Friday, June 19, 2009

Elders fulfilling their ministry??

What is an elder who doesn't have his home in order?
What is an elder who isn't able to teach the word?
What is an elder that doesn't have a blameless testimony?
What is an elder who isn't shepherding people?
!!!DISQUALIFIED!!!
If we were to write the characteristics of an elder according to what we see, would such a description come close to the biblical standard? For the most part, NO. Naturally this would be expected in apostate churches, in churches where the scriptures have little exposure, but this tragedy is taking place within so called 'sound' churches.
Unfortunately the 'path' to eldership in many churches seem to follow the pattern of worldly enterprises: rather then a fearful and diligent testing process regulated by the biblical qualifications, many get the 'job' because of:
Seniority (they were there in 'the beginning')
Friendship (they are buddies with the pastor or committee)
Special skill (despite their obvious disqualifications, they are incredibly skilled at something)
Family (they're family so they are 'in')
Popularity (lots of people love them and may be loyal to them)
Finances (they are big giver$)
How in the world can we ever expect to see the blessing of God upon the local church if the leadership isn't in order?? HOW?? One thing I continually tell inmates that i may never see again as regards looking for a church whenever they finally get out, is to at the very least find a church where the leadership are in UNITY and are leading by EXAMPLE (if there's hypocrisy in the leadership, then RUN!!!!!).
Elders who are you ministering to? Even beyond 'membership' you have a duty to reach out to those who come to your church. Church membership is an excellent tool and a wise part of a good church, but it's not a condition of a good church. Why do I say that? Well, say someone doesn't want (or understand) to be a member, are you then 'free' from caring for them, even though they come to your church? Maybe in some man made document, but you didn't get that idea from scripture!
How can growth be measured unless people are being personally shepherded? How's the home life of those who come to your church? Do you pay attention to how families interact with each other? DO you know of the family habits? How are the husbands and fathers leading the homes? Are the children well behaved, are they properly disciplined and loved? How do the wives speak and act towards their husbands?
Have you EVER inquired into the daily habits of your congregation?
It seems we've so personalized our 'walk' with Christ and so emphasized our liberties and the ugliness of legalism, that we don't minister to one another. We react so sharply that we refuse to go beyond small talk, and we think everything MUST be great if only people attend every function of the church! This is something I'm constantly noticing that growth has been translated by some as ATTENDANCE to prayer, bible study, service, and other functions and that the 'real' lack or problems are those who aren't 'attending' as much as others.
Attendance translates NOTHING! If we are content with externals then we'll never know where there is need for improvement. Dear elders you MUST by the grace of God get your hands dirty and pry into the affairs of your congregation and seek to study them, to learn how they live out their faith!

3 comments:

Puritan

A great reminder.

Julius Mickel

thanks bro,
and for the great resources at your site, I added the book about Wong Ming Dao to my Amazon.
bless you

Ryan Kasza

humbling..thank you brother.

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