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Healthy Church: Plurality of Elders

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Stephen Johns

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Healthy Church: Plurality of Elders

Healthy Church: Plurality of Elders
Some men seem more effective
Practical Evidences
Do the Christians who know me best consistently affirm my gifts for the ministry?
Why is there such a struggle with this issue?
The Reformed tradition of Ruling vs. Teaching Elders
Ruling and Teaching and Audience Demographics
Is gifting based on the size, age, or gender of the audience?
A Baseline Understanding of the responsibilities of all Elders
All Elders are responsible to feed the flock
All Elders are responsible to be recognized by other Elders and the congregation for this skill
All Elders are responsible to defend the flock from error
All Elders are responsible to instruct the flock in a way that results in maturity
The key role of an Elder is the ministry of the Word in the instruction of others
Able to Teach: A Biblical Definition
The unique and God given ability to communicate the truths of the Word to Believers and the lost in a way that brings them to a point of change.
Understanding 'Able to Teach'
Unique: This is a recognition that it is identifiable and specifically more than discipleship
God-given ability: This is recognizing that it is a spiritual gift from God
To communicate the truths of the Word: This is recognizing that it is in the area of spiritual truth
To Believers: This is recognizing that its use is for the edification of the church and the sanctification to individual Believers
To the Lost: This is in recognition of the use of this gift in dealing with both gospel proclamation and false teacher identification and vaccination
Bringing them to a point of change: This recognizes that change is the responsibility of the listener and helpful application is the responsibility of the speaker
Would we say that a person is a children's servant, apostle, or organizer?
Would we claim that if a person could organize only one other person that they are gifted as an organizer?
The real manifestation of the gift of teaching in regards to a man being an elder is the application of that gift to the corporate body of the church.
The observation that some men seem more effective in preaching and teaching
The divide between teaching and preaching
A failure to understand a baseline definition based on the responsibilities and expectations of all Elders
1 Timothy 5:17

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
The divide between teaching and preaching
This is essentially a cultural and not a biblical issue. Both must be rich with content, passion, and application. The closest you may come is to call preaching 'heralding' where it is much less of a conversation and much more of a proclamation. But this is a methodological difference and not a theological distinctive in the gift itself.
Do I like to teach all kinds of people in all kinds of settings?
Do I like to read?
Do I have the skills necessary?
Does he have the knowledge and training to refute false teachers?
Does he have the courage to confront false teachers and errant Believers?
Are other edified by his teaching?
Do they actively disciple others?
Does he demonstrate an ability to help others become more like Christ in private settings?
Do they study the Word to bring it to bear on life decisions?
Full transcript