New Wine Collective

A Question About Hierarchy In the Church

What if Jesus’ original plan was for us NOT to put people on pedestals?

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

Matthew 23:8-12

Most of us can't imagine a practice of Christianity that isn't top-down, hierarchical, and dependent on people in power. But I believe the Scriptures make a strong case for something very different!

Christ inaugurates a Kingdom (new reality) based on:

  • love, not power
  • suffering and taking up crosses, not winning and defeating others
  • mutual submission, not domination
  • flexibility, not hierarchy
  • the last first, and the first last
  • the greatest in this kingdom being children and servants

We preach about this Kingdom but generally do not live it out very well in our systems and structures. Can we go back to the drawing board and ask how the Church can look more like God's Kingdom and less like religious hegemony?

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