What does Biblical Eldership Look Like?

CSXD2ShWoAILC8s.jpg-largePicture taken from the induction of David Miller on the Isle of Skye at Duirinish Free Church 

One of the things I love about our denomination is our magazine – The Monthly Record. You can now get it online here. Even if you are not a Free Church-er, there is plenty in it that will bless. I started reading the magazine before I came into the Free Church, and I always found it stimulating, biblical and relevant. This month is no different – and one of the articles that really stands out is an article by Robin Sydserff (Chalmers) on Training Elders. Robin’s article is relevant no matter which denominational stream you belong to. You can read the whole article for free here – but here are the headlines.

An outline of Biblical Eldership

Elders lead the church

“Under Christ who is the head, those entrusted with earthly leadership in the church are elders.”

Elders lead by teaching the Bible

“What distinguished the biblical office of elder from a deacon is the ability to teach.”

Not the only thing elders do

Jeremy Rinne describes the biblical responsibilities of elders as follows:

1) Smell like sheep (thinking like elders, not trustees)

2) Serve up the Word (teaching the Bible

3) Track down the strays

4) Lead without lording

5) Shepherd together

6) Model maturity

7) Pleas for the flock (praying)

8) Be conscious of the eternal weight of shepherding (as those who will be called to account)

How to develop a more biblical eldership

  1. Meet regularly
  2. Change the culture of our meetings
  • Praying together
  • Studying the Bible
  • Talking about what is going on in church life
  • Talking about people
  1. Keep reminding one another of how big a deal it is to be an elder
  2. Change what we do as elders to what the bible says we should do
  3. Develop our ability to teach the bible
  4. Care better for the church family
  5. Take our responsibility for the oversight of different ministries more seriously
  6. Be accountable and responsible to one another

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