What Does leadership in the house church look like?
Each house church will be under the direction of a shepherd….just like it was in the New Testament. These house shepherds will report to Elders…just like it was in the New Testament.
Each house church will be semi-autonomous…making much of their own decisions…directing much of their own money and resources…but under the headship of Elders who are appointed by the leadership of the house churches. All members of the house church seek the council of the Lord as they are guided by the elders.
We will have deacons. Deacons are servants. The Greek work we get the word deacon from (diakonos) simply means “waiter…or servant.” We will also have deaconesses. We read in Romans 16:1 that Phoebe was a “deaconess.” We also see in 1 Timothy 3:11 that “the women” are to be “dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.” Many translations have this translated as “deacon’s wives.” However, in the Greek it’s not so clear. It simply says “the women.” We assume that this is referring to female deacons. Why? Well…why would Paul put forth characteristics to be seen in deacon’s wives…and not the wife of the Bishop (overseer) or elders?
Concerning both deacons and deaconesses: Neither will be in a position of authority over the church or the church members. This is not scriptural and is a relatively modern tradition. Deacons were never meant to direct the church business or govern its leadership. They are purely servants.