Summary: What is entailed in appointing elders? What rights and authority is conferred in the appointment process?

“When they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” [1]

The New Testament model for a church of the Lord Jesus differs significantly from what has been commonly accepted among the churches of our Lord’s Zion during the past century. The model of church governance that is provided in the New Testament is what we commonly refer to as congregational polity. Congregational polity should not be interpreted to mean that a church is a democracy—it is not. A mere majority does not of itself ensure biblical certitude. Congregational polity does mean that as each member submits to the reign of Christ among His people—He is the Head of the Church—the church is united in one spirit to discover the mind of the Master of the church and to obey His will. That holy mind and divine will is revealed through His written Word, which is to be received as inerrant and infallible. Thus, the Word is for a biblical congregation a perfect guide for faith and practise.

Yet another difference from contemporary models is that each church is autonomous. Though most Baptists give lip service to this truth, in practise it seems seldom to be followed. To say that a congregation is autonomous is simply a way of saying that each church stands as a separate entity. No outside agency is permitted to dictate to a church in matters of faith and practise. As a congregation, we may plead with other churches, admonish them and even declare them to be out of fellowship on the basis of deviant doctrine or because they permit moral/ethical contamination to continue unchecked; however, we have no authority over another congregation. In the same way, no other church or convention or fellowship or association or union has authority over our own congregation in matters of faith and practise.

Having stated that truth, I must hasten to add that churches are responsible to make every effort to be co-operative with other Christians; but co-operation must always be bounded by biblical strictures. As a Community of Faith, we are willing to co-operate with other Christians on the basis of doctrine and not on the basis of mission. By this attestation, I mean clearly to state that doctrine underlies all co-operation—even when we have agreed to co-operate in areas of mission. Without a doctrinal foundation, there is nothing on which we may build fellowship. Therefore, any supposed co-operation built on anything other than doctrine is a fantasy leading into ever-greater error. Moreover, each congregation is responsible to determine for itself the limits of co-operation and the degree of participation with other churches.

The practical import of this truth is that there can be no authoritative hierarchy, as such, permitted among the churches of our Lord. There are neither popes, nor cardinals, nor bishops authorised to appoint individuals for pastoral oversight. No power clique exists for regulating the pastorate through ordination or to direct the churches. Neither is there to be found in the canon of Scripture executive directors, area ministers, director of missions or other individuals holding authoritative offices to direct the affairs of the churches. In the whole of Scripture there is not to be found a single synod, diocese, convention, union nor any such entity possessing authority over the churches either collectively or individually.

The New Testament model does provide that each congregation should have a plurality of elders to provide oversight of the ministry and the mission of the church. In the early days of the New Testament churches, elders were not mere board members charged with oversight of the finances or authority in disciplinary matters; rather, they were servants of Christ within the church to which they were appointed. The study this day focuses on the model that is described quite early in the history of the Faith, the model which Paul employed during his first missionary journey. Join me in exploring this biblical model for our congregation.

ELDERS ARE APPOINTED TO OFFICE. One of the tragic concepts that has invaded the sacred precincts of the congregations of Christ in this day is one which declares that Pastors are elected. We are careful to avoid actually saying that a pastor is “elected”; instead, we have developed the idea that a congregation “calls” a pastor. This “call” comes about because the potential pastor “candidated” for the vacant position. His candidacy came about because he submitted a resume or MIP (complete with a sermon tape and references) and a cover letter telling the appropriate people that he was open to a new “call.”

If the candidacy was successful, the candidate will have convinced a critical majority of the congregation that he should be the pastor. The church held a vote, and when it was determined that he had secured enough votes of the members, he was “called.” Upon receiving the “call,” the pastor retreated to a secret place where he prayed for God’s confirmation. If no better offer came in during the time he prayed, then he accepted the “call.” I am not attempting to trivialise the process of seeking out elders, but I am simply reviewing the manner in which the process is too often conducted among the churches of our Lord.

