Maybe I was just dreaming. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was. Way back in 1994 I was part of a new church plant called Christ's Church of the Peninsula. I went into this effort with lots of exuberance and a conviction that we could "get it right" in the church. And we did in amny ways (& we got some things wrong too!). When we finally decided to set apart our first elders we did so after spending several months studying & discussing the responsinilities & work of elders in the church. I envisioned a team of mature men working together in devotion to Christ, a group of shepherds caring for His sheep. I should mentioned that I worked a secular job for the entire existence of Christ's Church. During this time I preached virtually every Sunday, taught a small group weekly and carried out many other normal ministry responsibilties. It wore on me over the years eyt I was still reluctant to let it go and return to "full time" ministry. I loved it for many reasons: 1. It kept me connected to the lost in a way many "full time" guys end up forfeiting. 2. It gave me some additional credibilty with some folks because I had a "real " job. 3. I felt that my example said that you could do life in our day and still dedicate significant time to kingdom work.
My dream in those was that somehow we would develop a team of church leaders who would break out of the typical "board system" so prevalent these days. (Note: Just because you don't call it a "board" doesn't mean it isn't one). Anyway, it appears obvious that history in our churches repeats itself more than I'd like to admit.
Have any of you ever witnessed or been a part of a church where the leaders function in unity and harmony and do so sacrificially? Where board-elders don't exist, but shepherd-eldrs are the norm?