Leadership Team

 

Life Church is blessed by the service of all of its members, but several of those members have been appointed by God to be leaders. Leaders serve the rest of the congregation by using their gifts to help develop those of their brothers and sisters. We present their biographical information here so that you can obey the Apostle Paul’s exhortation:

 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NIV)

Leadership Team Biographies

Titles

You will notice that our leaders at Life Church have various titles associated with their names. What follows is some information that will help you understand what those titles mean and how we use them.

First of all, it is important to understand that the Bible does not view leaders as better or closer to God than anyone else in the church. In Matthew 20:17-28 Jesus gave his disciples a standard for leadership that was based on serving others rather than exercising authority. Later, in Matthew 23:1-12 he also instructed his disciples not to call anyone else “rabbi”, “Father”, or “teacher”.

For this reason, we  de-emphasize titles in our conversations with one another. As a congregation we often refer to each other either directly by our first names or with “Brother” or “Sister” as a title of respect (we especially encourage young people to use “brother” or “sister” when referring to believers who are significantly older).

The “official” titles of our leaders are there to help you understand the specific roles they play in the congregation and to make their roles (or “ministries”) more understandable to people from other congregations. Although we expect everyone in the congregation to lead in some way, we also recognize that there are some specific overall leadership roles that God has established in the church:

  But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”  (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?  He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,  to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:7-16 (NIV)

These leaders will therefore spend a significant amount of their time training others:

  You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)

Minister

The term “minister”  is simply an older English word for a “servant”; many churches use this term to refer to a leader who has not yet been ordained or who has not yet made a commitment to a life of full-time ministry. At Life Church we use the title “minister” to refer to the non-pastoral leaders described in Ephesians 4:7-16 (i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers). There are probably many other churches that use this term differently. We recognize the following types of minister roles:

Associate Minister

  • Helps to build up the congregation by preparing the members for service in God’s Kingdom.
  • Trains leaders.

Pastor

This word means “shepherd” and refers to a leader who is responsible for training other believers and helping them to develop their gifts. We recognize the following types of pastor roles:

Associate Pastor

  • Helps to build up the congregation by preparing the members for service in God’s Kingdom – with a special emphasis on their pastoral needs.
  • Trains leaders.
  • Will normally be licensed or ordained.

Senior Associate Pastor

  • Helps to oversee the provision of pastoral care to members of the congregation.
  • Provides pastoral care to associate ministers and associate pastors.
  • Helps to serve and supervise associate ministers and associate pastors.
  • Must be ordained.

Pastor

  • Helps to oversee the provision of pastoral care to members of the congregation.
  • Provides pastoral care for associate ministers, associate pastors, and senior associate pastor.
  • Helps to serve and supervise associate ministers, associate pastors, and senior associate pastor.
  • Sits on the Life Church Ministries corporate board.
  • Must be ordained.

Senior Pastor

  • Provides pastoral care primarily to other pastors and ministers.
  • Serves and supervises other pastors and ministers.
  • Has overall responsibility for leading Life Church.
  • Chairs the Life Church Ministries corporate board.
  • Must be ordained.

Other Terms

Here are some other terms that you may not be familiar with:

Licensing

Licensing is the process by which some churches or associations of churches acknowledge that a candidate is ready to begin providing spiritual leadership – especially if he/she will be preaching or teaching publicly on a regular basis. Most churches that license ministers address them with the title “Minister” (we’re much less formal at Life Church). Licensing is often a preliminary step that will eventually be followed by ordination. At Life Church we license leaders at the annual convention of Jubilee Christian Church along with several other churches that, together with Jubilee, are a part of Church Without Walls International.

Ordination

Ordination is the process by which churches or associations of churches acknowledge that a candidate will be providing spiritual leadership and that he/she expects to do so as a lifelong career. It is customary to address ordained ministers using the title “Reverend” in most churches (we’re much less formal at Life Church). At Life Church we ordain leaders at the annual convention of Jubilee Christian Church along with several other churches that, together with Jubilee, are a part of Church Without Walls International.

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