Unfortunately, it is a truism that whom a congregation “calls,” it can dismiss. Consequently, the concept has arisen among the churches that pastors have a limited shelf life, after which they need to be rotated to another church and the congregation “calls” a fresh pastor. One major concern I have with this scenario is its lack of biblical support. In the entirety of the New Testament, there is not found a single instance of an individual receiving a “call” to a pastorate; neither is there found anywhere in those sacred pages a command for a pastor to seek a “call” to a position. The churches are weaker for adopting the concept of a “call.” Frankly, the assumption drawn from the New Testament is that an elder was raised up from within an assembly and would conduct his ministry among those saints until his service was concluded.

Churches in this present day appear to be on a perpetual quest to find the Perfect Pastor. Responding to this perpetual search for the Perfect Pastor, one wag has generated a (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek review that has made the rounds on the Internet.

“The Perfect Pastor preaches exactly ten minutes. He condemns sin roundly, but never hurts anyone's feelings. He works from 8 a.m. until midnight and is also the church janitor.

“The Perfect Pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car, buys good books and donates $30 a week to the church. He is 29 years old and has 40 years' worth of experience. Above all, he is handsome.

“The Perfect Pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens. He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church. He makes fifteen home visits a day and is always in his office to be handy when needed.

“The Perfect Pastor always has time for church meetings and all of its committees, never missing the meeting of any church organization. And he is always busy evangelizing the unchurched.

“The Perfect Pastor is always in the next town over!

“If your pastor does not measure up, simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor too. Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of your list. If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1, 643 pastors. One of them should be perfect.

“Have faith in this letter. One church broke the chain and got its' old pastor back in less than three months.”

I suggest that confusion arises over the use of several words in the Greek text that are translated either “call” or “appointment” in our English Bibles. Consequently, the terms tend to be used rather loosely in our English tongue, often being used interchangeably. Nevertheless, it is a good thing for us to be precise to avoid confusion or distortion of the divine intent. To be certain, twice in the New Testament do we witness one said to be “called” to a particular ministry. Paul does say that he was “called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus” [1 CORINTHIANS 1:1]. Again, the writer of the Letter to Hebrew Christians acknowledges that only those “called by God” would take upon themselves the position of high priest [HEBREWS 5:4]. God “calls to Himself” whomever He wills to be saved [ACTS 2:39; ROMANS 1:7]. God calls His people in holiness [1 THESSALONIANS 4:7] and calls them to be holy [see 1 PETER 1:15]. It is obvious that the use of “call” as an expression of God’s effective work in the life of His people is not common in the New Testament.

Another word is more commonly employed in English translations of the Bible when speaking of God’s provision of those who will serve in various capacities among the churches—it is the word “appoint.” Consider several instances of the use of the word when speaking of setting apart to service. First off, consider the text for today’s message. “When [the missionaries] had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed” [ACTS 14:23]. The word translated “appointed” in the text is the Greek term cheirotonèō. As used in this instance, the word speaks of formal appointment to a particular task. [2] It would be very difficult if not impossible to find a scholar who imagines that the word speaks of one’s personal sense of calling. If there is knowledge of a call, the churches have that knowledge.

In another passage of the Word, we read of the Master’s appointment of the seventy-two who were to precede Him as He moved through Judea. Here is the passage: “The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go” [LUKE 10:1]. The Greek word, anadeíknumi, means to commission to a position or to assign a task. [3] The activity is initiated by the one doing the appointment; it is objective, not subjective.

In one startling statement, Jesus must surely have stunned His disciples. Jesus testified, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” [JOHN 15:16]. The Greek term, tìthemi, speaks of appointing someone to a position. [4], [5]

Another word is frequently found in the New Testament which speaks of the divine provision of those giving oversight to the churches. Writing Titus, for instance, Paul states, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you” [TITUS 1:5]. The Greek word employed is kathìstemi, which conveys the idea of authorising or appointing. [6] The concept implies that designation for the task lies outside of the one who is being designated. In fact, the concept is identical to that employed when the Apostles appointed men to the diaconate. “Brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty” [ACTS 6:3].

