Presentation on theme: "The Leadership In The Local Church (Acts 20:28) "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,"— Presentation transcript:
The Leadership In The Local Church (Acts 20:28) "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (NKJV)
Why It Is Important To Have Elders: It is God’s plan Can a church function scripturally without elders? Yes – Act 14: But when men qualify, it is God’s plan that they be appointed – Act 11:30; 14:23; 20:17; Phi 1:1; Tit 1: God’s plan is always right. We cannot set aside His plan and be a faithful church of Christ. They provide ongoing stability for the local church. Good elders keep the church faithful to the Lord and His teaching – Act 20:28-30; Heb 13:17.
Various Terms Used To Describe The Local Leadership: Elders – Act 11:30; 20:17 Overseers – Act 20:28 Shepherds – Act 20:28 Bishops – Tit 1:5-7 Pastors – Eph 4:11 Presbyters – 1 Tim 4:14 These descriptions can be linked in this way: Elders – Presbyters (age, experience) Bishops – Overseers (rule) Shepherds – Pastors (relationship to sheep)
General Information Concerning Elders: There is to be a plurality in each church – Act 14: Elders can be supported financially – 1 Tim 5: Caution should be exercised when an accusation is brought against an elder – 1 Tim 5: The oversight of elders is limited to the local church and its work – 1 Pet 5:1-4
What The Holy Spirit Says: (1 Timothy 3:1-7) This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (NKJV)
What The Holy Spirit Says: (Titus 1:6-9) if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober- minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (NKJV)
A Few Things To Remember In the main, they are qualities that the Lord wants every Christian to have. Thus, for a man to become qualified to be an elder it should largely be a matter of spiritual maturity. Some of these qualities are somewhat relative while others are absolute. Good judgment must prevail in the selection of elders. A few of the qualifications are circumstantial. If man doesn't meet them, it doesn't necessarily imply a lack of spirituality on his part.
These qualifications fall easily into six basic categories... 1.Character (What one is.) 2.Reputation (What people think he is.) 3.Domestic Relations 4.Experience 5.Habits 6.Ability
THE CHARACTER OF AN ELDER.... Desire for office Devout – Holy, separate, consecrated, devoted, sanctified Just – upright, fair, and honest in all his dealings Gentle – patient (not easily provoked) Temperate - vigilant (Mentally alert, perceptive, active, watchful) Prudent – skill and good judgment in the use of resources Respectable – dignified, of good behavior, orderly Loving what is good - to approve the things that are good Self-controlled – denotes of sound mind, sober-minded
THE REPUTATION OF THE ELDER Above reproach - Not open to accusation; Blameless A good reputation with those who are outside Hospitable (Literally means loving a stranger) Not pugnacious – Not violent, no striker Not contentious – Not quarrelsome, not a brawler Free from the love of money Not fond of sordid gain – applies to one who attains money dishonestly or unjustly at the expense of others.
THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS OF AN ELDER Must be a “man” Husband of one wife Having children who believe Manages his own household well Keeping his children under control
THE EXPERIENCE OF AN ELDER Not a novice The word “elder” itself implies age and experience
THE ABILITY OF AN ELDER Able to teach – to instruct and train (Vine) Able to exhort – Holding fast the faithful word. Able to refuse those who contradict An elder must use the truth to convict and convince those in error. An elder must use the truth to convict and convince those in error.
THE HABITS OF AN ELDER Not quick-tempered – Not soon angry. Not self-willed – Self-pleasing, inconsiderate of others, arrogantly asserts his own will. (Vines) Not addicted to wine – to be free from the need for and influence of intoxicants and their products.
The Work Of Elders. Good Elders: Know the congregation, their needs, their anxieties, and their weaknesses – Act 11:30. Lead the congregation. They are proactive, not just reactive – Heb 13:17. Provide spiritual nourishment – 1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:9. Guard against spiritual wolves who would devour the sheep – Act 20: Seek to restore the lost sheep – Luke 15:1-7; Heb 13:17.
Conclusion It is important to develop and appoint elders! One of the greatest mistakes in selecting and appointing men to the eldership is to take lightly these qualifications that must be present in every elder to please the Lord. When men are appointed who possess these qualities, the church will be ready to function as God intended. God’s way cannot be improved.
Are You Preparing? Elder? Elder’s Wife? Elder’s Child?
Sources Material by Bill Hall Sermons on Local Church Government: Elders and Deacons by Gene Taylor. Truth Commentary on 1 st Timothy by Marshall Patton The Eldership by J.W. McGarvey
Child or Children? How is the word “children” used in other passages in the Bible? Genesis 21:7; 11:30; 16:1 Genesis 21:7; 11:30; 16:1 Matthew 22:24; Deut. 25:5; Gal. 3:16 Matthew 22:24; Deut. 25:5; Gal. 3:16 Acts 2:38,39 Acts 2:38,39 1 Timothy 5:4 1 Timothy 5:4 There is no escape from the fact that if 1 Tim. 3:4 means the bishop must have a plurality of children to the exclusion of only one, all these other passages that are similar must have the same meaning. But if in all these other passages where the plural “children” is understood to mean offspring without regard to definite number – including the singular with the plural – 1 Tim. 3:4 and Tit. 1:6 has the same meaning.
List to Timothy A man (not a woman) A man (not a woman) Blameless (without reproach) Blameless (without reproach) Husband of one wife Husband of one wife Vigilant (temperate) Vigilant (temperate) Sober Sober Given to hospitality Given to hospitality Apt to teach Apt to teach Not given to wine Not given to wine No striker No striker Not greedy of filthy lucre Not greedy of filthy lucre Not a brawler Not a brawler Rule house well – children in subjection Rule house well – children in subjection Of good report, good reputation Of good report, good reputation Not a novice (puffed up) Not a novice (puffed up) Not covetous (contentious, quarrelsome) Not covetous (contentious, quarrelsome) Patient (gentle, lenient) Patient (gentle, lenient) Of good behavior Of good behavior Desire for office Desire for office List to Titus A man (not a woman) Blameless (without reproach) Husband of one wife Temperate (self governed) Sober Lover of hospitality Hold faithful word to teach No brawler (Not given to wine) No striker Not greedy of filthy lucre Not a brawler Have believing children Holy, saintly, religious man Not self-willed (arrogant, presumptuous) Not soon angry Just (upright, justice to all) Lover of good men (of good) (Desire implied from other qualities)
Positive A man A man Desire the office Desire the office Blameless Blameless Husband of one wife Husband of one wife Vigilant Vigilant Temperate Temperate Sober Sober Lover of hospitality Lover of hospitality Apt to teach Apt to teach Believing children (rule house well) Believing children (rule house well) Of good report Of good report Holy Holy Just Just Patient Patient Good behavior Good behavior Lover of good men Lover of good men Negative Not given to wine Not a brawler No striker Not greedy of filthy lucre Not a novice Not covetous Not angry Not self-willed