Quotes for Topic: Pastoral_ministry-elders
The true shepherd spirit is an amalgam of many precious graces. He is hot with zeal, but he is not fiery with passion. He is gentle, and yet he rules his class. He is loving, but he does not wink at sin. He has power over the lambs, but he is not domineering or sharp. He has cheerfulness, but not levity; freedom, but not license; solemnity, but not gloom.
We cannot sit back and wait for the sheep to lead. A few will, but by and large they are looking to us for direction, feeding, and leadership by our stepping out courageously in faith.
Reference: Practical Wisdom for Pastors, Crossway Books, 2001, p. 95. Get this book!
The most extraordinary things about the biblical prerequisites for elders is that they are not all that extraordinary.
Reference: Quoted in: Mark Dever and Paul Alexander, The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 149, www.crosswaybooks.org.
Leadership in the church should always be shared – that is one reason that the apostolic pattern was to appoint a plurality of elders rather than a solitary elder in all the churches (Acts 14:23). But leaders too need to recognize one of their number as leader. This is an inbuilt principle of life, and we should not despise it. Husband and wife are equal, but leadership naturally rests with the husband. Children are equal in a family, but the oldest is looked to first when a crisis occurs. In some situations there may be one elder or spiritual leader who is actually called “the pastor,” who will be expected to lead his fellow leaders; and in others there will be a team ministry. But in every team there has to be a leader.
Reference: On Being a Pastor, Moody Press, 2004, p. 218. Get this book!
Someone has said that more is learned from what is “caught” that “taught”… Though it is certainly important to communicate God’s Word didactically, it’s what people see in our lives that gives weight to our words. That is why the qualifications for elders are so important. If we are to “teach the Word of God” effectively, we must simultaneously “live the Word of God.”
Reference: Elders and Leaders, Moody, 2003, p. 267. Get this book!
Ministry as depicted in the New Testament was never a one-man show. That does not preclude the role of a dominant leader on each team. Within the framework of plurality, there will invariably be those who have more influence. The diversity of our gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4) means all people are differently equipped. Therefore a plurality of leaders does not necessitate an absolute equality in every function. In even the most godly group of leaders, some will naturally be more influential than others. Some will have teaching gifts that outshine the rest. Others will be more gifted as administrators. Each can fulfill a different role, and there is no need to try to enforce absolute equality of function.
Reference: The Book on Leadership, 2004, p. 168.
The Bible clearly models a plurality of elders in each local church. Though it never suggests a specific number of elders for a particular congregation, the New Testament refers to “elders” in the plural in local churches (e.g., Acts 14:23; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18; Titus 1:5; James 5:14). When you read through Acts and the Epistles, there is always more than one elder being talked about.
Reference: Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Crossway, 2000, p. 215-216. Get this book!
Their [godly elders] humility makes them difficult to offend; their holiness makes them easy to trust; their gentle speech makes them easy to hear as sources of correction or critique; and their hospitality provides a context for spiritual encouragement and edification.
Reference: Why Character is Crucial, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 154, www.crosswaybooks.org.
It may be wise to recognize men who are already qualified and are already doing elder-type work rather than to “make” men elders simply by training them.
Reference: Looking for a Few Good Men, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 137, www.crosswaybooks.org.
An elder is simply a man of exemplary, Christlike character who is able to lead God’s people by teaching them God’s Word in a way that profits them spiritually.
Reference: Looking for a Few Good Men, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 140, www.crosswaybooks.org.
What are the practical benefits of having more than one elder? 1. It balances pastoral weakness. 2. It diffuses congregational criticism. 3. It adds pastoral wisdom. 4. It indigenizes leadership. 5. It enables corrective discipline. 6. It defuses “us vs. him.”
Reference: Excerpted from: The Importance of Elders, taken from The Deliberate Church, © 2005, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 133, www.crosswaybooks.org.
Plural leadership is the norm for every church: “appoint elders in every city as I directed you.” “Elders” is plural and “in every town” is singular. It indicates multiple elders serving each church on Crete (1:5). Each reference to local church elders demonstrates plurality as the New Testament practice (see Acts 14:23; 15:22; 20:17 that show this same pattern of plurality). Paul’s reason for plurality within even small congregations makes sense. It provides accountability, support, and encouragement, increased wisdom, and diversity of gifts to increase ministry effectiveness.
Reference: Phil Newton Elders for the Church, September 2008, Tabletalk, p. 68. Used by Permission.
My conclusion is that the local church is to be governed by a plurality of individuals who are described in the New Testament as elders, insofar as they hold an office of great dignity and importance (perhaps even with an allusion to age or at least spiritual maturity), or bishops, insofar as they exercise oversight of the body of Christ, or pastors, insofar as they spiritually feed, care for, and exercise guardianship over the flock of God.
Reference: Men and Women in ministry: Should Women Serve as Elders in the Local Church? November 6, 2006, www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
Our Good Shepherd has become the model for under-shepherds. His great concern is the good of the sheep. A good shepherd gives himself to the sheep. A thief comes to get something form the flock – wool or mutton. Jesus our Lord made every personal claim subservient to the blessing of his flock; even to giving His life that they might live.
Reference: The Shadow of the Cross – Studies in Self-Denial, 1981, p. 59, by permission Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA.