Sunday, January 06, 2013

Elders in the church What are the responsibilities of elders in the church? 1. Lead/shepherd the church (1 Tim. 5:17; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2) 2. Oversee the teaching of the Bible to the church (1 Tim. 5:17) 3. Pray for the church, specifically for the sick (James 5:14) 4. Protect the church from false doctrine and divisive people (Acts 20:29-31; 3 John 1, 9, 10) 5. Resolve conflict and set policy (Acts 15:6-29; 16:4) 6. Oversee the church finances (Acts 11:29, 30) 7. Ordain new elders (1 Tim. 4:14) 8. Be an example for the church (Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:3; Titus 1:6ff) What are the responsibilities of church members toward the elders? 1. Love, respect, and honor them (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; 1 Timothy 5:1) 2. Obey and submit to their teaching and leadership (Hebrews 13:13) 3. Refuse to listen to unproven accusations against them (1 Timothy 5:19, 20) 4. Pray for them (Acts 14:23; Hebrews 13:18) 5. Serve with them to build up the church and bring the Gospel to the world (Ephesians 4:11-13) From this weekend's message at Calvary: Living in a covenant community led by elders
Jesus' purpose and plan for the church • a loving family whose members are loyal to and take care of each other • a sheltering house where people share life and meet each other’s most basic needs • a holy temple where God lives with His people and receives their worship • a beautiful bride enjoying intimacy with Jesus, the Groom • a luscious garden providing beauty and nourishment for all who enter it • an intricate body whose diverse parts, directed by the Head, accomplish amazing things • a building under construction, founded on a Rock, facilitating collaborative and creative productivity • a vulnerable flock dependent on the leadership, protection, and care of its Shepherd • a holy nation illustrating how wonderful it is to live under the wise and loving rule of God • a royal priesthood representing God to the world and inviting the world to God • a global kingdom where King Jesus rules in righteousness, justice, wisdom, and love • a chosen people who live in covenant relationship with God and each other Who would not want to be part of a church like that?
What do I teach? Scott McKnight relates that when professors meet they invariably ask, "What do you teach?" The normal response would identify the area of curriculum they taught: philosophy, English, Bible, communications, etc. Scott writes: "One time, as a young professor, I asked the common professorial question to a wise and gentle professor: 'What do you teach?' His response stunned me: 'I teach students. What do you teach?' He made me realize in a new way what I am called to do...That wise professor's answer and question changed how I approach what I do. I need to remind myself of this as I enter the class: I'm not teaching just a subject matter but students who need to come into contact with the subject matter. The standard approach, where the focus is teaching a subject is not relational and personal enough. Teachers are teaching students a particular subject matter. They are not teaching a subject matter to students. The differencd is a big difference." In a few hours I will teach . . . as I do many weekends at Calvary Church. My subject will be the Bible -- God's amazing story for all people everywhere. The particular theme today is "Living in a covenant community led by elders." I know, it's not a very inspiring title, but it summarizes this special weekend when we affirm our member covenant and install the new elder team to lead the church. What I hope and pray I will remember and do is that I am teaching PEOPLE. The subject is the Bible - a wonderful topic -- the very best-- but it is people who are the object of God's loving communication in the Scriptures. Sometimes I, like other teachers, love to teach . . . and love to teach the Bible. Those aren't bad. But it makes a world of difference when I love the people I teach. May God help me so to do.