A couple of other words that are found in the New Testament merit our consideration. We read in Mark’s Gospel of the choosing of the Twelve. “[Jesus] appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve” [MARK 3:14-16]. The Greek term, poièō, conveys the “to cause someone to assume a particular type of function—‘to assign to a task, to cause people to assume responsibilities for a task.’ [7] Again, the appointment lies outside of the one who is appointed.

I will give one final word for your consideration. Paul was relating his own appointment to apostleship, telling how Ananias was sent by God. This was the message the reluctant servant brought, “The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard” [ACTS 22:14, 15]. In this instance, the Greek word procheirìzō speaks of appointment or choosing beforehand. [8] There is no indication of Paul’s sense of call; the emphasis is on God’s appointment from earlier.

Perhaps you think it redundant to address this issue; but in light of what has come to be accepted as standard practise among the churches of our Lord it is imperative that we who are Christians understand New Testament teaching. Now, it has become de rigueur to demand that an individual speak of a “call” before a church can consider their leadership. As a congregation committed to holding the Bible as our sole rule for faith and practise, we are compelled to ask what the Word teaches and then make every effort to do what the Word teaches. We are not at liberty to do what is expedient or convenient; rather, we are to honour the Lord through submitting to what He has commanded. Therefore, we shall seek His appointment of elders.

APPOINTMENT IS A SOLEMN FUNCTION. The appointment to eldership among the churches which Paul and Barnabas had established was accompanied by prayer and fasting and commitment to the Lord. One is struck by the simplicity of the appointment process when compared to the ceremonies accompanying “ordination” in this day.

I am compelled to speak of the finer points of the appointment process simply because ceremony appears to have supplanted consecration in this day. Believing that statement to be true, I further contend that credentials have replaced character as a requirement for the oversight of the churches. While these statements appear provocative, they are intended to stimulate our minds to consider what was happening as these elders were appointed in the account given in the text. Additionally, I pray they will challenge our own practise as a congregation.

It is surprising to learn that few of the great Baptist divines of bygone eras were ordained. Many, such as Spurgeon, considered ordination to be a Catholic invention. [9] In his autobiography, this great Baptist divine is quoted as saying, “No college, no bishop, no human ordination can make a man a minister; but he who can feel … the strugglings of an impassioned longing to win the souls of men, may hear in the air the voice of God saying, ‘Son of Man, I have made thee a watchman.’” [10]

Nevertheless, few people in contemporary churches would consent to sit under a pastor who is not “ordained.” However, should we inquire of them, “What is ordination?” few of the saints appear able to articulate what they have in mind. As I review history, I wonder how we arrived at this situation. In days past I challenged leadership trainees to study the Scriptures to determine the requirement for or the basis for ordination. After being challenge, it was interesting to note that these students were unable to find a biblical statement teaching the requirement for ordination. Furthermore, they were unable to support the commonly held assumption that ordination was necessary for any valid church function.

Churches in the Roman Catholic tradition, including such entities as the Anglican Church, the various Lutheran Churches, those congregations in the Methodist tradition, and the assorted Catholic and Orthodox entities, all appeal to the necessity of apostolic succession as a requirement for an “ordained” ministry. Most of them practise a threefold ministry of bishop, priest and deacon, each of which is required to be ordained by a bishop, supposedly tracing their ultimate authority for holy orders to the apostles.

Baptists have never appealed to apostolic succession for their right to serve Christ, though they do seek doctrinal integrity in keeping with Scripture. Baptists never demanded a threefold ministry, accepting rather that God appoints elders and deacons, and believing that the terms elder, pastor and overseer apply to the same office.

The ancient practise of British Baptists did not include ordination as such, although some congregations may have been led by men who had been ordained as Anglican priests and who had left the established church on conscience. [11] The polity of Baptist churches is opposite that of the hierarchical structure of Protestant churches and of the Roman Catholic Church, since the process of decision is initiated by the membership instead of being imposed from the top down.

