1. Is it in the Bible?
"APPOINTED"......Yes (it is a word used many times in the old covenant, from a Hebrew word meaning to be sanctified for a purpose. The word is used in the new testament a number of times, but the Greek word means to arrange in a group, as with the 12 apostles or the 70 which Jesus sent in Luke 10)
2. What do we believe it means?
God has selected or approved certain people to be leaders in the body of christ. He has appointed pastors to have authority over the local church. Since this is why God does things never question this appointment.
3. What does it really mean?
This is, in effect, a true biblical concept God does often work through a person whom He gives leadership gifts. This was much more the case in the Old testament, before the impartation of the Holy Spirit and the release of the ministry gifts to all believers. For example, in the old testament, only a chosen few were prophets, while in the new testament it is clear that all believers may prophecy...
Joe 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
In the Old Covenant God gave in to the sinful demands of Israel to appoint a king--and if one studies church history, Christian have often demanded a "king" to rule over them. Christian rulership is a powerful and lingering tradition in the church (although a study of history shows that it is slowly being destroyed--I believe by God--amen!)
There are many places in he new testament where traditional church teaching tells us that an earthly church leader is being appointed (particularly the command of Jesus to Peter to "feed my sheep"--see "pastoral myth")
These ideas contradict the new covenant law which points Jesus Himself as the "only Potentate" of the church...
1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
"Potentate" meaning quite simply the only One who is to have authority or power over Christian believers.
Yet at the same time, new testament Christian "leadership" is mentioned.......
Ro 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, (a word which is better translated as "leadership"!) with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
If we operated the church by the method Jesus demonstrated and the church in the Bible followed, the anointing or "appointing" of leadership would be a ministry that any believer could have for a season.
Leadership--just like any ministry--is appointed by God. But, like every new testament ministry, it is service to others and NOT authority over others. It should not be a life-time appointment of authority over other believers.
think about the earthly leadership of Jesus. Jesus was appointed a mission by the Father. His appointment, to leadership in this mission had a beginning, a middle and an end. In 3 years Jesus accomplished He mission and fulfilled His appointment. he clearly fulfilled it in service to others and not by authority over others......
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise
lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them
are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; (Luke 22:25-29)
At the end of His earthly appointment He handed His mission
off to others. A perfect example of God's appointed leadership.