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Doctoral Project Abstract

Implementing Fivefold Leadership in the local Church

Melvin T. Hayes

At the time of the writing of Ephesians (CE 62), the church began to face the absence of the initial leaders who started the Christian movement. A major transition of power and authority was beginning to occur within the newly formed Christian community. The community formed after the resurrection of Christ was composed essentially of followers who witnessed and shared the story of his continuing presence. Over time, like any human endeavor, what began as an informal movement, by necessity began to take on a more formal structure. Ephesians 4:11-12 reflects a point of transition in the movement. In particular, the movement is trying to identify leaders who can equip the church for its ongoing service in Christ. However, Ephesians shows a biblical church does not create its own leaders, Christ does. The ascended Christ has bestowed his grace on every member of the Christian community, but he has especially gifted certain individuals to share leadership in the community. This paper argues that the same identification, diversity, and discharge of those five gifted type leaders is still required to lead the local church today.

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