By: Bro. Sunday Eyanrin (Evangelist)
Brethren, it has become necessary that we give ourselves some time for the study of the Church Eldership, because it is evident that about seventy (70%) percent of the Church Members are Ignorant of the Organizational Structure of the Lord’s Church, (The Church of Christ). Hence this study becomes important and timely, to educate the local congregation of God’s Devine plan and purpose for the Eldership.
SHEPHERDING IN THE LOCAL CONGREGATION: BY WHAT AUTHORITY?
Shepherding of the local Congregation is the divine Christian’s relationship with Christ by using an analogy to shepherd and sheep. This provides a simple way that the church can understand and relate to the love and care that a faithful shepherd has for his sheep and the trust that the sheep have for their shepherd.
THE DIVINE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH REVEALED IN THE BIBLE
THE DIVINE ELDERSHIP AS PRESCRIBED BY GOD
After the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ (The Chief Shepherd) back to heaven, Apostle Paul, by the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared in Eph. 4:10 – 16. 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
AUTHORITY FOR ELDERSHIP
At the fullness of time, Apostle Paul by the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Titus.1:4 – 5, declared. To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you (NKJV).
THE ELDERS WHO ARE THESE MEN?
There are three Greek words translated into six English words which designate the Men who hold the office “Elder” in the Church
|GREEK WORDS||ENGLISH WORDS||BIBLE PASSAGES|
|1Tim.4:14 – NASV|
|Phil.1: 1, Acts.20:28 – NKJV|
Eph. 4:11 – NKJV
SCRIPTURAL QUALIFICATIONS OF ELDERS
Anyone aspiring to the office of an elder, in the Lord’s Church must met the qualifications ascribed in the Scriptures.
1 Tim 3:1-7 – This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. NKJV
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE DEACON
The qualifications of Deacons are prescribed in 1Tim.3:8 – 13.
Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. NKJV.
THE EVANGELIST AND QUALIFICATIONS
The office of the Evangelist one important office in the Lord’s Church.
Although a different office from that of the Elders. The Evangelist is under the oversight of the Eldership. There are three distinct terms used for the one office of the Evangelist.
- Minister – Indicates one who serve as a servant.
- Evangelist – Indicates one who spread the good-news of the seed of the Gospel everywhere.
- Preacher – Indicates one who proclaims the message of God – 2 Tim. 4:1 – 5.
It is Interesting to note that all Elders in the Lord’s Church are equal, no one Elder is higher or greater than the other. We hope to give more facts about this important office next week by His Grace.