Thank you for joining the conversation. Before I get into some of my thoughts and convictions I would like to pose a question back: Do you believer in plurality of elders?
I believe an elder is someone who has been called, by God, and is qualified in this position. I believe that a church is to have more than one elder and that not all elders must be staff. I believe that an elder is there to shepherd, teach, equip, and lead the church. These are just some of my thoughts off the top of my head.
I think you are part way right in saying we don't just make him and elder and then assign him a flock. I believe we got back to the calling by God to be an elder. In 1 Timothy 3 we see the qualifications for an elder. The scripture is clear of what the man must be to be an elder. Most of these attributes are not things we, as people, cannot make him do or teach him to do. Therefore, I do not believer it has anything to do with us MAKING him an elder but that we pray and discern over whether he meets the qualifications, set by God, to fulfill this position. I also don't believer that we are to assign them a flock but that they are to already be apart of the flock they desire to lead and teach. In the qualifications of an elder is that the church body and those outside are in right relationship with the candidate. Of course, when we get into the "associate pastor" role then your questions comes into play. I still believe, however, that this is not something where we are just assigning them a flock. Rather, there is time of laboring over prayer and the candidate meeting the qualifications of both elder and taking the role of leading that church. I do not disagree with your statement but I think it would rather go something like: We don't take a man, make him an elder and then assign him a flock. Rather, we test these men to the qualifications and pray over the calling in their life, as the particular body they are a part of, then we "install" him as an elder.
These are just some of my thoughts off the top of my head. Thank you again for these challenging questions and thoughts. I will dive back into the Word on this topic and get some of my books out again. I look forward to your response and getting back to studying this topic deeper. Of course this talk may have to take a few steps back when we get into the topic of "number" of elders. I look forward to our discussion and would love to hear that last question also.
posted 3 hours ago. ( permalink )