The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church

Shaller argues for a fluid church government that changes and adapts to the size of the church.  I think he is right!

pp. 43… if one views the fellowship church as a family, the small church as a clan, the large church as a tribe, and the mini-denomination size church as a nation, the question is raised as to whether each should use the same form of congregational organisation. Perhaps it is not just acceptable, but essential to adapt the form of church government to the nature of the institution as reflected in the size of the congregation.



3 thoughts on “The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church

  1. Where’s the evidence for this approach in the NT? My understanding was that each church would tend to operate individually, while still recognising the authority of the apostles and helping out each other.

    What modern-day equivalent do we have for the apostles? On one hand, we have the Catholics arguing that Peter had the power to dictate anything, and that power was inherited down through the Popes. Then you have looser denominational governments, all the way over to independent, self-governing churches.

    I’ll think some more on this…

  2. Hey Josh… thanks for reading! I am not sure that the NT necessarily prescribes this approach that Sheller argues for. All I think Sheller is saying that some forms of church government suit different situations. Eg. to have a church of 1000 people operating on a traditionally baptist model where the whole congregation is consulted before decisions are made is simply not functional. Whereas in a church of 20-30 people that could work. So within the bounds of NT church polity we have freedom to work out ways to govern the church. thoughts?

    not sure where you are going with the apostles questions. I know Sovereign Grace have modern day apostle like equivalents… but i am unconvinced by their arguments.

  3. I guess in our situation, we’re not considering the ‘nation-type’ churches, which is what I was more thinking about in my response.

    I was only referring to the apostles in the context of them having authority over the original church(es).

    One thing to consider; does modern-day technology allow for a ‘flattening’ of government? In the past, to consult everyone would have required meetings that would grow exponentially in length. But now, everyone could submit an letter/email/tweet/etc, which are then summarised/collated and involved in the decision process. Sure, it’s a bit more effort than just consulting a small group of leaders, but it’s doable

    I guess the difficulty arises in defining church ‘government’. It’s a collection of a whole number of separate responsibilities which need to addressed separately with regards to the matter of how everyone should be involved.

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