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Roles and Responsibilities: 'To Each Their Place'

In Small Christian Community (SCC), every member is of value to the 'family' of the community,

  • each has gifts, and each has a contribution to make,
  • each is accountable to every other member,
  • each has a share in responsibility for the whole life of the community.

Each will minister to the needs of every other member of the community,
just as the Community will minister to the needs of those amongst whom it lives and works.

Roles are determined by gifts, as well as needs - of the community and of the individual - at the present time, and in the future; no role is necessarily for life, and many may be shared.

The gifts and resources available within a Christian Community that is working effectively will always exceed the sum of the individual gifts of its members: the multiplying factor is the Holy Spirit at work in the community.
SCCs need structure but not hierarchy. Integral to this is that each person has a place.

SCCs function best on the model of servanthood, where the group agrees to submit itself to the gift or function of a given member over a particular task or activity.

This has been related to the world of Jazz, prizing individuality but within the context of the group: to listen and submit oneself to the gift of another requires humility, trust and discipline.

Leadership is exercised by consent, never by domination, principally through the medium of co-ordination or enabling of others. If a community is to model God's ways, it will see leadership as being 'on loan from the community' to one of its members for a period of time. This is what the theologian Walter Wink calls 'God's domination-free order'.



Building Kingdom-shaped communities
  © New Way of Being Church 2007