How Mark Dever Passes Out Authority

Jonathan Leeman | January 6, 2014


Over the years Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., has seen plenty of opportunities to accrue authority, some of which he keeps, many of which he passes out. And the way he passes out authority has shaped the culture of our church in countless ways. Here are 20 ways he distributes authority, followed by 10 ways this shapes our church culture. Some apply just to lead pastors; many apply to all of us.

Ways to Distribute Authority

1. Build the church on the gospel. No matter who's teaching, the gospel must be front and center. Mark has established this pattern. When relationships and power structures are grounded in the gospel, peopleĀ use their authority not to lord it over one another, but to serve one another (Matt. 20:25-28).

2. Establish a plurality of staff and non-staff elders. On an elder board composed exclusively of staff elders, each man may possess one vote, but the staffing structure imposes a hierarchy. Adding non-staff elders to the board disrupts and flattens that hierarchy.

3. Limit the percentage of main-slot preaching. Mark, with the elders' agreement, limits himself to preaching 50 percent to 65 percent of Sunday mornings. Thatā€¦


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