Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

The Social Trinity, Ecclesiology and Church Leadership – Part 7

How a Social View of the Trinity Can Positively Inform Our Approach to Ecclesiology and Leadership in Today’s North American Church

Boff and Volf have demonstrated a rich understanding of the social Trinity, in that within God we see perfect community.  Because power distribution and unity are key elements when it comes to our approach to ecclesiology and church leadership, I focused on two areas of the social Trinity that speak to these issues.  I first addressed how emphasizing the one, the three or both, can shape our approach to power distribution and unity.  And because the social Trinity focuses on the inner life of God, understanding the ontological nature of God, the roles and perichoresis was important. For these speak directly to the issues of power distribution and unity.  Focusing on these aspects of the Trinity emphasized how we are all gifted priests who are to learn and teach one another. And as we live out our calling in community in a more interdependent, communal and self-giving ways, healthy leaders will grow within the community to help keep the unity.

Because some are gifted to equip and lead, further studies on how apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers can imitate the Trinity by leading in polycentric ways would be fruitful.  For more is caught than taught.  Understanding the Father is God for us, the Son is God with us, and the Spirit is God in us can shape this polycentric equipping team.  For as Boff says, “Believing in the Trinity means that truth is on the side of community rather than exclusion; consensus translates truth better than imposition; the participation of the many is better than the dictate of a single one.”[1]


[1] Boff, Holy Trinity, Perfect Community, p. xvi.

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