Summary: 1 Peter 5:1-5 Gives us a great overview of what church leadership is all about
Today is a special day for us at Auburn Christian Church. Today we will dedicate and install our leadership team for the 2001-year.
Today we will lift up those men that we have chosen to lead and serve this Church.
It is good to know that we have men who love the Lord so much that they want to shepherd His flock at the Auburn Christian Church. 1 TIMOTHY 3:1 says, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”
The men who have been selected as deacons have been set aside by you and the Elders for special service.
The men we have chosen are to be men of good reputation and full of the Spirit of God. Look at what Acts 6:3-4 says about deacons. "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
A preacher quit the ministry after 20 years and became a funeral director. When asked why he changed, he said: "I spent 3 years trying to straighten out John and John’s still an alcoholic, then I spent 6 months trying to straighten out Susan’s marriage and she filed for divorce, then I spent 2 1/2 years trying to straighten out Bob’s drug problem and he’s still an addict. Now at the funeral home when I straighten them out -- they stay straight!"
The work of the church leader can be difficult at times. It is to our advantage that we hold our leaders up and fully support them. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
It is important that we have men in leadership who know what they are called to do and how they are to carry out that job. Today we will look at:
The ministry of the elder
The motives of the elder
The manner of leading the church.
The main focus will be on the position of Elder. I do not want us to forget the special support that our deacons give to the leadership and to the congregation as a whole. They are here to serve Jesus by taking care of the physical needs of the church.
READ 1 Peter 5:1-4
I. THE MINISTRY OF AN ELDER. Verse 2.
A. The ministry of the elder is to shepherd the flock.
1. Understanding what the ministry is will help us to have the proper attitudes and actions toward the flock.
2. Shepherds lead the sheep they don’t drive them.
3. Shepherds protect and care for the sheep; they do not just count them to see if they are where they are supposed to be.
ACT 20:28-30 "Be on guard for yourselves and for 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. "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
We also see that in order to be able to shepherd and protect the flock, the Elder needs to make sure that he is guarding himself also. (Prayer, study)
4. An item in Leadership magazine illustrates the importance of giving attention to needs, not just to numbers. "During World War II, economist E.F. Schumacher, then a young statistician, worked on a farm. Each day he would count the 32 head of cattle, then turn his attention elsewhere. One day an old farmer told him that if all he did was count the cattle, they wouldn’t flourish. Sure enough, one day he counted 31; one was dead in the bushes. Now Schumacher understood the farmer: you must watch the quality of each animal. ’Look him in the eye; study the sheen of his coat. You may not know how many cattle you have, but you might save the life of one that is sick.’" Great advice whether it’s for the Sunday school teacher or the pastor. A full class or a crowded church isn’t necessarily a healthy class or a spiritual church. To find out people’s spiritual condition, you must "look them in the eye." Then you can minister to their needs.
6. Taking care of the flock of God was important to Jesus. In JOHN 21:15-17 Jesus says to Peter, “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep.