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Office of Elder II

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Office of Elder II

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

“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.” Hebrews 13:17

1. References to Elders in the New Testament

“And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” Acts 14:23

“Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.” Acts 20:17

“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”

1 Timothy 5:17

“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you” Titus 1:5

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed” 1 Peter 5:1

2. The responsibilities of elders are summed up under two heads: governing and teaching


Proistemi [Pro-is-tay-mee] - is the root used and can be defined rule, govern, manage, be over, preside over, to be a protector or gaurdian, care for.

1 Timothy 5:17 - “Let the elders who rule [proestotes] well be considered worthy of double honor”

1 Timothy 3:4–5 - He must manage [proistamenon] his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage [prostenai] his own household, how can he care for God’s church?

In Acts 20:28 & 1 Peter 5:2 The duty of elders to “oversee” or

“supervise” the flock implies a governing function.

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Acts 20:28

“shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;” 1 Pt 5:2

1 Thessalonians 5:12

But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you [proistamenous] in the Lord and admonish you. (No reference to “elders” but the function of the leaders is governing and the natural assumption is that the leaders are elders that Paul had appointed.)

Hebrews 13:17

Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.

(Obedience and submission implies a role of leadership and governance and again the reference is probably to the elders though the leaders are not described.)


Ephesians 4:11

Pastors and teachers are pictured as one office, so that the pastor (whom we have identified as an elder) has the responsibility of teaching.

1 Timothy 3:2

The overseer must be “able to teach.” And we have seen that the overseer and elder are the same office.

1 Timothy 5:17

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

(Not that all don’t have to be able to teach—they do; but some “labor,” that is, they devote more time and energy to it, perhaps earning their living by it.)

Titus 1:9

He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.(Not all elders need to be able to do public preaching. The requirement is not for a preaching gift, but for a solid grasp of doctrine and ability to spot and correct errors and explain biblical truth plainly.)

2. Church Government

Why not Elder Ruled instead of being Elder Led and what is the difference?

• It is not biblical

• Power to pick leaders belongs to the people

• Absolute power can lead to temptation

3. Teaching Pastor

So who is the Teaching Pastor and what is his role and function?

• Is responsible for the primary teaching and preaching of God’s Word

• Is devoted to the study of the Word and Prayer

• Title is best described as Pastor/Teacher

• Is a fellow elder among elders

4. Congregation and their role

• Elects leaders to lead in freedom

• Has safeguards in place in case of abuse

• Receives the benefits of having true biblical leadership

GracePointe Baptist Church

2209 N Post Road

Oklahoma City, OK 73141

Phone: (405) 769-5050

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