As a follow-up to the teaching on May 29 regarding biblical eldership: With the desire to encourage you into a personal study of biblical eldership, please see the link below to a worksheet that contains a list of all the New Testament verses that discuss elders (and also the term “pastor”). You are encouraged to look at each passage and determine what title is used (elder, overseer, etc.), what is implied regarding role or function (although not all passages are explicit on this), and what additional observations you see from the passage.
Also, leave a comment on this post if you have questions about eldership or leadership here at RBC that weren’t covered in the message from May 29.
LINK: Biblical Eldership Worksheet (.pdf)Tags: Ray Shoaff - Elder
0 thoughts on “Biblical Eldership”
Is the “first among equals” model for elders biblical? Is that included or implied in “plurality of elders”? Does the RBC elder board operate this way?
By first among equals I meant that all of the elders have an equal voice and no individual of the elder group is prominent in all cases. But, as we deliberate and make decisions in various areas, we might depend more on one person’s wisdom and experience in one area (say giving biblical counsel regarding a marriage situation) and another person’s in a different area (say a stewardship area). In youth ministry we look to Bob Shull. In shepherding our people we look to Tony Pedroni. For the relocation we looked to Ed Nalle. But no one person is consistently taking the lead and there is no one person who is “head over” the other elders. And all the elders contribute to whatever decision is made. And further, if any elder is in disagreement, a process is entered to study the issue more, leading to a decision that all the elders can support. You might read an article by Alexander Strauch that includes a discussion on this, including biblical examples of instances where first among equals is seen. To that list I’d add James in Acts 15. For the article see http://www.peacemakers.net/resources/strauch/biblicaleldership.htm.
Just finished listening to the audio–great teaching. One issue that I would like to hear more about is the *limitations* of church authority. Where does the authority of an elder end and the responsibility of a Christian to work out his own salvation begin? How should a Christian respond if she feels the direction an elder is taking her in is not the direction God desires for her life?