Summary: The role of elder is a ministry of leadership.


Acts 6.1-7; I Timothy 3.1-7

S: Church Structure

C: Elders

Th: A People with Purpose


?: How? How do we come to that conclusion?

KW: Topics

TS: We will find in our study of Scripture four topics that guide us in our understanding of the role of elder.

Type: Propositional

The ____ topic is…





PA: How is the change to be observed?

• We need leaders who are fully devoted to God.

• We need to follow leaders.

• The role of elder appears in the plural.

Version: ESV

RMBC 26 February 06 AM


ILL monkey steering (Luke serm)

Two police officers respond to a call from the dispatcher concerning a bad traffic accident.

When they arrive on the scene, they find a father, mother, and two children alive, but unconscious inside a wrecked automobile. Almost immediately after the officers arrive, an ambulance pulls up and tells the officers that several more ambulances are on the way.

After the other ambulances arrive and begin to load their patients, the officers discover that there is a monkey inside the car and that the monkey is conscious, though a little bruised up. Since the monkey is the only conscious passenger in the car and there are no other witnesses to the accident, the officers decide they’ll try to get the monkey to tell them what happened.

They ask the monkey, “What was the father doing?” The monkey mimics drinking from a bottle.

One of the officers said, “Makes sense.”

They ask the monkey, “What was the mother doing?” The monkey mimics shaking his finger.

“Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. The father was drinking

and the mother was getting on him about it.”

They ask the monkey, “What were the children doing?” The monkey mimics the children fighting in the back seat.

The officers look at each other and one of them

says, “Well, with all that going on, it was inevitable that they were going to have a wreck.”

The two officers turn to walk away when one of them turns around and asks the monkey, “By the way, what were you doing the whole time?”

The monkey mimics driving.

Well, have you ever wondered who is steering?

Have you ever wondered…

Who is in charge?

There is no doubt, leadership is strategic.

In fact, it is big business.

Go to your local bookstore, and you will see shelves of books on how to lead.

Go to my library, and I have over sixty books on some aspect of leadership (In fact, I have even read some of them!).


Here is a truth we should recognize this morning…

1. God has given leaders to the church.

God has considered leadership so important, He has given it as a spiritual gift.

In God’s economy (design), He has entrusted leadership to certain individuals in the church.

The church does require a unique style of leadership.

For the church is, essentially, an organism as opposed to an organization.

Organizations, like a corporation or a country club, are the inventions of man.

But organisms find their life in God Himself.

Thus, they are not to be treated mechanically, relying on cause and effect.

They are spiritual in nature.

And unless we recognize this, we will do more harm than good.

If you are looking for evidence of this, consider this…

2. God has given guidelines for leadership, but not one structure.

No structure for how a church is to operate and accomplish its mission and purpose is laid out for us in the New Testament writings.

We are given guidelines, but not structure.

So, God has given us the opportunity to be creative with how we structure ourselves.

And through the years, the different denominations have demonstrated this variety.

For the Baptists, we have Deacon Boards

The Presbyterians have elders that sit on a Session Board.

The Methodists have church councils and bishops.

Episcopalians have rectors and vicars, along with bishops.

The Roman Catholic church has priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals and one pope.

And then consider all the terms we have for pastors…

There is clergy, ministers, reverends, preachers, and even parsons.

I have always gotten a chuckle out of my alma mater whose nickname was “The Fighting Parsons.”

We are on the second of a three-part series on church leadership today.

Last week, we considered the role of deacon.

Today, we are studying the role of elder.

Simply, we need to state that…


If you were here last week, we noted that the deacons of Randall are a bit of a hybrid, a cross between the functions of deacons and elders.

This week, though, we giving our attention solely to the concept and role of Elder.

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