Scriptural church organization elders shepherds of the flock
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Scriptural Church Organization Elders: Shepherds Of The Flock. Scriptural Church Organization Elders: Shepherds Of The Flock. Introduction. -Any congregation is not organized unless they desire to have and appoint elders

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Scriptural Church Organization Elders: Shepherds Of The Flock

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Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Introduction

-Any congregation is not organized unless they desire to have and appoint elders

-These men have a very important function in the work of any local church

-These men will meet scriptural qualifications, and hold a great responsibility as they serve the Lord in His kingdom


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Introduction

-God has commanded that elders be appointed in every church (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5)

-Peter described the elders as shepherds that must, “Feed the flock of God which is among you” (I Peter 5:1-2)

-Today we will notice:-Numbers and designations for elders-The authority and work of elders-Some false conceptions of elders


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Descriptions Of Elders In The New Testament

-ELDER

-(presbyturos) means one advanced in life, a senior.

-This term describes this individual as someone who is dignified and experienced (I Peter 5:1)

-This can be understood when one cannot be qualified who is a “novice” (I Tim. 3:6)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Descriptions Of Elders In The New Testament

-BISHOP

-(episkopos) means an overseer, watcher, guardian or superintendent.

-Bishop describes the work of overseeing (I Tim. 3:1-2; Phil. 1:1)

-These men must watch out for the souls who make up the local church where they labor.


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Descriptions Of Elders In The New Testament

-PASTOR

-(poimen) means herdsmen or shepherd

-This portrays a picture of those who lead a flock (Lord’s sheep) into paths of truth

-Any pastor at work must be careful to protect and lead sheep to safety (Eph. 4:11)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Descriptions Of Elders In The New Testament

-All Three Terms Describe The Same Office

-Passages use these terms interchangeably and they are describing the same function in a local church (Acts 20:17, 28; Tit. 1:5-7)

-When an elders work is understood one can see how each term is used (I Pet. 5:1-2; Eph. 4:11)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Number Of Elders In Each Congregation

-Each congregation had a plurality of elders

-The churches in Jerusalem and Ephesus had “elders”(Acts 11:30; 20:17, 28)

-This is something that was found in every church (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5)

-Each congregation had “elders” among them(I Peter 5:1)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Number Of Elders In Each Congregation

-One man cannot oversee a congregation alone, and it would violate the teaching of the word of God if a congregation decided to do such

-Since there are a plurality of elders, they need to be able to stand for truth and work together


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Authority Of Elders

-It must first be noticed and understood that an eldership does have authority(Heb. 13:17; I Tim. 3:4-5; 5:17)

-The elders authority is limited to the law of Christ since He is the only lawgiver (James 4:12)

-Elders are also limited to the local church over which they have been appointed(I Peter 5:1-3)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Authority Of Elders

-Some elders abuse their authority, while others are timid about using it.

-Some elders cannot agree in their decisions and need not to have one elder making the final choice over the others

-Elders must abide in the word of God and lead the local church to the keeping of the Lord’s will


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

The Work Of Elders

-ELDERS ARE SELF-EXAMINERS

-Elders must watch for themselves as well as others in the pursuit of righteousness(Acts 20:28)

-The first responsibility of an elder is to himself.


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

The Work Of Elders

-ELDERS ARE EXAMPLE-SETTERS

-If an elder is going to lead in any direction, he must first walk down that path(I Peter 5:3)

-Sheep are not driven but led. A congregation is to follow their example in truth.


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

The Work Of Elders

-ELDERS ARE OVERSEERS

-Elder must stand over the work of a local church and make sure it is functioning according to the Scriptures (Acts 20:28)

-An elder’s oversight is limited to the local church over which he was appointed(I Peter 5:2)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

The Work Of Elders

-ELDERS ARE FLOCK-FEEDERS

-Sheep that aren’t fed are sheep that can’t be led (Acts 20:28, 32)

-The word of God is the source of food forthe Christian (I Peter 5:2)

-Consider the example of the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23:1-3)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

The Work Of Elders

-ELDERS ARE SOUL-WATCHERS

-Shepherds must give account for the flock at the end of their work (missing sheep, injured or sick etc.)

-Elders likewise, must give account for the souls of the brethren in a local church(Hebrews 13:17)

-This describes an important responsibility


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

The Work Of Elders

-ELDERS ARE RULERS

-Elders must rule their own house, as well as the household of God (I Tim. 3:4-5)

-Elders must lead (rule) well, that is with diligence (Romans 12:7-8; I Tim. 5:17)

-These passages show that an elder must know how to rule in order to be qualified


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Some Common False Conceptions Of Elders

-NO ELDERS

-There are many who feel that a congregation is better off without elders

-They base their argument on either a poor experience with elders in the past, or the worry that an eldership would lead them down the wrong path.

-Elders are to be appointed in “every church”


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Some Common False Conceptions Of Elders

-MEN CAN JUST ASSUME THE ELDERSHIP

-Some think that men of higher social status or financial success can just be an elder

-The problem with this is that it takes more than wealth and recognition by the world to be an elder(I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Some Common False Conceptions Of Elders

-EVANGELISTIC OVERSIGHT

-Some want to put the evangelist in charge of everything

-The Bible makes a clear distinction between the work of both of these men(Eph. 4:11)

-This may be where the title “pastor” has been falsely used for many minister’s today.


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Some Common False Conceptions Of Elders

-GROWTH INTO QUALIFICATIONS

-Some hold that any man can be appointed an elder, but must then begin to grow to meet the qualifications found in the word of God.

-The Bible says, “A bishop, then, must be…” and then lists the qualifications.

-What if a man fails to grow?


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

Some Common False Conceptions Of Elders

-GROUP QUALIFICATIONS

-This view states that we can appoint several men that each make up the list of qualifications

-EX: One man has one wife, another is apt to teach, the next one is not given to wine.

-We wouldn’t even appoint a man to public office this way …like Congress


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

APPLICATION

-Elders have a very important work and it is indeed worthy of double honor when done well

-We need to look out among us and find men who might be qualified to serve as elders and encourage them in this work that they might be appointed

-Without elders or without efforts to appoint them we are not organized Biblically.


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

APPLICATION

-The work of these men is seen by the descriptions of elder, bishop, and pastor

-There must be a plurality of elders in each local church

-These men must recognize the authority given to them to lead the congregation in the paths of righteousness

-Elders must submit to the authority of Christ


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

APPLICATION

-Elders should be:

-SELF-EXAMINERS

-EXAMPLE-SETTERS

-OVERSEERS

-FLOCK-FEEDERS

-SOUL-WATCHERS

-RULERS


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

APPLICATION

-An elders will be rewarded for taking on this wonderful responsibility:

“…when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (I Peter 5:4)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

HAVE YOU HEARD THE SHEPHERD’S VOICE?

-Jesus said,“ I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (John. 10:11-16)


Scriptural Church OrganizationElders: Shepherds Of The Flock

HAVE YOU HEARD THE SHEPHERD’S VOICE?

-Jesus words tell us we must:

Hear Matthew 7:24, 26

BelieveJohn 3:16

RepentLuke 13:3, 5

ConfessMatthew 10:32-33

BaptizedMark 16:16

FaithfulMatthew 24:13


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