Summary: Should we even have pastors and elders? Don’t we all walk in relationship with God and if so why would we need spiritual leadership?
Dakota Community Church
July 12, 2009
The Field & the Force 4
What of Pastors and Elders?
So far we have looked at:
1. When the Church is the field
When the church is the field it is seen as the place people come to do the work of God.
2. When the Church is the (labor) force
When the church becomes the force – the world becomes the field.
3. When and where is the gospel to be proclaimed?
The gospel is to be proclaimed everywhere and in every way!
4. In what ways is the force mobilized?
Just how do we get out there and work in the field?
Today I want to move back into looking at life within the Body of Christ and address a few issues that concern the work and the workers who are called to build up and equip the church to get out there into the field.
I have heard it said that pastors do not win people to Christ because “Shepherds don’t have sheep, sheep have sheep”!
5. What is the role of pastors and elders?
A. Is spiritual leadership even a scriptural idea?
Should we even have pastors and elders?
Don’t we all walk in relationship with God and if so why would we need spiritual leadership?
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!
Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
The 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. 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. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Key roles related to church leadership, as described in 1 Peter 5:1–5 and elsewhere in Scripture:
Chief Shepherd: Jesus is the Senior Pastor of every Bible-believing church.
... when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
First among equals: Elders/pastors should work within teams of peers, but a first among equals must take leadership responsibility for each team. Peter was a primary leader in the early church, but also a “fellow elder.”
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings...
Shepherds: Overseers (pastors/elders) of the flock that is the church.
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing