CALVARY - Bible Church
RSS Become a Fan

Recent Posts

The Prayer of an Idolater
Passion Week Meditation: Why was Judas necessary?
36,500 days and counting, every one of them, written by God: An Encouragement to the Elderly
Christmas Year-Round
What are elders for?

Categories

Passion Week
Sermon Reflections
powered by

Building the Calvary family into a dwelling for God by reflecting on Sunday's sermon text together.

What are elders for?

Three Sundays ago Calvary Bible Church commissioned elders.  Including the pastor, Calvary will be led by a team of four men.  God's intent for His church to be led by a group of elders is clear:

"This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town..." (Titus 1:5).

"And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed" (Acts 14:23).

A few days after appointing elders, a member of Calvary asked a good question:  "Do we know what elders are supposed to do?"  The Bible clearly states that churches must have elders, but is the church clear on the purpose of elders?

Our sermon text that Sunday was Acts 20:17-38, and though it does not contain an exhaustive list of the duties of elder, God's divine purposes for elders are revealed:

  1. Elders are humble servants (Acts 20:19).  Elders are slaves of the Lord who are called to be the chief servants of His people.  Paul exemplified the role of elder as he "served the Lord with all humility."  Elders honor their Master by humbly slaving for their people.
  2. Elders feed the church what is necessary (Acts 20:20, 27, 31).  Paul did not "shrink" from teaching what was mandatory for spiritual growth.  The prospect of feeding the church the whole council of God causes many to shrink away in fear, but the elder must fearlessly teach the truths that are hard to swallow.  Sometimes these are most profitable.
  3. Elders are intimate with their people (Acts 20:19, 20).  Elders, at times, must feed their people "house to house" as well as in large gatherings.  There are times when close and personal interaction is necessary.  And as elders learn to live intimately with their flocks, they will shed tears with their sheep.  Elders begin to smell like their sheep as they bear their burdens.
  4. Elders are shepherds who protect their flocks (Acts 20:28-30).  God has made elders accountable for the well being of the people he purchased with his own blood.  As overseers of God's dearly loved people, elders must protect the flock making sure their sheep continue to follow the ways of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
  5. Elders pay careful attention to their own hearts, as well (Acts 20:28).  A mandatory duty of a shepherd of God's people is to regularly take inventory of one's own life and doctrine.  Elders are not perfect but they must be examples to the flock.  Therefore, elders must consistently study God's word, repent of sin, and demonstrate obedience.
  6. Elders do not expect earthly gain (Acts 20:33-35).  Paul was constrained to God's purposes for his life even if it meant death in Rome.  In the same way, elders are constrained to God's call to deny earthly gain.  The time, effort, sweat and tears spilled shepherding the church will amount to little temporal gain.  Elders serve for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

Paul's meeting with the Ephesian elders ended in prayer (Acts 20:36).  They needed prayer because the weight of shepherding God's flock is too great for any man.  Please pray for your elders.  They cannot serve you without God's strength!

0 Comments to What are elders for?:

Comments RSS

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint