Steve Timmis on Power

This is part 3 of the interview series that Steve Timmis is doing with Scott Thomas from Resurgence

“I used to do most of the teaching but some of the leaders were concerned that I was becoming a little too crucial to the whole thing, and people were too dependent upon me, so I cut my teaching down significantly. I haven’t taught since November, for example, and I won’t teach until February. But there’s no conflict, and if there was, then people would be gospeled and basically told “that’s not what it’s about, it’s about the Word of God is being taught well. My task now is to help train up the other guys who are teaching – that’s what I invest my time in.”

“The key issue, and I’m using this word (advisedly) is where the power lies. For us it lies in the gospel communities. They’re the ones who make decisions about central teaching in the sense that all the gospel communities decide what we’re going to be teaching on, who teaches, and we’re committed to that. So our Sunday morning is an expression of the collective will of the gospel communities. It’s not an expression of the center determining what the gospel communities do.”

The key differences between the usual way churches operate:

1. There is an attempt to disperse the “power” as widely as possible, not only in theory but in practice.  I know some guys who only ever give up their pulpit if they are away on holiday.  And plenty of guys who will make sure that they are home from a conference by the Sunday…

2. The decision making is not a centralised entity which makes the decisions and then imposes them on the rest.  Rather as I understand The Crowded House working structure it is that the “primary” communities are the de-centralised smaller gospel communities, as opposed to the normal church model where the large meeting is the primary meeting and the small groups are secondary.

As a result these smaller gospel communities because they are the “primary” communities are the ones who are setting the vision and direction for the movement, and any centralized meetings which may occur (in Steve’s case this is a regular Sunday meeting).

This structure resonates with me as a better way to operate in the kind of church planting I would like to be involved with.  What do you think?

Read Part One of the interview here

Read Part Two here

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~ by John on February 10, 2009.

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