I received a thought-provoking e-mail regarding my post on what I termed the FEQ model. I thought it would be helpful to post my response to the e-mail to clarify my position. In the e-mail, I was told that I was over-arguing my position. Before I go forward, I want to say that I am merely probing this area of practicality. I am not landed (but I am circling in for one). If someone can show me that Scripture is geared towards the FEQ model in the local church, then I will espouse it. Additionally, I need to make clear that what I am pushing against is the senior pastor model. In other words, I am equating FEQ with Senior Pastor. Here is my response:
Thanks for your thoughtful response. I think I need to explain the model that I am going after. I am argunig against the senior pastor model. I think you assume rightly that you will naturally look to someone else who is more gifted in a certain area. However, I am not comfortable with the point you make that the man who is the paid elder (conceived of as the senior pastor) is the go-to person for theological clarity. In my view you are begging the question. You see, I want to do away with the senior pastor model and espouse a model of what I call a true plurality of elders.
This means that there will not be one man you go to for theological precision, but three.
I would not disagree with you…there is going to arise a man that is more gifted in a particular area, but this does not give sufficient reason for the senior pastor model. Do you see what I am saying?
Response to your counter-points [which I have put in brackets]:
1.[In response to the thought that the elders need to be discerning when they come to a point of voting]. Amen. But, again, I am not arguing against a FEQ in certain issues in the church. This man will naturally arise. But the particular FEQ at a particular time does not necessitate a senior pastor model for all time.
2. [While there may not be a model, there are examples of the concept in the Bible.] What are those concepts that are played out in the Scriptures.
3. [Giftings can also be utilized within the FEQ model.] True. I believe that giftings of the congregation will be encouraged when diversity in the pulpit and counsel is exhibited for them.
4. [Having a true plurality of elders will not guarantee diversity.] Sure the non-FEQ model doesn’t guarantee diversity in preaching. But I believe it moves more in that direction and des far more to encourage it than does the FEQ model.
As for your point about controversy, I want to probe these areas because I don’t think they are thought about much. As for the controversies you mentioned, I believe this is the first I have made public. The others have been done amongst intimate brothers. You see this side more than Joe Blogger will because I do not want to be contentious for the sake of being contentious. Yeah, my ratings in Blogdom will not be as good as the one who spouts off anything that sounds anti-mainstream. But you know I don’t care about that as much as I do for Biblical faithfulness. I blogged about this one because I thnik that it is something we as future leaders need to seriously re-consider. Also, this was not directed at any one church but at the scheme as a whole. Hopefully to spark thinking and conversation. I would love for you to post your thoughts on the blog. I hope your comment wasn’t a comment on my personality of being controversial for the fun of it…
Hopefully, this brings clarity to my view. Response?