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Thread: Appoint elders in Every Town

  1. #31
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Thank you, I appreciate your input on this. I've been having issues with my own local church, and its organization/methodology for a long time now. I'm not one to upset the status quo on my own. I really have to have an alternative, and not just criticize without a solution. I've been looking at this thing at all angles before I give up. There has been so little ministry--so many leaving and so few coming. If little ministry to the outside world is happening, I feel that I'm wasting my time and resources.
    What is so exciting is that under that model, there is no micro management of the affairs of the church. The church simply runs itself continuously.

    Evangelists bringing in new converts, prophets giving personal messages, hospitality making newcomers feel welcome, mercy visiting the less healthy or less mentally healthy. You dont really need counseling when the people are being loved. Teachers are teaching. Administrators are collecting money, or texting people where the next meeting is, just simple admin done by steady people.

    With just these few gifts, the entire church runs smoothly and grows on its own, no organizational structure needed. And no one needs permission to meet.

    Just do it. Gather some people. When there's a few groups in a neighborhood, choose some elders to watch over these groups. If they get too busy and are battling to shepherd the flock in that neighborhood, because there are just too many believers, then they can ask some to become deacons.

  2. #32
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    The Greek for pastor means shepherd. Elders are told to shepherd their flocks. Overseers are told to shepherd their flocks. (Acts 20:28). The position elder seems to be the same position as shepherd and overseer.

    Question 1: is there any biblical evidence for pastors being a separate position to elders?

    Titus was told to appoint elders in every town (Titus 1:5). Elders in Jewish tradition and in the early church were appointed over towns, not over congregations within a town.

    Question 2: A group of Elders should be appointed over each town. Is there any evidence in the Bible that elders had a more limited church role like we see today?
    No one specifically answered the two questions in red.

    I guess the answer is that the elders were regarded as the shepherds/pastors in the early church.

    And there are definitely cases in the NT where a group of elders had spiritual authority over towns, but never any clearcut situations where the elders just had authority over a congregation.

    I'm not saying the current church model is wrong, it's just that it doesn't match the model of the early church. The early church had of a group of shepherds/elders in authority over an area /town in which believers were meeting in each other's homes.

  3. #33

    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    The Greek for pastor means shepherd. Elders are told to shepherd their flocks. Overseers are told to shepherd their flocks. (Acts 20:28). The position elder seems to be the same position as shepherd and overseer.

    Question 1: is there any biblical evidence for pastors being a separate position to elders?

    Titus was told to appoint elders in every town (Titus 1:5). Elders in Jewish tradition and in the early church were appointed over towns, not over congregations within a town.

    Question 2: A group of Elders should be appointed over each town. Is there any evidence in the Bible that elders had a more limited church role like we see today?
    Personally I don't believe Pastor to be a title but a description of a role for numerous men in a church, synonymous with elders or under-shepherds. Our church has a group of men who take on this role, our church's main function is to meet on the first day of the week to remember the Lord foremost, his death, burial and resurrection, we meditate and worship collectively through song, prayer, and sharing the Word. Secondly we are a collective group that try to work as a family during the rest of the time. We have nothing planned most of the time, for example if someone feels led to share in prayer then the floor is theirs, A brother or two may share some encouraging teaching from the Word, the people who visit or walk in off the street to our service are more often than not seeing our way of church for the first time!

    I was just thinking about a person from a neighbouring Church the other day who was complaining about the lack of money their Church has, they have a senior pastor and a youth pastor whom they have to pay salaries, and he then enviously pointed out to me you guys don't have that issue though do you, and I pointed out to him well no we have to much money yet there is always needs we can attend to or meet. He is beginning to understand there are some benefits from our way of following how we think scripture says we should operate as local groups of Christians. Not that its perfect with people there is always problems.

    Also I wouldn't take appoint elders in every town, as ultra literally as in appoint elders for every town to be over the towns, I guess a similar example would be to appoint police captains in all the towns, could mean someone is appointing captains in the police stations in all the towns. What I mean is that the context of the other pastoral epistles indicate to me that its in the churches in all the towns is the intended meaning.

  4. #34
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    No one specifically answered the two questions in red.

    I guess the answer is that the elders were regarded as the shepherds/pastors in the early church.

    And there are definitely cases in the NT where a group of elders had spiritual authority over towns, but never any clearcut situations where the elders just had authority over a congregation.

    I'm not saying the current church model is wrong, it's just that it doesn't match the model of the early church. The early church had of a group of shepherds/elders in authority over an area /town in which believers were meeting in each other's homes.
    I will try to answer your questions below. The reason I don't answer is because although I've been in church all my life, from birth, I'm not sure how many communions, outside of my own, deal with the term.

    The idea of a "shepherd" is obvious, and springs from the early practice of shepherding sheep. They had to be kept in a group, so as to be protected. Sheep don't have much natural protection. Their major protection is the shepherd.

    The term "shepherd" was applied to kings, because they did for their nation what shepherds do for their flock of sheep. They protected the group politically, and thus, militarily.

    But within a church congregation, there no doubt grew to be not just one but several more experienced, and capable men, gifted with administration and leadership. They probably formed a plurality of pastors, with the one gifted with the highest leadership capacity taking a more prestigious, and a more central, position.

    In the Early Church there were likely only a few congregational churches in a town, meeting in houses or buildings. They were not in competition, therefore, for congregants, and likely enjoyed leadership across congregations.

    None of these things are directly comparable to later churches, in which churches divided between conservatives and liberals, and offshoots multiplied as missionary churches. Towns grew into cities, and there would not likely be overarching leaders, which would cause the loss of intimacy between leadership and congregation. Churches maintaining their larger hierarchies became more formal, and more stifling, with leadership imposed from without in a structured way.

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude
    The Greek for pastor means shepherd. Elders are told to shepherd their flocks. Overseers are told to shepherd their flocks. (Acts 20:28). The position elder seems to be the same position as shepherd and overseer.

    Question 1: is there any biblical evidence for pastors being a separate position to elders?
    I don't think so, unless the external form makes reference to a king, who rules alone with advisers subordinate to him. This is, unfortunately, the way it is often done today, with pastor's being the primary paid administrator, guiding and directing nearly all of the religious duties.

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude
    Titus was told to appoint elders in every town (Titus 1:5). Elders in Jewish tradition and in the early church were appointed over towns, not over congregations within a town.

    Question 2: A group of Elders should be appointed over each town. Is there any evidence in the Bible that elders had a more limited church role like we see today?
    Yes, we read of churches meeting in homes.

    Acts 2.46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.
    Philemon 1.2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home.

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