Kenneth Ross

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)




This study addresses the need for a more equipping oriented leadership model to engender parishioner based ministry in the church and community. The study begins by recognizing the steady national and ecclesial decline in morals, ethics, marriage and family in America. This decline reveals the waning influence of the church in American culture. At the same time, there is evidence of a significant departure from the institutional church, in great part by Christians that want to "be" the church rather than just attend church. I propose that one possible solution is to return to a more equipping role for ecclesial leaders that could create and release effective ministry from parishioners, ultimately producing a more first-century ecclesial experience. In Chapter 2 of this study, I construct a biblical foundation for an equipping leadership paradigm. I begin by considering three groups of Old Testament leaders, the priests, prophets and sages, and their ministerial roles in Israel. Though initially ministers in their particular offices, they ultimately served to equip the nation to become priestly, prophetic and sagacious. Their failure necessitated a revolutionary form of leadership instituted by Jesus Christ: Servant-leaders whose primal purpose was to equip others for ministry. In Chapter 3, I attempt to synthesize the New Testament leadership paradigm with current secular leadership movements. I first consider the ministry of the Apostle Paul, specifically addressing the fivefold equipping gifts of Ephesians 4:11, as they are revealed in his own ministry. I propose that these five aspects of ministry were as well present in the ministry of Christ and are definitive of Christ like ministry. I then address the paradigm shift that occurred in the second-century church that served to create a more hierarchal, clergy ministry based ecclesiology and the failure of the Protestant Reformation to remedy it. Finally, I consider contemporary secular leadership paradigms that reflect the New Testament servant-leader equipping model. In Chapter 4, I consider the possible impact of the fivefold equipping leaders on the first-century church, and then view them in contrast to present ecclesial leadership. In doing this, I present the context from which both minister and the ideological shifts that must occur to accommodate a more first-century equipping model for today. Finally, I present an equipping prospectus for implementing the fivefold equipping leadership model. Finally, in Chapter 5, I consider the ultimate product of fivefold equipping leaders, the fivefold Christian. I first address the need for radical reform in order to accommodate a more first-century leadership and ecclesial model. Then I consider the impact of equipping leadership upon the Christian as he or she become functional in the fivefold ministries of Christ: becoming more missional (apostle), prophetic (prophet), reconciling (evangelist), pastoral (pastor) and rabbinical (teacher).

Included in

Christianity Commons