Book author and former pastor says ‘CEO’ church leadership model unbiblical

Christian Newswire – Glen Newman, author of “Pastors Move Over: Make Room for the Rest of Us,” challenges the modern traditional form of church government, which recognizes the single pastor as the primary leader of the local Christian church. Why is this significant? He says it’s because this is completely unbiblical and “we’ve been doing things wrong in the church for over 1,700 years.”

Glen Newman is a former pastor and founder of Covenant Life Fellowship and Heartland Bible Institute located in Texas. After much study of the Scriptures and other supporting writings, he now believes that there is no such position as a single pastor leadership model in the New Testament church. The first century church, he says, was led by the elders of that church community and all believers were uniquely gifted individually by Jesus for ministry.

He argues that Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 shows a clear system of all believers ministering to one another and worshiping house to house. He says, “The elders were the leadership of that day and servant leaders at that. But they also recognize each other’s personal gift of ministry. In the New Testament church there were no ‘CEO’ type leaders and in fact there were multiple pastors within the flock, ministering and nurturing those that needed it.”

According to Newman, the so-called senior pastor/leader model did not come into being until the Constantinian era in the fourth century and was later adopted into the Roman Catholic tradition, which the Protestant movement simply retained as their method of church government.

“Therefore we have been conducting our church services incorrectly since the fourth century,” he says. “In fact with the single pastor model, you have one man doing all the ministry and everyone else are mere spectators. This has created passive, uninvolved congregations that in many respects are spiritually immature due to this dependency on the professional clergy to do what they should be doing themselves.”

Newman adds that for many centuries the church has been run either like a monarchy or in the modern Protestant churches like a business.


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