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mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 The Elbows connected to the Forearm!

So as I said I would I decided to start this thread to discuss the Body of Christ and where a Pastor may land in that body.

I believe we can all agree that Christ is the head of the Church as presribed by Ephesians 4:15, Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18, Colossians 2:10. Christ is the one and only head. So I wish to discuss where does this leave someone in authority?


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/10/29 20:15Profile









 Re: The Elbows connected to the Forearm!


There are two answers to the question.

The first is, 'crucified with Christ', like the others in the body, and, 'submitted to one another', like the others the body.

The second is, at the bottom. They are the feet. They bear the weight of responsibility and service, and, they lead.

This is why there is so much about feet in the Old Testament. The 'path' that we take, is where we either MAKE our feet go (Hopefully in paths of righteousness.), or, where we follow them as they lead us according to our whims. Elders (feet) and those responsible for guiding the body should have given up whims long ago.

ABOVE ALL, their obedience to the word of God should not be in doubt, BEFORE they are invited by the flock, to lead it (in company with other elders).

The body should recognise in them a submittedness to God demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit; service, prayer, Bible exposition and. exercise of the gifts of the Spirit.

I would put transparency with money pretty high, (I don't mean, telling everyone what they are given from lovegifts), by way of regular business meetings to inform the flock, discuss income and its disbursement on behalf of the assembly (eg to rental, utilities, missions, resources, expenses etc), with their agreement.

Discretion over private matters known to them because of their status as leaders, especially if these had been shared privately, is essential.

 2010/10/29 21:17
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

Interesting and quite logical :) THank you for this, to me your conclusion makes sense also I recognize someones body looks quite silly when the feet try to take the place of the head. :)


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/10/30 1:38Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7464
Mississippi

 Re: The Elbows connected to the Forearm!

Quote:
So I wish to discuss where does this leave someone in authority?



May I suggest that some of the answers to this question lie in 1&11 Timothy and in Titus. There Paul is writing about practical matters regarding the church. Also in 1Corinthians the writer gives us much practical admonitions on what the church should look like and how it should function.

The bottoom line is that we all work to serve the other, that we esteem the other beter then ourselves. While the elder demonstrates this in its maturity, he is also responsible to see that no leaven is present in the flock that will contaminate it. (Know how much leaven it takes to contaminate dough? Very little. Very little, so little it is almost beyond comprehension how so little can effect a glob of dough so large - I shold know, I love to bake with yeast.)

In 1Corinthians 12 Paul uses the body as an analogy to demonstrate how the church should function. Our human bodies just work together with no argument on which of it is the better - the parts just do the job they were crafted to do by its creator. No question, no doubt. Now when some cells mutate you have problems which will kill. In nature we call this cancer; in the spiritual we call it sin: both kill, eventually. When a disease invades the body the immune system will work TOGETHER to rid it from the body. When anything hurts, pain will inform the mind how a certain part needs to be coddled and protected from further harm.

Brother, this analogy is so beautiful I can hardly write more. I am so in awe....

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2010/10/30 10:27Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: The Elbows connected to the Forearm!

If you take a close look at the early church, you find that Paul went about appointing or ordaining elders in every church he established. These elders were overseers of the body in that place. It seems there was always a plurality of eldership. If you look at the terms used for bishop and elder in the NT, you fill find these two terms used interchangeably. They are simply ones who were given oversight of the body. Leadership is necessary.

Pastors in particular are a gift given to the body for the maturing, fitting out of the body. They are one of five equipping gifts given to the body as described in Ephesians 4. All five are necessary in the body to thoroughly equip the body to do the work of the ministry. Sometimes an elder is gifted or called to be a pastor. Sometimes an elder is not a pastor.

I know is the modern church we have become accustomed to the leadership model of pastor, assistant pastors, associate assistance pastors, assistants to the associate vice assistant pastor, etc. :-) And, this structure is not necessarily evil, but is also, in most cases, not the model outlined in the New Testament.

Pastors are equipping ministries, gifts to the body, who work alongside apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers for the equipping of the saints. Biblically, that is about the only description I see of how they "fit" into the body.


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Travis

 2010/10/31 8:05Profile
passerby
Member



Joined: 2008/8/13
Posts: 607


 Re:

In the third chapter of 1st Timothy, the qualifications of supposedly to be pastors and deacons were laid down.

Points to ponder:

1. Who appoints the pastors and deacons, the elders?

2. What is the scope of their responsibility and privileges,
who sets them.

3. Do the pastors have the exclusive claim to preaching, to the pulpit and other church affairs.

4. Who are the elders, who determines their status, the pastor? How do they minister to the church.

5. What is the difference of an elder with a pastor, or a deacon.

6. Is the supposedly pastors mentioned in 1Tim chapter three
are one and the same with the elders as referred to in the first chapter of Titus.

7. How about the other members of the church can they also preach, take teaching or leadership responsibilities.

 2010/11/3 5:06Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

1. Who appoints the pastors and deacons, the elders?

In many cases it was an apostle that established a work that appointed the elders. Certain teachers and prophets ordained Paul to begin his work as a apostle,(Acts 13) but the calling to be a five fold minister is from God. No one can choose to be a pastor, apostle, etc. God chooses. Mature, spirit led leadership can be led by God to set apart and ordain into active work in their calling. One cannot desire to be a pastor if that is not his calling. One can desire the office of a bishop/elder.

