By: Bro. Sunday Eyanrin (Evangelist)
Last week we started the study on Spiritual Leadership in the Lord’s Church, with the Topic: SHEPHERDING IN THE LOCAL CONGREGATION (PART1). Today, in (PART 2), of this discussion, we are going to look deeper into some vital area’s of importance as ordained by God.
THE ELDERS – WHO ARE THESE MEN?
THE ELDRES OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, GREY STREET CONGREGATION, WARRI.
WHY DO WE NEED ELDERS IN THE CHURCH?
THE APPOINTMENT OF ELDERS IN THE LORD’S CHURCH IS GOD’S DIVINE ARRANGEMENT TO SHEPHERD THE FLOCK.
After the Ascension of “CHRIST THE CHIEF SHEPHERD” back to heaven, He has designed that Elders are appointed to Shepherd the Flock of God. Tit. 1:5, and to Protect and Watch over their Souls – Acts 20: 28 – 31.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ELDERS TO THE LOCAL CONGREGATION?
The Responsibilities of the Elders to the Flock in the local congregation is enormous, and challenging, nevertheless, we will go through them one after the other as it becomes necessary in this discussion.
TO FEED THE FLOCK THE CHURCH OF GOD – ACTS 20:28, 1 Peter 5:1-2
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
TO WATCH AND PROTECT THE FLOCK FROM GRIEVOUS WOLVES – ACTS 20:29 – 31
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. NKJV
TO TAKE THE OVERSIGHT OF THE LOCAL CONGREGATION – 1 PETER 5:2
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; NKJV.
BE EXAMPLE TO THE FLOCK – 1 PETER 5:2 – 3
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. NKJV
LOOK FOR WANDERING SHEEP – LUKE 15:4
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. NKJV
PRAY FOR THE SICK – JAMES 5:14 – 16
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. NKJV
TO PROTECT THE SHEEP – JOHN 10:11
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. NKJV
ABLE TO TEACH AND EDIFY THE FLOCK – 1 TIM. 3:2, TIT. 1:9
1 Tim 3:2 – A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach; NKJV
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LOCAL CONGREGATION TOWARDS HER ELDERS
TO ESTEEM THEM HIGHLY – 1 THESS. 5:12-13
And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labour among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. NKJV
BE OBEDIENT AND SUBMISSIVE TO THEM – HEB.13:17
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. NKJV
PRAY FOR THEM – 1 TIM. 2:1-2
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. NKJV
NO ACCUSATIONS AGAINST AN ELDER – 1TIM. 5:19
Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. NKJV
BE GENEROUS TO THEM
It is not out of place that elders in the Lord’s Church should deserve the admiration and support of their Brethren by cash or kind. Gal. 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. NKJV
THE ELDER – DEACON RELATIONSHIP IN THE LOCAL CONGREGATION
It is important once again to note that God has given the Elders to take the oversight of the local congregation, though they are not lords but servants to oversee the affairs of the Church. While Deacons are ordained to serve under the Elders.
EXTENT OF RELATIONSHIP
It must be under stood clearly that Elders are to assign responsibilities to the Deacons as the need may be for them to perform. It is on these basis we will consider some areas of importance between Elders and Deacons in the local congregation.
- The Elders must understand their role to assign duties.
- The Deacons must understand the Elders role, and submit to it.
- The Deacons must carry out the assignment given to them and report back as soon as possible.
- There must be good communication between Elders and Deacons in the local congregation.
- There must be regular meetings between Elders and Deacons
- Meetings are necessary for effective communication
- Elders should make the Deacons feel that they have confidence in them.
INSUBORDINATION OF DEACONS
It is important to note that any act of insubordination by the Deacons to the Elders in the local congregation is an act of rebellion. It is on this basis we will consider some possible areas of insubordination.
- Refusal to attend the Elders Deacons meetings
- Inactive in the office of Deacon
- Lukewarm in church activities
Since the church is God’s divine organization, and Elders are to take the oversight of the local congregation, they should call such Brethren to order.
The responsibilities of the Elders in the work of shepherding is a great task, which requires patience, and the love of God to excel. Knowing fully well that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, the same to the Deacons, the Evangelist, and all members.