Summary: Paul gives directions about appointing elders in churches. 1- An elder is a family man 2- An elder is a trustworthy man 3- An elder is a blameless man 4- An elder is a spiritual man
INTRO.- ILL.- When the Methodist minister falls down the stairs, he picks himself up and says, "That was an experience, how do I learn from it?"
When the Catholic priest falls down the stairs, he picks himself up and says, "I must have done something really bad to deserve that."
When the Presbyterian minister falls down the stairs, he picks himself up and says, "That was inevitable, I’m glad it’s over."
When the Baptist minister falls down the stairs, he picks himself up and says, "Which one of my deacons pushed me?"
And when the Christian minister fell down the stairs, he did what? He said what ? What would you say he said or did?
Baptist pastors have deacons who serve as the church board. Presbyterians have their elders and also deacons. Methodists have elders and deacons or so I have read. They also have a resident bishop. Christian churches have their elders and deacons and we’re supposed to have only one Lord!
I have a Baptist pastor friend in Southern IL who says that some Southern Baptist pastors have all authority in their churches. It certainly doesn’t work that way in most non-denominational Christian churches!
ILL.- In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.
"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
"Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can’t you guys get organized like that?"
In some churches there may a big-fisted leader who runs the church with pressure, force or coercion. They may be like Diotrephes of III John 9-10 who loved to be first.
Regardless of whether it’s a Baptist Pastor or Christian Church preacher, all must learn to work together with their church leaders.
ILL.- In 1886 Nevada had a state fair. They decided to have a contest among mule teams to see how much they could pull. The first place team pulled 14,000 pounds. The second place team pulled 13,000 pounds.
Someone said, "I wonder how much they could pull together? Could they pull 27,000?" They hitched up both teams and together they pulled, not 27,000 pounds, BUT 35,000 POUNDS!
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
PROP.- Paul gives directions about appointing elders in churches.
1- An elder is a family man
2- An elder is a trustworthy man
3- An elder is a blameless man
4- An elder is a spiritual man
I. AN ELDER IS A FAMILY MAN
6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
ILL.- I read that in 1978, Thomas Hansen of Boulder Colorado, sued his parents for $350,000 on grounds of "malpractice of parenting." Mom and Dad had botched his upbringing so badly, he charged in his suit, that he would need years of costly psychiatric treatment.
Crazy. There are no perfect parents in our world but obviously, we should want to do the best we can in raising our children to adulthood.
I can look back and see where my parents made many mistakes and I, too, made many mistakes in raising my children. However, our children often turn out well in spite of us rather than because of us. BUT THIS DOESN’T MEAN THAT ANY PARENT SHOULD THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND AND NOT WORK AT PROPER PARENTING!
If anyone should work at parenting their children it should be Christians! And church leaders (preachers, elders, deacons, teachers) should lead in this.
The husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
The elders should be married and a one woman man. And his children should be believers and not a bunch of wild children.
And I guess you know why that preacher’s kids are often so bad? It’s because they run around with elders’ kids!
Seriously, if a man can’t do a decent job of raising his own kids he doesn’t have any business being a leader or elder in the church. This doesn’t mean that once they’re grown and gone that their behavior reflects on you.
It does but not in the sense of being a church leader. There are many fine Christian people whose kids have chosen the wrong path after they left mom and dad. And moms and dads are only responsible for their behavior while they are in the home.