Relationships are the glue that holds a church together. Friendships are the you join this church? - 93% of the members said, I joined because of the pastor. Feb 9, The members of churches owe all their duties in a way of obedience to the will Pastors of churches have a divine right to their support, if the church is Learn more about the relationship between TGC and the blogs we are. Mar 29, The job of ministry calls for a greater level of effectiveness of relationships. In any other profession, things still work out even if relationships are.
Look again at Acts Do you see the point? The Holy Spirit appoints elders as overseers so that they can shepherd the flock of God. Pastoral care is provided for the flock when the elders properly manage and the flock ministers. Is this not what we see taking place in Acts chapter 6?
I remember going to lunch with an elder of a local church and an inquisitive seminary student. The student asked this elder how many people he felt he could personally pastor. In any church, there are going to be far too few elders to meet the pastoral needs of the congregation, even if they were capable of meeting these needs as an individual.
The only solution is for the elders to manage the flock in such a way as to encourage and equip all the saints for the work of ministry. Just how are the saints equipped for ministry? By and large, the summary answer is this: But we must pursue this further by suggesting some of the functions of good management.
Two of the primary means of equipping the saints for ministry are suggested in Acts 6: But we must devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word Acts 6: Good management always supplies those who are to serve with the means to accomplish the task. In the realm of Christian service, two of the primary means are prayer and biblical instruction. In Christian ministry it is ultimately only God who can equip men for service: Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.
By praying for the flock to the One Who equips the flock, Christians are empowered and equipped for ministry to one another. Then, the saints are equipped as the Scriptures are expounded: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work 2 Timothy 3: Another means of encouraging and equipping the saints is by our own example in ministering to others: Remember those who led you, who spoke the Word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith Hebrews I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me 1 Corinthians 4: Nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock 1 Peter 5: While the Scriptures do not dogmatically teach this, they do imply that the elders should encourage the saints to minister by publicly recognizing the gifts and ministries of individuals in the body.
And Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles which translated means, Son of Encouragement. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery 1 Timothy 4: Now I realize that this text does not mention any as being elders, though it would appear that this call included the leadership of the church at Antioch.
It is interesting, however, that the Holy Spirit does not specify what the work is to which these men have been called. I would suggest that the Spirit confirmed the calling and ministry of these two men by including the leaders of the church in identifying or confirming the ministry to which these two had been called, and in which I assume they had proven themselves effective.
While we do not have time to pursue other ways in which the elders would exercise managerial functions to equip the flock for ministry one to another, those mentioned above are surely not all-inclusive, but simply suggestive. The Relation Between Elders and Deacons in Managing the Flock of God A serious error is distressingly common when it comes to the relationship of elders and deacons concerning the work of the pastoral care of the flock. Some suppose wrongly that the elders alone are to pastor the flock.
The elders, then, are responsible for the spiritual care of the flock, and the deacons take up the merely physical tasks. As a deacon in our church put it: Several observations will help to clarify this point: You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.
Shepherding the flock implies seeing that every need of the flock is met. In Acts 6, the apostles 6 were informed of the neglect of the Hellenistic widows, and they responded in such a way that we must assume the responsibility was ultimately theirs. They considered the problem and laid down guidelines for its solution. In Acts 11, we are told of the prophets who came to Antioch and prophesied of a coming famine in Judea. The saints at Antioch responded by taking up a collection, and this they sent to the elders Acts Deacons, in the Scriptures, have very high qualifications, nearly identical to those for elders.
In Acts 6, the qualifications for the seven assistants were unusually high, especially so, if one looks at these men only as table waiters: But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task Acts 6: Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households 1 Timothy 3: If the qualifications of deacons are so high, can it be that their work is that different from that of elders?
While the tasks performed by the elders are well covered by the Scriptures 8apart from the probable reference in Acts 6, no duties are outlined in the New Testament. The only satisfying explanation is that the duties of the deacons are similar to those of the elders; specifically, the deacons are to be assistants of the elders. In this case, there is no need for any further discussion of the duties of deacons other than what is said of the elders. Deacons, like elders, are to function as managers, not ministers.
They are not to minister as much as they are to administer.
We have already shown that the way the elders pastor the flock is by overseeing or managing the ministry of the flock to one another. Also, we have observed that deacons as well as elders must meet the qualification of being good managers in their own homes.
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All of this inclines us to the conclusion that deacons help the elders by assisting them in the administration of the flock. The best proof text is that passage which is often employed to prove the opposite point. Many turn to Acts 6 to show that the apostles delegated physical matters to the deacons, while keeping the spiritual task for themselves. It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word Acts 6: We must begin by accepting the fact that the apostles recognized the neglect of the Hellenistic widows as ultimately their responsibility.
They determined that the complaint was legitimate, and they outlined the solution of the problem. The elders assumed the responsibility for the entire problem, which was both physical and spiritual.
There is a great difference between the responsibility of doing and that of getting it done. One is ministration, while the other is administration. The sad fact of church life is that both elders and deacons are running themselves ragged, assuming every task of the ministry. Their function is to see that the needs of the flock are met by managing the ministry in such a way that all the saints minister to one another. The distinction that is to be found between the duties of elders and those of the deacons is not one of spiritual versus physical needs, but of differing levels of administration.
