Meeting Times
Sunday Bible Study
Sunday Morning Worship
Sunday Evening Worship
Wednesday Bible Study

Leadership in the Church - Part 2

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


  1. This morning we looked at:
    1. Divine order of the church
    2. Names for the position of elder, why it matters
    3. Tonight let's look at the qualifications and responsibilities of the elders
  1. Qualification of leaders

    1. Ex. 18:21 - Jethro's advice to Moses
      1. Able men
      2. Fear God
      3. Men of truth
      4. Hating covetousness
    2. I Sam. 16:7 - Do not look on his appearance nor his physical stature
      1. Not because he's a charmer
      2. Not because he has a way with words
  2. Qualifications of Elders

    1. First, the man must desire the office (I Tim. 3:1)
      1. If any man desires (orego) the position of a bishop
        1. To reach or stretch out
        2. The mental effort of stretching oneself out for a thing, longing for it
      2. He desires (epithumeo) a good work
        1. An earnest desire
        2. Stresses the inward impulse rather than the object desired
      3. Should not have to coax a man into the eldership
    2. Experience
      1. Not a novice (I Tim. 3:6)
      2. Pride causes a fall (Prov. 16:14)
      3. Draw away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:30)
      4. Greatness = service (Matt. 20:26)
    3. Reputation
      1. A good testimony (I Tim. 3:7)
      2. A good name (Prov. 22:1)
      3. A bad name is not always just (Matt. 5:11; I Kings 18)
    4. Domestic Relations
      1. Husband of one wife; no more, no less (I Tim. 3:2)
      2. Children in submission with all reverence (I Tim. 3:4)
        1. Titus 1:6 - Faithful children, not accused of dissipation, insubordination
        2. Luke 15:13 - Prodigal (riotous) living
      3. Purpose: show he can take care of the church of God (I Tim. 3:5)
    5. Character
      1. Blameless (I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)
        1. Not sinless, but beyond reproach
        2. Luke 1:5-6 - Zechariah and Elizabeth (John's parents) were blameless
        3. I Cor. 1:8 - Blameless in the day of the Lord
      2. Not covetous
      3. Not greedy for money
      4. Not self-willed
      5. Not a striker, brawler, not even soon angry
      6. Instead temperate, patient
      7. Positive - Just, sober-minded, lover of hospitality, lover of good men, holy
    6. Habits
      1. McGarvey puts "vigilance, watchfulness"
        1. Found in KJV (should be rendered "temperate," NKJV)
        2. Still a characteristic or habit in elders (Acts 20:31)
        3. Should have a desire to be informed as to the conditions of members
      2. Not given to wine
        1. Not set beside wine
        2. Wine is a mocker (Prov. 20:1)
        3. Bible demands soberness
    7. Intellectual Qualifications
      1. Able to teach
        1. Varying degrees of ability (could teach some and not others)
        2. What standard?
          1. "The attainments of the congregation which he is to teach."
          2. "Must be diligent in the acquisition of Scripture knowledge, and must be at all times better informed in the word of God than the chief part of the congregation."
      2. Able to exhort and convict those who contradict (the gainsayer)
        1. Exhort until exhortation fails, then convict before the congregation
        2. Titus 1:10-13 - Because there were many insubordinate
  3. Duties of Elders

    1. Bishop - to oversee
      1. II Chron. 34:12-17 - Josiah has temple repaired.
        1. "Overseers" in Sept. is same as Bishop in NT
        2. Persons who oversee laborers for the purpose of directing their labors
      2. Acts 20:28 - The Holy Spirit made them overseers
    2. Pastor - to shepherd
      1. Acts 20:28 - To shepherd the church
        1. Luke 2:8 - Shepherds at Christ's birth watching over sheep in field at night
        2. John 10:11-12 - The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep, the hireling flees from the wolf
      2. Ps. 23 - Displays the delicate balance of a tender hearted ruler
        1. I Pet. 2:25 - Jesus is Shepherd and Overseer of our souls
        2. I Pet. 5:1-2 - Elders were made overseers and shepherds of the flock
      3. Some practical duties
        1. Duties of shepherd
          1. Keep the members congregation form straying
          2. Lead them to water and pasture and back to the flock
          3. Protect them from all danger by day and night
        2. Practical work
          1. Be examples
            1. I Pet. 5:3 - Not as being lords... but being examples to the flock
            2. Continuing to meet the qualifications will make one an example
          2. Teach them
            1. Teaching should not rest on the shoulders of the evangelist alone
            2. Both publicly and privately
          3. Taking note of spiritual conditions
            1. Acts 20:28 - Take heed to yourself and to the flock (I Tim. 4:16)
            2. John 10:3, 14 - Calls sheep by name, leads them out, knows them
            3. Close personal relations with members is necessary
          4. Retrieve the erring from sin
            1. Luke 15:1-7 - Go and find the one wandered from the 99
            2. I Cor. 5 - If no return, then withdraw of fellowship as last measure
            3. Heb. 13:17 - They watch out for your souls
  4. Duties of Members

    1. Passages
      1. Heb. 13:17 - Submit yourselves
      2. I Thess. 5:12-13 - Recognize them, esteem them highly
      3. I Tim. 5:17-22 - A few points about elders
        1. Special honor (financial reimbursement) shown to those who rule well
        2. No special honor in matters of sin and rebuke (Matt. 18:15-18)
    2. Practical application
      1. We are to submit to the authority of elders
        1. If they decide to paint the building, or change the carpet
        2. If they decide to change meeting times, or Bible class days
        3. If they decide the time has come to withdraw from impenitent member...
      2. We are to respect and regard them for their works sake
        1. Appreciate them for doing the work God wants done
        2. Not objects of ridicule when together with other members
      3. We are to financially support those who labor in the word
        1. Elders have a right to take pay
        2. Quotes from Deut. 25 and Luke 10:7
      4. We are not to allow elders to do as they please in matters of obligation
        1. If it is confirmed that an elder is in sin, he is to be handled as another
        2. Elders do not change God's laws


  1. As we consider qualifications, maybe your one who could fulfill... you should desire
  2. As we consider these duties, we should prepare ourselves to comply