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Serve the Community of the Church
Christians as Leaders and Ministers
POD; Published: 3/9/2000
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4182-7
Price: $ 35.50
315 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Serve the Community of the Church, the second volume in the First-Century Christians in the Graeco- Roman World series, explores the nature of organization and leadership roles in the first-century Christian community, especially as they were variously taught by Paul and practiced in the earliest congregations.

Drawing from ancient source material as well as from the New Testament, Andrew Clarke describes the theories and practices of organization and leadership in key areas of first-century Graeco-Roman society — the city, the colony, voluntary associations, Jewish synagogues, the family — and discusses the extent to which these models influenced the first Christians in defining their own communities. Clarke then turns to the Christian community itself, discussing how Paul, through correspondence with a number of congregations, laid out important parameters for leadership that he considered appropriate to the new Christian context. Some of these parameters, Clarke shows, were defined in express contrast to the patterns of leadership widely practiced in Graeco-Roman society and occasionally also in the early Christian communities.

Providing a fascinating look at the social and historical background of the New Testament, this volume is also important for its discussion of a subject that has implications for the organization of church life in our own time.
Theology (UK)
"The main sections of the book are an excellent and accessible summary of a great deal of complex material, ranging from the place of the father in the Graeco-Roman household, the origin and functioning of the synagogue and the exercise of leadership (as then understood) by local leaders in the Pauline churches. . . This is an important study and a shot across the bows of those who want to push the importance of 'leadership' in today's Christian communities."
Theological Studies
"This is a welcome addition to an excellent series. . . As a whole it is an excellent contribution to the study of Paul's leadership, and it has strong ecumenical implications, since its best chapters are those dedicated to leadership in Jewish synagogues and to Pauline ministry within the Christian community. Clarke's book can be highly recommended for courses on Pauline literature and ecclesiology."