The Elders are a Gift to the Church (2)

Current Blog Series : Biblical Vision Explanation

Biblical church leadership is important because without it, God’s people are sheep without Spirit empowered shepherds.

Your immediate reaction to the first of these two Elder posts may be anger or desire for a “voting right” in the congregation. I would lovingly remind you these are just the writings of a young minister, so you can happily find a church anywhere that is congregational leadership if you so desire.
I can hear the voice of one of my mentors quoting the passage 1 Pet. 2:5, “we are a holy nation a royal priesthood,” therefore we all have leadership within the church. As funny as it may sound that is also true, but we are not all called to be the spiritual guides, shepherds or “meat” providers.

All Believers are a holy priesthood who offer our own spiritual sacrifices as priests (1 Pet. 2:5). We are also all priests in that we have permission through the Spirit to enter “Boldly into the presence of God.” Lastly all believers are priests because we have all been gifted with varying gifts to help edify the whole body of Christ, beginning with our own household first.
Joel 2:28 has lead me to an understanding that the coming of the Holy Spirit yields spirit empowerment not previously known among all believers. This is the same type of empowerment as seen in Numbers 11, when all the Elders were given a portion of the Spirit. The difference between Spirit empowerment of an elder and Spirit empowerment of a believer is that the Elder’s empowerment is one of an office; the believer’s is one of confirmation that the Savior is working within their life.

Each believer is given grace for service to God. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” (Rom. 12). “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Eph. 4:7). “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pet. 4:10).
The ministry of the church is not a one-man ministry. Everyone must serve God the High priest. The Elders are gifted with the burden of being “sub-pastors.” The call to be a holy priesthood is one of cooperation. Sadly, many people who yell for voting rights won’t help in ministerial responsibility. In most evangelical churches there is confusion and believers are not encouraged to exercise their spiritual gifts for the building up of the church. This is the fault of the Elders, if they were fulfilling their role as the earthly pastors, teaching the Gospel correctly, then all will cooperate in a healthy understanding of a Biblical ministry.

Let us not get so hyped up on 1 Peter 2:5, that we forget Hebrews 13:17, “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.” I personally know when the congregation is in tune to their role, an Elder will joyfully minister. 

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