My Christian Leadership Story by Mike Donahoe

My Christian Leadership StoryI grew up in the traditional, organized church. I was always taught that the pastor was head of the church and he had all the answers and so much more knowledge than anyone else in the church. I mention the pastor as a ‘he’ because when I was young and growing up in the church it was unheard of to have a woman pastor.

I remember scheduling meetings with the pastor so I could ask him questions and find out all the answers to Christian living. It almost floored me one time when I asked the pastor a question and he actually said he did not know the answer.

Looking back, I can see that I certainly looked to the pastor rather than looking to the Spirit. I was putting my hope in a man that I thought could tell me everything about God, yet I was not seeking to know God himself.

Next in line were the board of elders. Each of them were so much more holy than I or anyone else in the church, or else they would not be in that position of authority. At least that is what I thought at the time. I have a friend who thinks prayers have more authority when she goes to the board of elders and has them pray.

Questioning Christian Leadership

The longer I was in the church, the more I began to wonder about things. Of course I did not dare ask the questions I had, since people would be questioning my faith or think I was questioning the pastor.

When I read that Christ was the head of His church, I wondered why the pastor seemed to get credit for that position.

I read that we should call no one father (or pastor) other than God, and I again wondered why people in position of leadership and authority in the church wanted to be called pastor or apostle or elder.

We are told that the Holy Spirit is our guide and teacher, and we do not need anyone other than him. Yet, we look to the pastor or an elder, or some big name evangelist to find all the answers to our questions.

I began getting dissatisfied with having these questions and not letting them surface enough to come out and be asked. I began to realize I had more and more questions, and less and less answers.

I finally started coming across books and websites of people who seemed to be in the same boat. They were wondering and questioning and being open with their questions. Some of them seemed to actually come up with some answers that made sense to me.

The more I thought, questioned and read the more I began to realize that our traditional church system is really not what God intended for the church. I also realized that questioning is not a lack of faith. God can handle our questioning, in fact, most of the time Jesus taught more with questions than answers. He wanted people to question and reason over things.

True Christian Leadership

The true Church that Jesus is building is not a brick and mortar place. The head of the Church that Jesus is building is not a pastor, pope, elder of apostle. In fact, the head is not a man or woman at all.

Leadership in the Church of Jesus is not what we have always thought of either. When we realize Christ is the head and leader of his Church, we begin to realize that man has no business demanding or expecting people to follow them and put them in the place of Christ.

True Christian leadership is not an office of authority. It is not a place for only a few who are specially trained at a man-made Bible school. True Christian leadership is for all of us who are members of the Church of Christ. We are all kings and priests, we are all holy and righteous because of Christ. To be clear, when I say Church of Christ I’m not talking about any denomination or physical building. The true Church is a community of people who are following Christ, and He is our head. All the rest of us, men and women alike, are equally functioning body parts of his Church.

My Christian leadership story

No person has a place of authority over another. That is the world’s way of doing things. That is the business way of doing things. Needless to say, there are a lot of churches and religious organizations that are acting like big business with their presidents and CEO’s, but that is not how it should be.

Christian Leadership as God intended is the Spirit working through the different body parts, leading by example. They are encouragers and teachers from a place of love and experience, not a place of authority and power. Each of us are leaders at one time or another in this sense of leading by example, experience and love. We come in contact with those who need encouragement or a little guidance, not from someone who thinks they know it all, but from someone who has been there. A person who, out of love, wants to see the best for everyone.

True Christian leaders will not demand your loyalty. They will not want your allegiance to them. They will not rule over you with authority and expect you to follow them no matter what. True leaders will want to lead you to the head and true leader of the Church, Jesus. It is time we stop looking to men and women as our guides and leaders, and look to Jesus. We need to listen for the leading, guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit who is actually God within us, rather than seeking the knowledge and wisdom of mere men.

by Mike Donahoe

mdonahoe7@gmail.com

donewithreligion.com

Editor

Author: Editor

A family of authors dealing with a Christian Leaders transition from institutional church systems to the New Testament model based on the Father’s Love, Authentic Relationships and the Kingdom of our Lord.This website exists to advance the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ using the existing technology available to us in the 21st Century. Online articles don’t really lend themselves to teaching since there are few substantive relationships; readers don’t really know your heart and haven’t watched your example. Real Christian leaders don’t get into bible verse bantering with immaturity. We are not the Holy Spirit and the Church is not ours. We offer the truth in love so those who have a teachable spirit will take it before the Lord. We are not the last word. We aim to lead not drive His Body. Love reigns over all, our unity is in the Lord not in doctrine. Christ wins and the Lord builds His Church. Selah…

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2 Comments

  1. THE AUTHORITY OF GOD? BY STEVE FINNELL

    Where is God’s authority recorded? Most denominations who use creed books AKA denominational church catechisms, use those creed books as the final authority for faith and practice.

    The question is, if church creed books are used as the authoritative book, why read the Bible? The ironic thing about churches who use creed books is, they try to use the Bible to support their denominational creeds.

    If creed books are used as the rules for faith and practice, then referencing the Bible rings hollow.

    There is not one denomination that has written one verse of the Bible. Denominations write creed books. God does not write creed books.

    John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

    Jesus did not say if anyone loves Me, he will keep the words of the church catechism.

    1 John 1:4-6 …..as we received command from the Father……6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment , that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

    We are told to walk according to the commandments of God. There is no commandment that says to walk according to church creed books nor new books of revelation written by men.

    If your church catechism AKA creed book, or your so-call book of new revelation contradicts doctrine that is found in the Bible, then one of two things is true. 1. The Bible is in error and therefore cannot be trusted for faith and practice. 2. Your creed book or book of new revelation is in error and cannot be trusted as God’s message to mankind.

    YOU CAN USE THE BIBLE AS GOD’S AUTHORITY OR YOU CAN USE MAN-MADE EXTRA-BIBLICAL SOURCES.

    YOU CANNOT USE BOTH!

    (Scripture from; NKJV)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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    • Jose Bosque

      Hi Steve
      Thank you for your comment but nowhere in this article doe Mike Donahoe advocate the use of Creed Books as you call them. The problem is really much deeper as most Christians interpret the Bible with their denominational twist, we need a detox and we need to reread scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom. For example;
      Rom 10:17
      17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NKJV
      Ask 99% of Christians today “In that verse what is the word of God?” They will say “the Bible” WRONG!!!! its the word Rhema (Fresh God speaking) which is not necessarily scripture. Rhema was what the church used to relate to Christ for 1500 years before the Bible was printed and the common man could read.

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