2. What is the scope of their responsibility and privileges,
who sets them.

I would simply say we need to look at what the NT tells us about each.

3. Do the pastors have the exclusive claim to preaching, to the pulpit and other church affairs.

It really depends on the body and the structure of the body. In our body (we are still small in number) the only one in eldership is called to be a pastor. He does not exclusively preach and teach, but recognizes ministry gifts in the body and several of us teach and preach. He, as an elder, is responsible for church affairs and has carried the vision that God gave him since the inception of our fellowship. I think this Biblical. Other elders will be set in as we grow.

4. Who are the elders, who determines their status, the pastor? How do they minister to the church.

The elders are the overseers. Pastor is simply a five-fold ministry gift to the body. Pastor is not synonymous with (head guy) Biblically although that is how many churches are structured. They are ordained by existing leadership, however this ordination should governed by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, not by the whims and decisions of the flesh.

5. What is the difference of an elder with a pastor, or a deacon.

Elder/Bishop = Ordained overseers of the body. An elder can have the gift of pastor, but this is not necessary. (Note, elder is not equal to "church board" as most of us have experienced it.) Deacon = diakonos = servant leader.
These are people in the body who serve the body in various ministry functions. Stephen was a deacon along with six others I believe. The apostles set them apart to oversee the meals on hooves program to the widows.

6. Is the supposedly pastors mentioned in 1Tim chapter three
are one and the same with the elders as referred to in the first chapter of Titus.

1 Tim. and Titus make no mention of pastors. They both talk about the office of bishop/elder.

7. How about the other members of the church can they also preach, take teaching or leadership responsibilities.

Absolutely! Praise God there needs to be room for all in the body to minister and do the work of the ministry. I praise God when leadership recognizes the moving of the Holy Spirit and the giftings in the body and is not afraid to allow these people to minister openly. Praise God for leaders who are not "threatened" by other's gifts, but recognize that they are simply called to build the body and will do everything in their power to make sure that happens.

Just some of my thoughts on your questions.


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Travis

 2010/11/3 22:07Profile
mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

Travis you make some very beautiful points in regards to the pastor and elder issue, I call it an issue because many pastors believe they are elders and I have meet with elders who had zero authority other than deciding what happens with money.

I believe we have taken the offices of ministry and simply clumped them together I don't believe they ever had people specifically prescribed to preach or teach however the elders being overseers could see and identify people of the body who were gifted and if they saw fit appointed them. This however didn't give the pastor any kind of authority over the Elders.

Many believe the Pastoral position has authority over the congregation, I believe their only authority over the congregation is to preach, plain and simply. Something to be noted is that Pastoring was a gift not an office.

I'll give an example, Say I am new to the church and my car breaks down and I need help fixing it. I would then be able to go to the Elders and they as elders would simply recognize who in the body was gifted in mechanics and would be glad to help me. This is the same for the position of pastor they were simply people identified as being gifted in preaching.

I would also note that in MOST cases there were multiple elders to avoid and prevent abuse of power which is why the Elders had to be recognized as one ABOVE reproach and blameless.

However we now have pastor go on power trips and think they are above all and can do anything they want. In our modern system that is it is the elders job to keep the pastor in check and humbled on his authority. 1 Corinthians 14 should be how the church operates but now we only have one pastor and to me that is a straying away from the New Testament Church.


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/11/4 9:31Profile









 Re: The Elbows connected to the Forearm!


Hi mguldner,

There was a thread a while back, which was very helpful in learning about the historical differences between terms like 'pastor', 'elder' and so on, as they appear in scripture. I can't remember how the thread started, and I don't seem to be able to find the first page - and I'm not sure if there is a link on the page anymore, so that one can read the whole thread, but you and Travis would find it well worth the time.

It's called: What is a pastor, and what do they do?

I would be grateful if the first moderator who sees this post, would kindly dig up the link to its first post, so that the discussion can be followed in an orderly manner.

Thank you to Greg, Paul or Christian for your help in this.

 2010/11/4 10:27
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

mguldner: I would say it is perfectly Biblical to say that a pastor, just as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, and teacher, exercise some degree of spiritual authority in the body, but only as they submit themselves to the body as servants. Maybe a better way to say it is that they are called to serve the body in the role of equipping the body to do the work of the ministry and through that service they ultimately find themselves leading the body from that position. They are often called of God to spend great time in the word and in prayer as the apostles who appointed Stephen and the other original deacons were called to do. This being the case, they are typically looked to by the body as those who are more mature, fathers and mothers in the faith so to speak and from this position lead.

Elders are called to oversee the body and exercise authority over the body (Godly authority, not fleshly authority.) They are said Biblically to rule over the body. An "elder" who simply makes financial decisions is not a true elder at all even thought the particular church structure he serves in calls him such. An elder is an elder by definition, not by label. He may be a very great man of God who does great things in the church, but he does not oversee the body in that place and so is not Biblically an elder. Elders are called to minister to the body.

There are many local assembly's with a typical pastoral structure that are healthy and are doing great things for God. I don't think we can simply make a blanket statement and say a pastor led church is wrong. It just does not follow the pattern set down in the new testament and in my opinion will result in the body being shortchanged in a sense and not growing up as it would if the Biblical structure were followed.

True, some pastors are self focused and on a power trip. But it is important to realize that not all are this way and many powerful men of God are leading traditional pastor-led churches and are being used mightily of God in the process.


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Travis

 2010/11/4 20:47Profile





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