Beyond Leadership To Overseership

The Bible refers to overseers in the body of Christ but never calls them leaders. “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach . . .” –1 Timothy 2:3. There are big differences between overseers and leaders. Overseers observe and keep order like basketball officials. Leaders direct people like basketball coaches. Overseers seek to keep Jesus in control of a meeting of the body of Christ. Leaders direct the meeting themselves. Leadership says: “I need your attention!”  Overseership says: “Behold the Lamb of God!” Leadership is a human being organizing and/or directing other human beings. Overseership is a human being lovingly watching over a group of people being led by the living Christ, so that no individual (including himself) usurps Christ’s authority among them. Leadership directs people.  Overseership helps people be directed by the promptings of the Holy Spirit in their heart.  Leadership exercises authority from center stage.  Overseership guides from the side as people focus on, follow, and obey the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. Leadership makes decisions.  Overseership monitors with spiritual discernment.  A basketball coach is an example of leadership.  A basketball official is an example of overseership. Overseership sees over and beyond religion, ritual, sermons, and human effort and creates an atmosphere where Jesus is free to actively work among and direct His people.  The goal of overseership is to not quench the Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit is quenched, God’s power is shut down. And we are left to rely on human religion, human effort, human programs, and human presentations.  That’s why the New Testament commands us to: “Quench not the Spirit.” Human organizations need human leadership.  The Body of Christ desperately needs overseership that facilitates the direct leadership of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. (The word for overseers is translated bishops in some New Testament translations.)

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
This entry was posted in basketball, basketball officials, bishops, Christ followers, Christianity, church format, church leader, church leadership, church meetings, church organizational chart, church overseers, church program, church programs, church roles, church structure, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit flow, leading others, New Testament, organic church, overseers, oversight, prompting of the Spirit, Quench not the Spirit, quench the Spirit and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Beyond Leadership To Overseership

  1. sherwood8028 says:

    Excellent article… I still read them, but my wife passed away in August and to be honest, it’s been a difficult journey…. Sherwood

    Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 18:30:52 +0000 To:

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