Because of several questions and comments on my post called “What do we do with 1 Corinthians 14?“, I have prepared a summary of 1 Corinthians 14, but it is long. So, I am planning to divide it into sections and publish it over two or three days next week. In this post, I would like to return to the question of leadership that I have been examining over the last few months (see “Leadership, Obedience, and Authority…“). Specifically, I would like to examine of role of leaders during the meeting of the church.
Without doubt, 1 Corinthians 14 gives the most extensive view of a meeting of the church by any New Testament author. However, leaders are nowhere in view in the book of 1 Corinthians, much less in chapter 14.
In Gordon Fee’s commentary on 1 Corinthians, he has this to say about leadership in regards to chapter 14:
What is striking in this entire discussion is the absence of any mention of leadership or of anyone who would be responsible for seeing that these guidelines were generally adhered to. The community appears to be left to itself and the Holy Spirit. What is mandatory is that everything aim at edification.
Is Fee correct? Does Paul expect believers to rely only on the Holy Spirit to conduct affairs when the church comes together?
Let me ask a series of questions. I hope you’ll think through these questions and share your answers in the comment section.
1) Why do we believe that one person (or a small group of people) is responsible for scheduling the meeting of the church? Where do we find this responsibility given in Scripture?
2) Why do we believe that only educated and prepared people should speak during the meeting of the church? Where do we get the idea that a 20-45 minute explanation of Scripture is the best way to teach people? Where do we find this idea in Scripture?
3) Why do we believe the “preacher” or “pastor” is always responsible for bringing a teaching, but other people in the church are not? Where do we find this in Scripture?
Perhaps you believe the some or all of these questions can be answered by Scripture. I hope that you will share that with us.
I end this post with one more question: What would happen if the meeting of the church was left completely to the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all of the believers both before and during the meeting?
Series on 1 Corinthians 14:
Prologue 1 – What do we do with 1 Corinthians 14?
Prologue 2 – 1 Corinthians 14 and the Leadership
Context & Verses 1-5 – Summary of 1 Corinthians 14 – Part 1
Verses 6-25 – Summary of 1 Corinthians 14 – Part 2
Verses 26-40 – Summary of 1 Corinthians 14 – Part 3
Concluding Remarks – Summary of 1 Corinthians 14 – Part 4