garrison, teaching about Church Planting Movements.

According to Dr Garrison (actually, he goes by David), it’s not the size that matters, but the intentionality of being a functioning church.  You can do all five purposes of the church (Worship, Fellowship, Ministry, Discipleship, and Evangelism/Missions) as a group that gathers occasionally in a holy huddle, but not really be a fully functioning church.  

Garrison says the church becomes church when key leaders are chosen.  He says there should be a pastor/overseer, deacons and a treasurer.

The deacons should be the minsitry leaders of the five purposes.  Remember that the original seven were chosen to minister with food distribution, and Steven was an evangelist.  One person may do multiple jobs in this arrangement, but there must be an acknowledgement that they are doing the jobs of a church and that they should hand off the extra duties as soon as practically possible.

Garrison says the actions of the deacons are coordinated by an overseer or a spiritually mature elder.  This is the job normally held by the senior pastor. 

The third key position is the treasurer.  Having a  treasurer who is unrelated to the senior pastor / overseer will help keep scandal away.  Note that while Jesus was accused of many things, misappropriation of money was not one of them.  He had a treasurer (Judas).  And when the early church failed to use a treasurer and instead gifts were given to the Apostles, it caused jealousy and the death of Annias and Sophira.

When a church has these seven positions functioning, led by people gifted and trained for those positions, they will be functioning as a church should.  And if the doing is properly done, it should cause a growth in both maturity and numbers.

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