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Leadership in the Church - Part 1

by Chris Dawson
January 11, 2009
[ Audio ][ Printer Friendly Sermon ]

Introduction

  1. Groucho Marx said, "Only 1 man in 1,000 is leader men... and 999 follow women."
  2. Leadership (and "followership") in the church today is something that is needed.
  1. There is a divine order to the church

    1. Christ as head of the universal church
      1. Col. 1:18 - Head of the body, the church
        1. Matt. 28:18 - Authority given unto Jesus
        2. John 16:13 - Jesus sends the Spirit to the apostles to guide them
        3. II Tim. 3:16 - The Scriptures are the guide book of Christ
      2. I Pet. 2:25 - Shepherd and overseers of our souls
      3. I Pet. 5:4 - The chief Shepherd
    2. Elderships as overseers of individual congregations
      1. Plurality of men over one congregation
        1. I Tim. 4:14 - "Eldership"
        2. Acts 14:23 - Ordained elders in every church
      2. Each congregation to have their own overseers
        1. I Pet. 5:1-2 - The flock among you
        2. Acts 20:28 - The flock over which the Holy Spirit made them overseers
  2. What if a congregation is not organized according to divine order?

    1. Scripturally unorganized
      1. Titus 1:5 - Set in order the things which are lacking
        1. Congregation needs to realize that w/out elders, something is lacking
        2. Not feel satisfied with keeping things the way they are because:
          1. We like having control
          2. Afraid who will be put in, what they will do to the church
      2. Acts 14:23 - Appointed elders in every church
    2. Unscripturally organized
      1. Roman Catholic hierarchy (Pope, bishops, cardinals, priests)
      2. Lutheran Synods
      3. Baptist Conventions
      4. Missionary Societies
  3. Names of the position

    1. The three names and what they each denote
      1. Bishop - Oversight, authority
      2. Elder - Maturity, wisdom
      3. Pastor - Shepherding, nurture
    2. Passages that show interchangeable use:
      1. Acts 20:17,28 - Elders, oversee (bishop), feed the flock (pastor)
      2. Titus 1:5-7 - Elders, bishop
      3. I Pet. 5:1-2 - Elders, shepherd (pastor)
      4. Jer. 23:1-4 - Shepherds are pastors
  4. Isn't the preacher the pastor?

    1. The preacher is called:
      1. Evangelist - proclaimer of "good news"
        1. Found 3 times in NT
          1. Eph. 4:11 - Same place "pastors" is found
          2. II Tim. 4:5 - Do the work of an evangelist
          3. Acts 21:8 - Philip called "the evangelist"
        2. Evangelist is thought of as a person who travels from place to place. The term does not imply traveling:
          1. Philip evidently spent 20 years in Caesarea (Acts 8:40; 21:8)
          2. Timothy was instructed to remain in Ephesus (I Tim. 1:3)
      2. Preacher - a herald, one who proclaims, the guy who talks a lot
        1. This word, or related words (preach, preaching) found many times
          1. II Tim. 1:11 - Paul was appointed a preacher
          2. Also used of Jesus, John and others
      3. Minister - a servant
        1. All who serve in some capacity are rightly called ministers
          1. I Tim. 3:10 - Deacons who serve well
          2. Rom. 16:1-2 - Pheobe was a servant in the church
        2. Evangelists, or preachers, are ministers
          1. I Tim. 4:6 - A good minister of Jesus Christ
          2. I Cor. 3:5 - Used by God to reach the lost
          3. II Cor. 3:6 - Ministers of the New Covenant
          4. II Cor. 6:4 - Ministers of God
          5. II Cor. 11:23 - Ministers of Christ
  5. Does it really matter?

    1. Does it matter what you call the preacher? (to some people it doesn't!)
      1. If you are a school teacher and I call you a principal?
      2. If you are a nurse and I call you a doctor?
    2. Does it matter if the congregation is organized according to Scripture
      1. Col. 3:17 - Do all by His authority
      2. I Tim. 3:15 - That we may know how to conduct ourselves
    3. Let's show respect for God's word (I Pet. 4:11)

Conclusion

  1. Let's keep Christ as the head of the church
  2. Let's organize the church according to His word
  3. Tonight we look at the qualifications of elders, as well as the responsibility of the elders toward the members and the responsibility of members toward elders.