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Pastor to Pastor

Leading by Consent

God has shown the way to build His Church.

“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…” Acts 6.3

1 Clement 44
Clement of Rome (fl. ca 90-100 AD)
“Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in ministry. We are of the opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry.”

Church leaders must satisfy certain criteria of character and ability (cf. 1 Tim. 3). They must meet the approval of existing leaders, and then take up their offices with the consent of the Church (the majority of the congregation, as Clement will later indicate). Clement insisted that this order had been observed in the churches of the Lord from the beginning, and it must not be set aside. So an orderly process of appointing elders and deacons existed into the post-apostolic period, and no one had a right to change or forsake that process, or to eject duly-elected and faithful servants from their offices, simply because they wanted a change. Clement supported the tradition of the Church, founded in Scripture, against the usurpers at Corinth. Why should we think this divine order was not still valid in our day?

If there is an ancient process for appointing church leaders, and particular offices with ancient and Scriptural standing, should churches today feel bound to follow that pattern of leadership? Why or why not?

T. M. Moore

Shepherding in the Christian Worldview
Our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, offers an overview of the work of shepherding, and shows how this disciple-making ministry fits into our overall Kingdom calling. There’s no charge for this course, and all the course materials are free. In 12 diagrams you will gain a perspective and overall grasp of the 1 worldview that can change the world. Click here to register. Here’s a great opportunity for you and your leaders to get on the same page for a vision of the Kingdom that could change your lives and your church.

The Writing Pastor
We still have one slot open for a man to join our course, The Writing Pastor. If you have ever thought about using writing in your ministry, this course could get you off the dime and moving forward. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I’ll send you more information. This online, mentored course is free, although there is a small charge for the course workbook.

Your prayers and gifts make this ministry possible. Please seek the Lord in prayer about sharing with us at The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can use the Contribute button at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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