For us at Table, a leader is simply a servant who uses their influence to empower people to find their place in God’s story. A leader who is not also a servant is not a biblical leader. At Table we do not want our influence to be derived primarily by our titles, but by the influence we have for God’s kingdom as his servants. Please feel free to call us by our first names and not by out titles! Currently, there are three official titles we use to inform our style of ministry: Gatherers, Guides, and Guardians.
These are the leaders in our Community and Family Tables who host our gatherings. Gatherers find the table and chairs to open up to others. The table may be in their own home, or at a local coffee shop, restaurant, or pub. If table was a verb, then “tabling” may also be joining with others in doing ministry together “off the beaten path” to those who won’t just show up at a church meeting. The goal of Gatherers at Table will always be to provide opportunities to make sure people have the opportunity to taste and see that Jesus is good. The Gatherers are the mobilizers who make sure there’s room and food and beverage at whatever table in the neighborhood they make available to others. By biblical examples, we see this role fulfilled by evangelists and people of peace. Some Gatherers are simply friends who are so excited about Jesus and that they need to gather their friends to meet him.
The Gatherers “set the table” physically and the Guides “set the table” spiritually for others to experience God’s grace. They’re the ones who lead and help prepare the liturgy (prayers, songs, and opened Bible for those gathered) at the Family Table and the Lord’s Table gatherings. They also train others to become Guides formally and informally. Guides help us all explore our talents given to us by God. If we boil it down to the bottom line, Guides simply help us to pursue our identity as children of God and friends of Jesus - our Lord, King, and rescuer.
This diverse group of men and women helps shape all elements of the Table from the Gatherings, to leadership development, and to shaping the values and the liturgy (worship practices and worship guides). Guardians don’t dictate every good deed that is done, but spur, equip, and empower others to use their talents. Guardians serve as both Guides and as Gatherers in their respective neighborhoods. This group of servant leaders is called to empower others out of the way God has made them. The Guardians also guide our times with all of the leaders in our midst through “Round Table” gatherings. Matt Buehrle has been operating in this role since the beginning of Table Communities while others are informally serving in this role until the marks of this role are more formally established. Some churches use the title of elder or bishop to designate this role. Whatever the title, we believe the lives of Guardians and Guides should be marked by the criteria outlined in I Timothy 3 in particular.