Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 4

The proper work of a church leader

1 Corinthians 4:1

Here is an explanation of the proper work of a church leader.

Different churches have different ideas about this subject. Some church leaders have so much authority that they control the lives of their church members. Other church leaders seem to have no authority whatever. They must constantly obey instructions from other people in their church.

Both of those types of leader think about their work as the relationship between themselves and the church members.

Paul had a different idea. A church leaderís most important relationships are with Christ, and with the Bible. To explain this, Paul used two different words for Ďservantí in this verse:

(1) Church leaders are servants of Christ. Here, the word Ďservantí means that they carry out personal duties for their master. They do what he wants them to do.

(2) Church leaders are stewards of Godís mysteries. A steward is a servant who has the responsibility to look after the masterís house. He must look after his masterís valuable things.

The word Ďmysteriesí has a particular meaning in the Bible, which does not match its usual meaning today. It means the plans of God, especially his plan to save his people (2:7). In the past, people did not know those plans clearly (1 Peter 1:10-12). But now, through the Gospel (Godís good news), God wants his servants to declare his message. It is for everyone who will believe.

Next part: To whom are church leaders responsible? (1 Corinthians 4:2-5)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.


© 2014, Keith Simons.