Thinking About. . . Leadership


This fall I’ve been reading the reflections of Lesslie Newbigin, a British pastor and missionary who served as bishop in India 50 years ago. Through a series of talks now collected in a book called The Good Shepherd, Newbigin meditates on the nature and importance of Christian leadership. Spurred on by this book, lately I’ve been thinking about leadership, too. 

I want to outline a few of the ways that we continue to focus on leadership development at City Church:

City Church Leadership

On Sunday, October 7th, from 5:30 to 6:30pm, in the Fellowship Hall at Grace Covenant, we will hold a new event called City Church Leadership. 

What is it? City Church Leadership is a simple meal (think soup, salad, and bread) followed by 45 minutes of discussion-based content focused on exploring biblical principles of leadership and applying them in specific ministry contexts.

Who is it for? City Church Leadership is for existing and emerging leaders at City Church. It’s open to everyone. If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’d like that!” you’re invited and you should come. At City Church we define leadership broadly on purpose, because we recognize that God has gifted all sorts of people in His church: nursery coordinators, music team leaders, welcome team members, small group leaders, lay counselors, mercy and justice liaisons. We also recognize that leaders function best when they aren’t silo-ed in self-contained spheres, but rather are connected across all areas of the church. That’s why it’s good for us to all get together.

 Electing Elders, Deacons, and Trustees

On Sunday, October 21st, immediately following the worship service, City Church will hold a congregational meeting for the purpose of electing eldersdeacons, and trustees for the church. We’ve done this before…sort of. 

Three times before we have elected elders—men nominated, trained, and then voted on by the congregation—to provide servant leadership and shepherding oversight for the church. Twice before we have elected deacons to provide servant leadership in areas related to the church’s physical and tangible needs. Later this month will mark the first time we elect trustees—men and women who represent the church in matters related to the civil government. For more information on the specific City Church members who will stand for election during the congregational meeting, please read this post on our website

When the elders and deacons of the church are installed at a worship service in early November, we will also commission a group of women and men called diaconal assistants. These men and women, who have been trained alongside our other elected leaders, assist the deacons in their service to the church. While City Church has had diaconal assistants in the past, we haven’t done a great job using them or supporting them. We’re committed to doing better moving forward and we’re excited about the folks God is raising to serve in that capacity.

Women in Leadership at City Church

While City Church and the denomination we are a part of is firmly committed to a complementarian view of church leadership (that is, God designed men and women to have distinct and complementary roles within leadership), the staff and leadership strongly desire to foster the full expression of all people’s gifts within the church. To that end, we’ve set a goal of better clarifying and establishing women’s leadership within City Church. We look forward to mining the Bible’s teaching on the roles of women in leadership and then applying that teaching in all facets of City Church’s ministry. Doing so will enrich our community and better reflect the glory God intends for His church. We intend to facilitate several discussions around this topic over the next three-to-six months, so stay tuned. Should you have questions about this process, please speak with either Erik or Meg.