Baptist churches do not require ordination to pronounce a handful of words, but rather any member of a Baptist church may be appointed by the congregation to conduct the various acts of service (funeral sermons, marriage ceremonies, communion prayers, baptism, etc.). To state otherwise is to appeal to some priestly function utterly foreign to the New Testament.

The “Ministerial Policies, Procedures, and Protocol of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada” presents extensive criteria for “Ministerial Ordination Standards and Procedures” in carefully worded English. The glossary of that document presents a definition for “ordination.” “The practice of ordination, as an act of the church … is best understood as the believer’s willingness, in humility, to submit her or his sense of calling and gifts to the evaluation and affirmation of the body of Christ. It is, moreover, a recognition that it is the church that calls one to service.” [12]

Though the statement as presented is typical, it is interesting is to note that this particular group has eleven specific accreditation categories pertaining to various ministries among the congregations. Under the category of “Accredited Pastor,” [13] the requirements for being “ordained to Gospel Ministry” are set forth. Surprisingly, at least in my estimate, the emphasis is upon education. There is no mention of character or suitability for the position according to the standards set forth in 1 TIMOTHY 3:1-7; TITUS 1:5-9; or 1 PETER 5:1-5. I suggest that this is one major reason that the document is followed by other equally wordy documents detailing how the group assumes responsibility for discipline of errant pastors and attempts to instruct accredited ministers in the field of pastoral ethics. Failing to require biblical character of ordained ministers, the religious society must impose discipline on those ordained.

Conduct of the ministry to the churches of this particular religious organisation is centralised within the offices of the denomination instead of falling under the auspices of local congregations as is taught in Scripture. Ordination is thus reduced to a commitment between the minister and the denomination. Reading the policies adopted by this particular denomination, one is implicitly taught that the role of the denomination can be justified through appeal to the denomination representing the whole of Christendom. The position espoused by the religious leaders is not significantly different from liturgical churches, and it is mirrored by many other evangelical groups. However, the historic and scriptural understanding was that the service of elders was the responsibility of the local congregations and not the responsibility of a denomination. The need today is that ministry again be seen as belonging to the local church, for the sake of the local churches and for the sake of the whole of the Faith of Christ the Lord.

According to one British Baptist, “the idea that [a] Union’s role can be justified on the grounds that it represents the whole of the Church of Christ, or is some kind of intermediary between the local and the Universal Church, is surely a quite unBaptist idea. Historically, Baptists were committed to the principle that no such intermediary was needed. The local church is the Church of Christ meeting in its own particular location.” [14]

The need for a list of Accredited Ministers arose precisely because the churches constantly violated Scripture through changing pastors. Instead of trusting that Christ would raise up elders as required, congregations relinquished to the denomination all responsibility for certifying suitability for the position of elder. Consequently, the denomination chose ceremony and credentials over consecration and character, emphasising educational training over godly character since educational attainment was easier to police.

Thus, we have arrived at a time when the eldership, though ostensibly sought out by the local congregation, is regulated and controlled by the denomination. The form has become more important than the function. The apostles, Paul and Barnabas, appointed elders, committing to the Lord—with prayer and fasting—those whom they appointed. That this appointment was solemn, yet simple, is evident from reading the text.

The noted British scholar, F. J. A. Hort, commenting on this text, writes, “Neither here then nor elsewhere in the New Testament have we any information about the manner in which Elders were consecrated or ordained (the exact word matters little) to their office; the χειροτονήσαντες of ACTS XIV. 23 having of course no reference to a solemn act of appointment but to the preceding choice.” [15]

I do ask you to note that the emphasis in the appointment is not upon ceremony; rather, the emphasis is upon humility before the Lord when receiving His appointment. Prayer and fasting appears to be universal among the churches whenever receiving gifts from the Master of the churches. Again, that the appointment was done with prayer and fasting demonstrates the utter dependence of the congregations upon God who gives these gifted men to the churches. Finally, prayer and fasting speak of the utter necessity for Christ to appoint to this office.