Both elders and deacons function as managers, but on different levels. It is to the biblical principles of management or leadership that I would like to draw your attention. Leadership should be thought of more in terms of occupation than an office, more in terms of service than of status. Paul wrote to Timothy. While a man is encouraged to seek the office of elder, he is to view it as an occupation, a work.
Shepherd the flock of God among you, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock 1 Peter 5: This was a lesson that came hard to the disciples of our Lord, who continually thought of their place as one of status: And calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.
But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all Mark Perhaps I am seeing too much in the two primary passages which deal with the role of elders, but in each case, they are addressed as being leaders among the flock, rather than over the flock: Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood Acts Shepherd the flock of God among you, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness 1 Peter 5: Paul understood this principle well.
In the context of addressing the problem of holding some in higher authority than others, Paul could write, Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God 1 Corinthians 4: Again Paul wrote, Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm 2 Corinthians 1: In the unbelieving world, men reluctantly serve, hoping by this means some day to lead.
In the Scriptures, men lead, so that by this means they may serve. Someone in church shared that the test of whether or not we are truly servants is how we react when people treat us like a servant. I have been impressed in my study for this message that this attitude toward leadership makes it easy for some to lightly esteem us.
This was evidently the case in New Testament times cf. We can see in both 1 and 2 Corinthians a lack of regard for Paul and his apostleship among the Corinthians.
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Meekness in the eyes of the world is little different than weakness. A macho mentality of leadership has no place in Christian service. The Scriptures make it clear that members of the congregation are to be in submission to their leaders: Now I urge you, brethren you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saintsthat you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors 1 Corinthians Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account.
Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you Hebrews While it is necessary to submit to the authority of the elders, it is also important to recognize the source of that authority. While it may be true to some extent that the office itself has some authority, the ultimate authority lies in the Scriptures themselves.
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O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Thy precepts Psalm In the final analysis, the elders cannot force anyone to submit husbands, listen well!Finding Happiness in Relationships - Pastor Steven Furtick
They must ultimately rest in the Spirit of God to convince men of the truth of the Word of God. Their confidence must be in the God who is able to change the minds and hearts of men. This is why Paul can say, Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude God will reveal that to you Philippians 3: The elders seem to feel they must make all the personal decisions for the members of their congregations, even down to the car they buy or sell, and the job they choose.
What a far different situation we find in the New Testament. But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity 1 Corinthians All of us like to give advice to others. An elder is faced with the added temptation of giving advice under the pretext of counsel, or worse yet, of elderly care, to which the individual must submit.
I believe Paul spoke to this kind of error in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. In the church, men were being exalted above others. Part of the problem was caused by those who attempted to apply authority that went beyond Scripture. Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against another 1 Corinthians 4: Let us be careful to distinguish between biblical truth, counsel based upon wisdom and experience, and personal opinion, based upon our own preferences and preconceived ideas.
In addition to the authority of the Scriptures, the godly life and conduct of an elder gives credence and credibility to their position cf. A godly life causes others to listen to what we have to say. Church office is not solely a matter of spirituality or faithfulness, but a matter of gift and divine calling. In many churches, the office of elder or deacon is handed out like a gold watch for years of faithful service.
Since most people have a hard time remembering names, especially in a larger church, use nametags as often as you can. Nothing is more embarrassing than not knowing the name of someone youve seen at church for years.
Although weve used all kinds of events to build relationships within our church family supper clubs, sports, game nights, picnics, etc. If youre a church planter and you want to develop relationships quickly in your church, take everybody on a retreat.
4 key relationships pastors and church leaders must maintain
Encourage every member to join a small group Another effective tool for building relationships is small groups. Not only do they help people connect with one another, they also allow your church to maintain a small church feeling of fellowship as it grows.
Small groups can provide the personal care and attention every member deserves no matter how big the church becomes. Its unlikely that very many new members will join existing small groups. New members assimilate best into new groups. You can even start new groups right out of your membership class.
New members have their newness in common. One of the sayings I repeat over and over to our staff and lay leaders is - Our church must always be growing larger and smaller at the same time. By that I mean there must be a balance between the large group celebration and the small group cells.
Both are important to the health of a church. The large group celebrations give people the feeling that theyre a part of something significant. Large group meetings are impressive to unbelievers and are encouraging to your members. But you cant share personal prayer requests in the Crowd. Small affinity groups, on the other hand, are perfect for creating a sense of intimacy and close fellowship.
Its there that everybody knows your name. When youre absent people notice. Youre missed if you dont show up. Because Saddleback existed for fifteen years without owning a building, weve had a heavy reliance on small groups for our adult education and fellowship. Using homes allowed us to expand numerically and geographically without investing any money in buildings. Even though we now own a acre campus, we will continue to use homes for our small group meetings. In addition to being biblical, there are four benefits of using homes: They are infinitely expandable homes are everywhere ; They are unlimited geographically you can minister to a wider area ; Its good stewardship you use buildings that other people pay for!
The larger your church grows, the more important small groups become for handling the pastoral care functions. They provide the personal touch that everyone needs, especially in a crisis.