Linworth is lead by a plurality of leaders, called pastors (or elders), according to the pattern set in the New Testament. The qualifications to serve as a pastor are outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and affirmed in Titus 1:5-9. Their role as a leadership team is outlined in numerous passages throughout the New Testament.
Qualifications of an Elder, 1 Timothy 3:1-7:
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
The pastors hold the highest level of authority in the church. They exist to provide over-arching leadership for the body of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, instructing him to “appoint elders in every city."
Following the example of Jesus, pastors are called to become the greatest servants (Mark 10:43-45). With this calling, elders reject any measure of manipulation, control or heavy-handedness and lead by example and gentle persuasion (2 Timothy 2:24 & I Peter 5:2-4).
Elders as Servants, 1 Peter 5:2-3:
Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
They serve by leading, teaching, shepherding, praying and protecting the body. Pastors help set an atmosphere for spiritual growth and freedom in the body. They provide a framework for spiritual gifts to flourish so Jesus can be experienced fully by believers and seen clearly by non-believers. (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Working with the members of Linworth, pastors discern God’s direction for us so we can fulfill our redemptive potential and play our part in the fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:20) and bringing God’s kingdom to earth (Matthew 6:10).