Prayer and fasting has fallen into disuse among our churches, and we are the poorer for our failure in this matter. Perhaps we actually believe that the new, human standards we have adopted are sufficient to guard against error, so our churches no longer need to seek the face of the Lord before we proceed with the ordination process. Nevertheless, a church dares not elect the elders (at least if the church endeavours to maintain Scriptural precedence for her actions). Rather, we believe that God appoints those whom He has prepared for this service. In deepest humility, we seek His mind and make every effort to know what He would have us do in order that He might have the honour and to ensure that we receive His best.

EACH CHURCH IS TO BE LED BY ELDERS. The Bible presents the truth that elders are appointed to lead the church. Elders who conduct themselves in an exemplary manner are to be honoured by the churches, according to the Apostle Paul. “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching” [1 TIMOTHY 5:17]. Implicit within this statement is the thought that the churches are to be led by the elders.

Stating that elders are divinely appointed to lead the churches over which God appoints them flies in the face of modern, North American democratic concepts. However, followers of the Master must always bear in mind that a church is not a democracy—a church is the living Body of Christ which seeks in all things to submit herself to Christ the Lord, discovering what His will is and making every effort to do that revealed will. This does not deny congregational authority, but rather it reminds us that congregational authority is always bounded by the Word of God. In other words, we are obligated to conduct our affairs as a church according to the pattern which is provided through the written Word of God.

The Word provides us with some rather strong statements which strike at the heart of contemporary practise of “hiring” (or “calling”) and “firing” (or “dismissing) pastors. Writing the saints in Thessalonica, Paul implored them, and all Christian congregations, “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work” [1 THESSALONIANS 5:12, 13]. Respect and esteem are not attitudes of condescension; respect and esteem are attitudes accorded because the elders labour among the people of God, investing their lives in His holy flock.

The writer of the Letter to Hebrew Christians cautioned those reading his letter, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith… Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” [HEBREWS 13:7, 17].

According to Scripture, the elders of the congregation are divinely designated to lead the flock of God. Should the elders fail to provide leadership, it would constitute a serious matter which must never be tolerated. However, refusal to permit the elders to lead can only be seen as wicked rejection of God’s appointment. Failure to follow the leadership of the elders whom God has appointed is a serious matter that shall surely receive divine condemnation.

Our Lord gave ascension gifts to the churches—men appointed to service within the individual congregations, men who were to labour to bring the saints to full maturity. “He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” [EPHESIANS 4:11-14].

God appoints whom He wills to office within the congregations of the saints. “God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers” [1 CORINTHIANS 12:28]. Likewise, ROMANS 12:8 teaches that God gifts some within the church with leadership ability. In light of the Scriptures considered to this point, I suggest that those who receive such gifts are those whom God would appoint to eldership by the action of His blessed Spirit. This raises the issue of the manner in which the elders are to lead.

In order to answer this question, I appeal again to the Word of God. 1 PETER 5:1-5 provides instruction for elders, especially addressing the attitude and conduct of the elders as they shepherd God’s flock. “I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

Elders lead through example [cf. HEBREWS 13:7], which accounts for the requirement that elders must be “above reproach” [cf. 1 TIMOTHY 3:2]. In the usual course of leadership, elders do not command, but rather they persuade. This is the reason it is vital that elders be able to teach. They must appeal to the Word of God to instruct the flock. They also guard against error and spiritual assault. There is a time and place for elders to stand firm, especially as they resist error. In such instances, it must be evident to the elder, and to the congregation, that to fail to stand against error introduces serious threat to the continued spiritual health of the flock. A cavalier attitude that leads either to abuse of position or failure to recognise the gravity of the situation opens the elder to condemnation and congregational censure.

Some may consider the matter to be hypothetical, but I cannot help but wonder what would be the outcome were the churches—and this congregation in particular—to make a serious effort to honour Christ the Lord by submitting to the biblical practise of permitting God to appoint elders? I do not believe that I am stretching the issue when I say that were the churches to be obedient in this matter, we would experience rich blessings from the Lord our God. I can only believe that the churches of our Master would prosper, discovering new effectiveness in service, even as the flock was strengthened in the Faith of Christ the Lord.

If the whole of Christendom should fail to embrace the Word, let us, as a congregation, determine that we shall seek to honour God in all that we do. Let us give ourselves to prayer, asking that God raise up those gifted men whom He is pleased to appoint to provide leadership for His flock. Let us as a people pledge ourselves to submit to such gifted men, making their labour a joy and not a trial. Let us, above all else, determine that we will seek that which honours the Lord our God in all things.

I am aware that there are good Christian brothers who disagree. I would not seek a fight, nor would I ever knowingly initiate such a conflict. I am addressing this congregation, asking only that we make every effort to find what pleases the Lord, and that we courageously act according to what we discover in the Word. We pray that God would encourage and strengthen brother Christians in every effort which advances the cause of our Lord. We pledge ourselves to seek those areas where we can stand with conscientious believers who disagree on principles found in the Word, asking only that they grant to us the same courtesy which we extend to them.

This leaves unanswered the question which must be pressed upon each heart sharing in this service. Have you been born into the Kingdom of God? Talk of elders and the appointment process are meaningless if you have no living connection to the Head of the churches. Your great need is to find refuge from the gathering storm of judgement which is surely coming.

Christ, the Saviour of all who seek Him, has been appointed by the Father to judge all mankind. There is a day pending when He shall remove from this fallen world those who have believed in Him. Then, after His people have been removed, He shall pour out judgements—unprecedented judgements—upon this wicked world. I would not that any who hear my voice this day should be left behind to experience the wrath of God. Together with the apostles, I urge you to flee from the wrath to come. I urge you to find safety in the covert which is Christ the Lord.

Listen to this final word, if you have not heard another in this message delivered this day. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” [ROMANS 10:9-13].

Our first call is for the lost to be saved. You who have received Christ as Lord are invited to confess Him as Master of life through obedience to the command to be baptised. All who have obeyed His command to be baptised are invited to unite with this congregation. Through confession of faith and baptism, through transfer of church letter, through statement of Christian experience—we invite all who are willing to come join us in the great work of extending the Kingdom of God. May God be glorified as each of us honours Him through obedience to His Word and through uniting to build His Kingdom. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers, 2001. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (United Bible Societies, 1996) 483

[3] William, Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, Frederick W. Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature: a Translation and Adaption of the Fourth Revised and Augmented Edition of Walter Bauer’s Griechish-deutsches Worterbuch Zu Den Schrift En Des Neuen Testaments Und Der Ubrigen Urchristlichen Literatur (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL 1979) pg. 482

[4] William Arndt et. al., op. cit., pg. 816

[5] See also 1 CORINTHIANS 12:28; 1 TIMOTHY 1:12; 2:7; 2 TIMOTHY 1:11

[6] William Arndt et. al., op. cit., pg. 390

[7] Louw-Nida, op. cit., pg. 483

[8] Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI 1990-) pg. 186

[9] C. H. Spurgeon, “Fragments of Popery among Nonconformists,” (Sword and Trowel, Passmore & Alabaster, London, June 1874) pp. 94 -100

[10] C. H. Spurgeon, Autobiography: Volume 1, The Early Years, 1834-1859 (The Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA 1962) 384

[11] Glenn Cannon, Baptists have Never been Able to Agree about an Understanding of Ordination, ( Principles.htm), dead link that was previously accessed in 2003

[12] Ministerial Policies, Procedures, & Protocol of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, 2011, pg. 25

[13] Op. cit., pg. 12

[14] Peter Shepherd, “The Baptist Ministry – a Contradiction in Terms?” ( dead link that was previously accessed in 2003

[15] F. J. A. Hort, The Christian Ecclesia (MacMillian and Co., London, England, 1897) 215