Current Members of the C!C Pastoral Team
My name is Merlin Liu. I was born and raised in China, and moved to Canada
when I was 18. I didn't know or believe in God when I grew up, in fact, I was very much against God.
My name's Carl. I was raised in tiny Chesterville, Ontario an hour South of Ottawa. I received Christ as my Saviour at a child but struggled to commit to a church after moving to Ottawa for school in 2001. After a few years, I began attending Celebration! Church and rediscovered what it really meant to follow Christ: my Saviour. Since then, life has moved along quickly serving in several ministries over the last 10 years attending C!C. I slowly learned to trust in Christ alone, not myself, as His plan is what is best for me; I am His work in progress.
At Celebration! Church, we recognize the head of the church to be Jesus Christ. As a church family, we seek to reflect His priorities in all we do and in the way we do it. No decision is made that would knowingly contradict any Biblical teachings, and through the guidance of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit we endeavour to collectively discern God’s will for us as a church. Together, we will pursue God’s revealed will as we engage in meaningful discipleship—gaining a greater fellowship with Jesus and a greater witness for Jesus. Godly Ministry Leaders will come alongside the people to equip and serve with the encouragement and support and under the oversight of the Pastoral Team, which includes the Senior Pastor; The Pastoral Team carries the responsibility of leading the Church to function in utmost accordance with Scripture.
The English Bible uses the words pastor, shepherd, elder, presbyter, bishop, and overseer to represent the persons appointed to fulfill a specific office of leadership within the New Testament church. The Bible makes a point to say that with this position comes great responsibility, and the qualifications for one who would serve are stringent. One who would serve on the Pastoral Team of Celebration! Church must be willing, qualified, and called. The New Testament provides specific roles of the pastor/elder:
Part of the responsibilities of a pastor is protecting the church from false teachers and false teaching. This requires scriptural knowledge and dedication to biblical truth in order to be discerning in areas of doctrine. Protecting the flock also includes dealing with disputes and church discipline according to biblical directives.
Another major role of a pastor is to be “able to teach.” Though some people’s spiritual gifts/talent makes this area stronger than in others, part of the job of shepherding is making sure the flock is fed the Word of God.
Many of the biblical references equate a pastor with shepherding the church, among other things, this means leading the church. The Pastoral Team has decision making authority for the body to ensure that the church remains on a true course biblically, and is freed and equipped for Christian service.
- This should be a servant leadership, a leadership by example.
- This should be a shared leadership—the Bible always speaks of pastor/elders in the plural sense when not referring to the qualifications or an individual referring to himself.
- This should be a male leadership. The Bible outlines the qualifications for a pastor in keeping with its teaching on manhood. This body of leaders is not any higher or better than any other position within the church and so the maleness of the group in no way equates to superiority, but instead it points to the importance of an intimate, accountable brotherhood that leads and initiates as a reflection of Christ’s headship of the church and the man’s headship in the marriage/home. At the same time, an important reality is that the wife of a pastor is “one flesh” with the pastor and therefore an incredibly important pastor in her own right, protecting, feeding, leading . . .. [For more on the gender issue and the Pastoral Team, click here.]
- This is a leadership of great responsibility. The Bible is clear that those in authority are held to a higher standard; they are seen as God’s stewards—or His household manager. This is certainly something that should not be taken lightly and should not be sought after for means of status, for the stakes are high. Along with all this must be the recognition that while the church body affirms the leadership of the pastors and submits to them, the people of the church also carry an enormous authority within the church and are the final court for church decisions. The Pastoral Team is meant to lead, serve and equip, not to rule over, and thus they are accountable to the people.
Jesus was quite clear in ministry that physical needs must be met as a part of our Christian service. A pastor must be engaged in recognizing and moving to address felt needs in the church and in the community. Whether visiting the sick, comforting the mourning, strengthening the weak, counseling, giving, guiding, etc., a pastor must work to see the flock’s needs met.
Understanding the role of pastor/elder to be merely a board, a status, a level of maturity or position of influence is a sad distortion of truth. A pastor should be a servant of all and should display an inspiring level of initiative, both spiritually and physically in order to encourage the church and prepare them for their own works of service.
A pastor should understand spiritual gifts and be familiar with his own and how to cultivate the gifts of others. The Pastoral Team should have a wide range of gifts, primarily those mentioned in Ephesians 4 (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) so that they can lead the church into full maturity in Christ.
The Bible lists for us some qualifications of pastors/elders: (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)
- Above reproach (people cannot bring against him valid smears)
- Blameless (shows evidence of sanctification and Spirit working righteousness)
- Husband of one wife (literally, “a one-woman man” – showing devout faithfulness)
- Able to teach/hold firm to sound doctrine
- Not given to drunkenness (free from addictions)
- Not violent
- Not quarrelsome or quick-tempered
- Not a lover of money
- Not pursuing dishonest gain
- Manages his own household well
- His children obey him with proper respect
- Not a recent convert
- Of good reputation outside the church
- Not overbearing
- Loves what is good
Having here discussed much on the subject, but admittedly only partially covering the material, we encourage you to check out some more in depth material:
A Thorough Treatment of Eldership Leadership
Book Review on above Eldership
Another Perspective on Biblical Eldership
How another denomination goes about leading
Another brief description of leadership from another denomination/church
Another Perspective on Biblical Pastors/Elders