The work of an Elder is an exciting and challenging task. When we look to God for guidance on those who will oversee His work on earth, what sort of things should we be looking for?
All churches will have a government of some form. This means that every church will govern itself in one of two ways; with biblical understanding or without it.
This should delight God’s people. If God has revealed in scripture how His church is to be governed, then it becomes a great privilege – and a serious responsibility – for her leaders and her members to seek out His wisdom on the subject.
The bible reveals that elders are called to serve and shepherd over a particular allotment. They are responsible for the sheep “among them.”
(1 Peter 5:2) They are to be appointed in every town (Titus 1:5).
They are given to the church to maintain the order and purity of its worship, to ensure that the body is nurtured and equipped in the word and to bring the body to maturity through faithful teaching and prayer.
They are recognisable by a holy and upright lifestyle and since they are to be imitated in the faith, they are visible in their communities. In order to for this to occur, it means that we must be in each others lives and in each others houses. It means we must be given to hospitality, to praying with the sick and to encouraging one another to continue in the faith.
Christ, as chief Shepherd is our benchmark. Therefore, the teaching of our eldership must be derived. Our authority is not innate, but is granted to the extent that what we say has its foundations in God’s word. Our elders are lovers of good and men who can discern error. They can not only spot error, but they are able to discern in which direction a particular teaching will go. Their hatred for false teaching is matched by their love for the truth, for Jesus Christ.
As a congregation, we vow to uphold them in prayer, to make their work a joy (Heb 13:17) so that we all may grow in the faith and be transformed by the Spirit into the image of Jesus Christ.
Lessons for Little Saints…
What are some of the things that Elders do?
Do you know who the elders are in your church?
Where do the Elders get their teaching from?
What can the congregation do to help their Elders?