by Loren Gjesdal

Leadership cannot take place in a vacuum. By definition, leadership requires at least 2 people (one to lead and one or more to be led), and almost always takes place within some organizational context, whether formal or informal.

Imagine, for instance, a formal context of leadership. Imagine you were hired to an executive position at Apple, such as Director of New Product Development. What are some of the questions you might have? Who is on the team? What are our objectives? What are our resources, procedures and limitations?

To fulfill your new role, you would need to know who all is involved, and just what is the process for getting a new product approved and produced within the context of the Apple organization.

Selected to Lead in Church

Now imagine you have been elected to your local church Board or selected to fill a pastorate (or any ministry leadership role, for that matter). You should be asking some of the same questions you would if hired by Apple. Who else is involved in this ministry? What are our roles and responsibilities? What are our processes of accountability?

Effective church leadership certainly requires spiritual, character, and personality traits, but it also requires certain technical competencies. Included in these competencies is an understanding of the following:

  • how decisions are made within the context of the organization in which one serves
  • how finances are accounted for
  • how a specific ministry interacts with other local ministries
  • how the local church relates to any denomination or affiliation beyond the local church

Just as an effective missionary learns the language and culture they intend to minister to, so an effective church leader learns the culture of the church they serve. This includes the doctrine, polity, and history of that church, or stated another way, its culture.

Get Equipped to Serve in the Church!

The Church of God (Seventh Day) is no exception. In addition to doctrinal distinctives, its culture is also formed by its unique history, that has led to its particular manner of making decisions locally and nationally.

If we have answered God’s call to serve in a particular church, then we should realize, first, it is by His sovereign design, and second, its likely because we are equipped to serve effectively in its culture.

To formally equip local church leaders to be effect in leadership within the Church of God (Seventh Day) context, Artios Christian College offers LEA 321, Leadership in the Church of God (Seventh Day). This class traces the history of the Church, describes the organizational structure of the Church, and can be an important part of learning the culture of the Church so as to be a more effective leader in its specific context.