And God has appointed these in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. I Corinthians 12:28-31
Do you see "Senior Pastor" in the list of divine appointments? I didn't either, because he is not mentioned and neither is his associate. Apostles are first because they contain the divine design and they are sent to establish the assembly of God just as Paul who was sent to the Gentiles and Peter to the Jews. The church of Jesus Christ is not a man-made entity or something made by a "cookie cutter" design but established and filled with the Holy Spirit, each individual body being diverse according to God's liking.
If you walked into an assembly of saints in the first century it would be a very different experience than anything you could imagine today in our ritualistic man-centered services. Immediately you would sense the presence of Holy Spirit hovering over the people and their love for one another would be almost overwhelming. There would be no choir, no podium, no announcements or even an offering, unless of course someone had a need! Another thing you would notice, there would be no time schedule or agenda, only the moving of the Spirit through those who were anticipating a miracle or an opportunity to use their specific gifting.
Another thing that would be visibly noticeable and maybe unsettling to someone who had never come into God's fellowship was the fact that absolutely no one was leading the service! What! How in the world could we have church without leaders or someone directing our every move? Then all of a sudden someone has a message in tongues, another interprets and still another begins to prophesy, while the Spirit moves through the crowd, the place becomes like Heaven on earth! Finally the presence of God is so strong that if there are unbelievers present they would be under deep conviction and would repent and come to Christ, or run for the hills!
How is it then brethren? Whenever you come together each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. I Corinthians 14:26
Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin