Pastors & Elders

For over ten years I have been convinced that New Testament churches, churches planted by the Apostles, were led by a plurality of elders—who provided oversight (overseers [bishops in the AV]) and served as shepherds (pastors) of the people of God.  Acts 20:17-28 provides the clearest example of this when Paul calls for the elders of the church at Ephesus and then makes it clear that these men provide the oversight and feed, care for and shepherd the church of God.  See also Acts 15:4 where "church" is singular and elders is plural.

This plurality of elders is often called a council or board (I prefer team).  Elders have as their primary focus the ministry of the Word of God (Acts 6:4). The elders are responsible for governing the church, teaching the Word and tending the flock of God in this church. They focus on the spiritual needs and development of the congregation whereas deacons concentrate on the physical needs of the church.  Together elders and deacons serve the congregation in the fulfillment of the Great Commission to the glory of God.

It bothers me that I see something in the New Testament and we, Berean Baptist, are ignoring what the Bible presents.

When asked the question: ‘Why isn’t Berean led by a plurality of elders like the New Testament presents?’ What should I say? I can’t in good conscience argue against something I definitely see throughout the epistles.  In 1 Tim. 4:14 a council of elders laid hands on Timothy. In James 5:14 the church is to call for the elders.  In 1 Tim. 5:17 Paul refers to elders who labor in preaching and teaching the Word of God. In Phil. 1:1, there is a plurality of overseers.  Plurality protects the congregation from a rogue leader.

I believe a team of elders all approved by the congregation needs to lead Berean.  The council would be made up of lay elders and pastors. Pastors are ordained elders employed by the church; whereas, lay elders are men who meet the biblical qualifications of an overseer in 1 Tim. 3:2-7 whom the church does not pay. (Assistant pastors are men preparing to serve as pastors and serve to extend the ministry of the pastors). I believe the council should consist of 5, 7 or 9 members with the number of lay elders always outnumbering the number of pastors serving on the team. A council of 5 elders would include the senior pastor, the senior associate pastor (Steve Wilson presently) and three other biblically qualified men from the congregation, who can teach the Word of God, would volunteer to serve as elders.  A council of 7 could include another one of the ordained pastors. The elders should not ordain an assistant pastor if they do not think he is ready to serve as an elder (1 Tim. 5:22).

The ability to teach the Word of God is the qualification that most distinguishes an elder from a deacon which is why the congregation needs both offices and why each office has a different focus and responsibility.  Elders (both lay and vocational) concentrate on the spiritual direction and needs of the flock (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17).

I believe we need to move forward with constitutional changes to fully incorporate what the New Testament presents into our form of governance.  While we would remain congregational in our form of government; the council of elders would collectively serve to lead the congregation; while the deacons would stay focused on the physical needs of the church (both the people and the facilities).  Ultimately, the authority remains with the flock as the entity that approves (or disapproves) those who serve, the annual budget, expenditures not covered in the budget, new members and missionaries, church discipline, and changes to the church constitution.

What are your questions? Please email me.

7 comments:

  1. i am ERIC BRUNT by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my wife after three(3) years of marriage just because another Man had a spell on her and she left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a man had a spell on my wife and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my wife back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my wife. Thanks for helping me Dr Larry contact him on email: assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com Dr Larry TEMPLE.. or Whats-app +1(424)-261-8520




    i am ERIC BRUNT by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my wife after three(3) years of marriage just because another Man had a spell on her and she left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a man had a spell on my wife and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my wife back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my wife. Thanks for helping me Dr Larry contact him on email: assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com Dr Larry TEMPLE.. or Whats-app +1(424)-261-8520

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    Replies
    1. i am ERIC BRUNT by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my wife after three(3) years of marriage just because another Man had a spell on her and she left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a man had a spell on my wife and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my wife back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my wife. Thanks for helping me Dr Larry contact him on email: assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com Dr Larry TEMPLE.. or Whats-app +1(424)-261-8520




      i am ERIC BRUNT by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my wife after three(3) years of marriage just because another Man had a spell on her and she left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a man had a spell on my wife and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my wife back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my wife. Thanks for helping me Dr Larry contact him on email: assurancesolutionhome@gmail.com Dr Larry TEMPLE.. or Whats-app +1(424)-261-8520

      Delete
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    4. Hello everyone i am happy to spread my testimony of a strong spell caster called Dr Great. I'm Kaitlyn Houston and i live in USA, my husband and i had a little fight because of that he wanted to divorce me i was so afraid to lose him because i love him very much so i search online for help and i saw a lot of people's testimonies on how Dr Great help them and came out with positive results like Divorces, Cancers, lotteries, fertilities and others. So i emailed him and told him my problem and he told me what to do and I did it as he instructed, 24 hours later he told me he is done with the spell and my husband will no longer divorce me and when my husband came back from work he told me he won't divorce me anymore he said he didn't know what came over him that he is sorry I was so happy and I thank Dr Great for his help If you need Dr Great help email him at infinitylovespell@gmail.com my page https://kaitlynhouston19.blogspot.com you can also add him him on WhatsApp +2348118829899 and he will put an end to your problem

































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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  2. Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
    ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

    Blogs: https://kallya1.blogspot.com

    Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

    WhatsApp +2347059715465

    ReplyDelete
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