Thesis: If church leaders are selected properly, the voice of the people is the voice of God.
1. At some point in the life of a church new leaders must be selected. The question is always how.
a. Existing leaders select men & present for congregation to ratify.
b. Does not work in a church without existing leadership!
c. Method may be opposite of principle seen in Scripture.
2. The primary responsibility for choosing new leaders falls on the church as a whole.
a. Latin phrase: vox populi vox dei ("The voice of the people is voice of God").
b. For this to be true, people must select those whom God would choose. Principles in the NT can guide us here.
I. LOOKING AT SCRIPTURE.
A. Survey of texts in Acts:
1. Acts 1:12-26.
2. Acts 6:1-7.
3. Acts 13:1-3.
4. Acts 14:21-23.
5. Acts 15:22.
B. Four phases may be discerned from these passages:
2. A list of qualifications are set forth.
3. Group as whole selects men who meet the qualifications. (This group included both men and women--cf. Acts 1.)
4. Those selected are formally appointed or installed.
C. A possible variation ..... Acts 14:21-23.
1. Did Paul & Barnabas select and appoint elders?
a. Acts 14:23--cheirotoneo: select/appoint or both.
b. Titus 1:5--kathistemi: appoint exclusively.
2. Since the term Luke uses is generic, it may be describing an appointment based on an elective process. (This would agree with general pattern in rest of Acts.)
II. APPLICATION OF SCRIPTURE.
A. Principles to follow:
1. Attention must be given to the qualifications and those who possess them.
a. Qualities are result of Spirit's work in men.
b. Qualities are given by Spirit in New Testament.
c. Qualities will point up Spirit-made men.
2. The whole congregation is to be involved in the process.
3. A formal appointment of some kind should take place.
B. Some things to avoid:
1. Allowing the process to become a popularity contest.
a. Not an occasion to express like/dislike.
b. This thwarts, not supports the Spirit's work.
2. Attempting to have all segments of the church represented.
a. Young/old; Blue-collar/white-collar; Gov't people/non-Gov't people; Black people/white people; Military/non-military, etc.
b. Church is not a democracy and focus must be on spiritual qualities, not democratic representation.
3. Interpreting qualifications so high that few if any qualify; so low that we merely take the best we have.
a. This thwarts, not supports the Spirit's work.
b. Men must be qualified (1 Tim. 3:2).
c. The focus of the process is to qualify people, not go to extraordinary means to disqualify them!
1. The selection of church leaders is an important work in the life of a congregation.