Sunday July 27th, 2014 – Having a solid, Biblical church government of elders is foundational for how discipleship occurs within the church. The elders have governing and teaching responsibilities that require certain Biblical qualifications. Elders are not chosen by their success or status in the community but by their maturity in their walk with Christ.
We intend to have a spiritual group of elders who mean business with God at the core of who this church is. – Dwayne Terry
Hebrews 13:17 – Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their
work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
1 Peter 5:5-7 – In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Why All The Church Governments?
• There is a consistent Biblical pattern for Government in which every church had elders governing it and keeping watch over it.
Acts 14:23 – Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 20:17 – From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
Titus 1:5 – The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
• No passage suggests that any church, no matter how small, had only one elder. (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5).
James 5:14 – Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 1 Peter 5:1-2 – To the elders among you… Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…”
Ephesians 4:11 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers…
- Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13)
Acts 20:28 – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [Bishops]. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he boughtwith his own blood.
1 Timothy 3:1 – Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer [Bishop] desires a noble task.
The Functions of Elders
1 Timothy 3:4-5 – He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know
how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)
1 Peter 5:2-5 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders….”
• Elders have ruling or governing responsibilities.
• Elders have teaching responsibilities.
1 Timothy 3:2 – Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
1 Timothy 5:17 – The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
Titus 1:9 – He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Qualifications for Elders
1 Timothy 3:2-7 – Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Titus 1:6-9 – An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Hebrews 5:14 – But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.