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The Local Church in the 21st Century Observations and Discussions regarding the Local Church Movement in the Here and Now

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Old 06-01-2017, 01:41 PM   #1
Jake
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 11
Default Defining the LCM's authority roles

In the short time that I was attending the LC, I picked up on a number of terms used that seemed to signify different roles within the church, but nobody ever seemed to want to define exactly what these roles were, because they wanted to maintain the illusion of no clergy/laity system. Wondering if anyone could fill me in on what these roles are, what the responsibilities involve, how people get appointed to them, if they're paid or not, etc.
I couldn't find any description on the forum already, but you could direct me to a post if there is one please.
  • elders
  • responsible ones
  • serving ones
  • leading ones
  • leading elders
  • co-workers
  • anything others I'm missing?
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:34 PM   #2
Terry
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,268
Default Re: Defining the LCM's authority roles

In the local church history of the 1960's and 1970's, it used to be a brother's qualification as elder was due to an obvious spiritual gift (evangelist, teacher, minister, etc). Now church politics has made it far more skewed. For many one qualification is loyalty. One doesn't need scriptural qualifications (a husband of one wife nor how they manage their household). In some case there's the appearance their financial status bears more weight for elder/co-worker status than character does.
I would refer one to read the attached document "hear the cases". It is both baffling and appalling regarding the Church in Ontario (CA).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf hearthecases.pdf (586.2 KB, 111 views)
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:06 PM   #3
Koinonia
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 540
Default Re: Defining the LCM's authority roles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake View Post
In the short time that I was attending the LC, I picked up on a number of terms used that seemed to signify different roles within the church, but nobody ever seemed to want to define exactly what these roles were, because they wanted to maintain the illusion of no clergy/laity system. Wondering if anyone could fill me in on what these roles are, what the responsibilities involve, how people get appointed to them, if they're paid or not, etc.
I couldn't find any description on the forum already, but you could direct me to a post if there is one please.
  • elders
  • responsible ones
  • serving ones
  • leading ones
  • leading elders
  • co-workers
  • anything others I'm missing?
Elders in the LC are officially appointed. Previously by Witness Lee. Today by coworkers.

Responsible ones can either be men functioning as elders who have never been appointed, or elders-in-training who are learning under the official eldership.

Serving ones may either be full-timers ("LSM serving ones") or volunteers in a given service area ("YP serving ones").

Leading ones usually refers to elders and may also include "responsible ones."

Leading elders is not as common, but I've heard this referred to for special (unpublicized) gatherings (e.g. - a meeting of "the leading elders in Southern California). People may also refer to someone in this way informally (e.g. - "Minoru Chen is the leading elder in Irvine."). Watchman Nee had some concept about the ranking of men in the eldership.

Co-workers are regional and supra-regional men functioning as apostles. Previously these were appointed by Witness Lee. Now they are appointed by existing coworkers. These men are invited to special meetings before and after the "seven feasts"--where they discuss special issues affecting the whole movement. They also get special reserved seating. In the US and other areas these coworkers are given areas of the country under their personal oversight and give direction to the churches in that area during regularly scheduled regional elders meetings.
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