Fresh definitions of some Bible terms about leadership (APEST)

The most moving Christians I’ve met (through their writings) have sought God for themselves as mystics, misfits, reformers, and monks. They have helped inspire me to seek God about the meaning of some Bible terms.

Elders are mature Christ-followers, examples of godliness and of Spirit-led obedience to the risen Jesus Christ. Overseers (bishops/elders), function like basketball officials and monitor Christian meetings to keep them freely flowing in the Spirit.

Sent ones (apostles) leave their comfort zone and go wherever the Spirit sends them, to proclaim and demonstrate the reality of Jesus. Prophets speak, write, and do what the Spirit tells them to — regardless of the consequences. Evangelists (preachers) proclaim the reality of Jesus to those who haven’t heard or followed Him yet.

Pastors guide, coach, and counsel people, one on one, assisting them in growing in an intimate walk with the risen Jesus. Teachers use words, actions, demonstrations, and living examples, to train people to understand, follow, and obey the living Jesus.

Deacons (like Stephen & Philip, of “the Seven”) break out of the religious mold and do radical things in obedience to God. Priests are any Christ-follower, who because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, doesn’t need a human intermediary to get to God. Ministers are any Christian who reaches out to others with compassion, love, and service.

“Reverend is His name.” Psalm 111:9 KJV. Reverend is only used once is the Bible (to refer to God) but never as a person’s title.

Human order makes Christians comfortable, complacent, and controlled. God’s order challenges, confronts, and commissions them. My favorite “Order of Worship:” Everybody listen to Jesus and then say or do what He tells you to.

People need to see Christ living in and through all the members of His body, not just a few professionals. When Christianity became about attending weekly meetings of a religious organization, it lost much of its spontaneity.

Christians are supposed to be overflowing with inner “rivers of living water.” Why settle for an occasional spiritual drip? A fuller experience of God is available to all of us if we will only surrender more fully to Him. When your heart hurts, press into Christ’s healing presence.

Jesus doesn’t need to be memorialized because He’s alive to comfort, heal, and empower us with His presence. We just need to let Him freely work in us, among us, and through us. Let all women and all men who have a relationship with the risen Jesus, preach the Good News. If we make every Christ-follower a preacher, people won’t need to go to church to hear the Gospel.

Yes! I believe in women’s ordination. Let’s ordain everybody who loves and follows the risen Jesus!

The law says, “Walk the line.” Grace says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16.)

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!
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