Summary: The Church is made up of attendees, volunteers and leaders and each role is vital to the health of the church body. It is important to understand how each of these roles are called to serve within the church.
Series: The Church
Welcome everyone! I’m so glad to be with all of you this morning. I hope that this week was good for you.
Today, we’re kicking off a brand new message series entitled, “The Church.”
What we’re going to be doing over the next couple of weeks is looking at the different roles we find within the church. We’re going to spend sometime looking at the roles of leaders within the church-pastors, elders, and deacons.
Then we’re going to spend a week talking about our role as the body of Christ.
You might be wondering why we’re doing this. Well, we’re doing it for a couple of reasons (1) as a church, we have an election every year for elders and deacons, and other church offices.
So, what happens if you’re a member of Portage Christian Church, if you’re not a member we would love to extend that opportunity, as member you get to nominate people for these offices and then in November we vote on whether or not these people should come aboard as leaders or not.
So this brings me to the second (2) reason why we are doing this because no matter where you find yourself whether it’s in this church or another church you should really have a good understanding as to what the Bible says about church leadership and about those that are leading His church.
I believe that it’s incredibly important that each of us should have a good understanding on what a deacon is and what an elders is.
Now we all have our opinions on what they maybe but what exactly does Scripture say…
Because this what we see in a lot of churches today…
Well, if so and so is showing up xxx amount of times to church, or if so and so is attending all these different function, and their on this committee and this committee…
They’re the right candidate for church leadership. And while those things are important and those things do matter… that doesn’t always translate to good leadership.
So this morning we’re going to look at the role of a deacon.
And I would like to start our morning off by sharing this illustration with you…
In 1964 [John] Lester Hemingway (the little brother Ernest Hemingway) made a decision. He was tired of following the rules of human governments and so he decided create his own country. He built an 8 by 30 foot floating bamboo platform 7 miles off the coast of Jamaica and anchored it to the ocean floor with a Ford engine block.
Hemingway bragged to reporters: "I can stand on the platform, walk around on it and salute the flag…all of which I do periodically. There are no taxes here, because taxes are for people not smart enough to start their own country.”
But Hemingway wasn’t smart enough to keep his country together. Part of his country was destroyed by fishermen in search of scrap; the rest sank in a storm.
Now there are a few lessons we can take away from this story but there is just one that kind of sticks out to me. And that’s if you want things done your way…start your own country or build your own Kingdom.
And we see in the New Testament that’s what God did…
With the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, God established a New Kingdom. And out of that New Kingdom He established the church.
Slide And he gave the church a mission…“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Slide And look at this promise from Jesus: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
That right there is the mission of the local church. That is what God has called us to do. And when God set up the local church, He set it up to run a certain way.
Now what does the church need in order to carry out its mission and to function…?
It needs Pastors
It needs Elders
It needs Deacons
It needs a Body of believers (or a congregation) …that comes together to carry out the church’s mission.
And each of these groups have a different responsibility within the church…
Slide 1. The role of the Pastor is to preach and teach
They usually handle the day to day operations and the affairs of the church. They administer, they counsel, they guide, they feed and they help shepherd the congregation.
Slide So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up… Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV)