Summary: We need elders who are willing to stand up and speak the truth when the truth is needed. Men who aren’t worried about their image, but concerned about the direction of the church. Men who are looking to build up the body and not themselves.
Sheep Need Shepherds
(Church Elders Needed)
Two weeks ago = Jesus, Lord & Savior, perfect leader
Last week = 12 apostles, ordinary men, unqualified leaders
This week, according to the title of the sermon, Sheep Need Shepherds, we will look at the need that we as a church have, and that is an Eldership.
In looking at this need, I asked myself, “Why does the church need elders?” After asking this question I realized, I need to take a look at the church. Each and every one, who is a part of the church of Jesus Christ, has a role in impacting the lives of others.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
There is a need for some people to lead other people. There is a need for some people to be lead by other people. Not all are gifted to lead, but some are. If just having the Bible eliminated the need of having human leaders, we probably wouldn’t read the following passages:
Acts 14:23 – Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Hebrews 13:7 - Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Hebrew 13:17 - Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
We have specific duties as individuals. We are responsible as a body, and we have to be willing to follow those who are willing to lead.
So this morning, let us look at 3 areas:
1. The nature of individuals
2. The nature of the church
3. The nature of the church as family
1. All of us as individuals have an innate desire inside of us to be in fellowship with others. To have relationships with other people is a natural desire. We can see this has been true for a very long time.
Let’s look back to the beginning:
Genesis 2:18 – “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
Here we have Adam, first person ever created. He lives in paradise, hangs out with the animals and most of all, fellowships with God.
He spoke to God directly and God spoke back. Yet God realized that the man needed someone like himself for fellowship. Not that fellowship with God wasn’t enough, but because God had created him with a desire to be with other people.
In fact, the best demonstration of the need for human relationship is found with that of a newborn baby. A baby needs to be held, touched, talked to and loved. These are very significant in the development and growth of the child. For a baby truly needs that human contact. A baby learns by imitating its parents. Learns to talk by listening to others speak.
There are some people who believe they can make it on their own. They don’t need others around them. They strive to live alone and separated from the rest of society. The problem is, they are neglecting the very desire that God has placed within them.
à God has compared us to sheep, who always find themselves a leader, whether genuine or false. They look for someone to follow. They, like us, need a shepherd to help show the way.
2. Now going beyond this innate desire that is within all individuals, we take the next step to examine the nature of the church as a whole.
What are the facts?
a. the Holy Spirit lives in all Christians
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
b. the Holy Spirit gives each Christian gifts, abilities & functions
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 – “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”
The misunderstanding that many people have is that they don’t need the rest of the body. They don’t have to come to church to grow. In fact, I met a couple last week, who told me they didn’t believe they had to come to church to believe in God. I agreed. But I pointed out that they were missing the point of what coming to church was all about.