Plural leadership

Paul as church planter 14

“Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also”, Acts 15:35.

After the meeting in Jerusalem Paul and Barnabas returnd to Antiock. They continues teaching the church, but did that together with ‘many others’. This church obviously was producing leaders continually. First they had only Barnabas and Paul. Then there were three others. Now there are many.

This picture of the church is of huge significance in church planting. It means that a church where one man does all the teaching and preaching, is a crippled church.  Time and again in the New Testament we read about several elders in one church, and also about various people preaching the Word.

This verse also shows that the church in Antioch is a place where leaders are trained. So when we plant churches, we should not abdicate the responsibility to build up leaders to Bible schools. In some instances Bible schools may play a legitimate role. But the first who are called to equip the saints for service are the churches themselves.

When a church imports leaders who have been trained elsewhere, it is draining the energy of the world church. If a church builds leaders, it can send them out. Antioch had already done that with Paul and Barnabas. In this way a church may contribute to the multiplication of churches all over the world. Church planting starts with building leaders within existing churches.

Are you being built into the leader God wants you to be?

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