Monday, February 23, 2009

Leadership in Colossae

Colossians 1:7
This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of the Messiah on our behalf...
καθὼς ἐμάθετε ἀπὸ Ἐπαφρᾶ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν ὅς ἐστιν πιστὸς ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διάκονος τοῦ Χριστοῦ
Such a designation for leaders, even apostles, in the church speaks an important word about what it means to be called to such offices. Leaders are to see themselves as slaves of God. Paul even says in 2 Cor 4:5 that he is a slave of the Corinthians. This understanding of the place of the church’s leaders excludes the possibility of claiming status and privilege based upon that position. It calls for leaders to understand themselves as those who work in serve to the church rather than as those in charge who demand deference… This language for leaders certainly required the readers to adopt understandings of community and leadership that were contrary to those of other institutions in their world; such language calls them to envision a type of leadership that is consist with the gospel rather than with cultural expectations.
Sumney, Colossians, pg. 41

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