The spiritual leadership of any congregation of God’s people is highly important. As we pray and look forward to this most important time in the life of our congregation we will reflect a little in our News Sheets on what the Scriptures teach us about the eldership.
The eldership was founded to follow on from the Apostolic Leadership given to the early church by Jesus closest followers. Paul and Barnabas set an example to be followed of appointing elders in every local church.
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.
When committing the leadership of the church at Ephesus to the elders Paul gives some indication of the spiritual role of overseeing elders. God alone is the one great Shepherd of His sheep but elders are to work under the Lord as ‘under shepherds’ of the sheep.
Acts 20v17; 29-31 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church… Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!
The dignity of eldership and the respect and honour with which elders are to be held is seen in 1Tim 5v17-20
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.
This is exciting but serious that calls for serious prayer. Make part of your prayers daily and in every prayer opportunity. More next month!
Yours in His name,