Jottings – As Goes the Oversight So Goes the Assembly

“Assembly

…it is well to remember that assemblies are, to a very great extent, what the oversight makes them. If we know the spiritual condition and order of the oversight, we know what to expect in the meeting. If the former is composed of wise, godly, well-taught and well-balanced men, the same characteristics will be manifest through the rank-and-file of the meeting. Hence the deep importance of overseers being divinely fitted for their office and work, in order that they may be ensamples to the flock.

 

Hinman, C. H. “Divine Qualifications For Oversight.” Ed. J R Caldwell. Witness XXXIV. — New Series, XIV. –04 1904: 165-67. Print. Emphasis Original.

PDF available here.

 

Special thanks to brother Jack Spender who referred to this excellent article at the 2015 Workers and Elders Conference. Audio is available here. Address #10.

 

 

 

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Should Local Assemblies Have Recognized Elders?

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Brother Gary McBride has an excellent post today on the assemblyHUB blog entitled Should We Have Elders Today? In his article brother Gary outlines why he believes local assemblies (churches) should have elders. He supports his position by looking at relevant scriptures passages and by exploring a few real life considerations.

While this topic may seem strange– most Protestant church groups practice some form of eldership and the New Testament seems to clearly teach eldership– there are some groups who hold to the teaching that elders are not for today.

Gary writes in part:

The premise of this article is that the office was introduced at the beginning of this age and is applicable for the whole period. In the epistles there are at least six references to elders. The references are as follows: Philippians 1:1, 1Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9; James 5:14; and 1Peter 5:1-4. To these could be added Acts 20:17 and 28, though Acts is narrative and not necessarily normative. Paul is giving a discourse that includes doctrine. There are also four verses that reference those who rule or who are in authority: 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; and Hebrews 13:7, 17.

and…

A plurality in leadership, elders or overseers is the most likely expectation of the reader of the New Testament. Most individuals reading through the Bible would assume that the pattern seen and the topic spread thoughout the New Testament would be visible today. It may be true that the church in the Western world is far from the simplicity and spirituality of the early church, but that is not necessarily true in the entire world. In addition, there is no scripture either stated or implied that indicates the office of elder is to cease.

and…

Experientially I have found that with or without recognition someone has to take leadership. Regardless of the size of the assembly and the mechanics of decision making, someone or a plurality has to take the lead. In assemblies without designated elders either the majority of the men take leadership or only certain men are invited to be in leadership. It seems to me that in many ways it is merely a matter of semantics – there are men in leadership but the word “elders” is not used.

I encourage you to read Gary’s full article here.

 

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Full disclosure: I am a member of the assemblyHUB.com leadership team.
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Jottings – The Elders Are Not Above The Flock

The Elders Are Not Above The Flock


Commenting on 1 Peter 5:1 ~~

“The elders are among the flock, not above the flock.”

 
Gunning, Brian. “A Snapshot of the Shepherd’s Life.” Shepherding Conference 2014. Greenwood Hills Bible Camp, Fayetteville, PA. Sept. 19, 2014. Address.

 

 

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Events: Shepherding Conference 2014


 
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One of the greatest needs in the assemblies today is for gifted shepherds (pastors – Ephesians 4:11) to do the hard work of an elder (1 Timothy 3:1, 5:17). So many today desire a “position,” however very few are actively doing the work.

The Shepherding Conference will be held, Lord willing, September 18-20 to encourage and equip brethren to do the work of a shepherd. In past years the conference has been well attended by concerned brethren and very well received.

Teachers: Brian Gunning (ON), Bruce Hulshizer (PA), Keith Keyser (PA), Joe Reese (ON)
When: September 18-20, 2014
Where: Greenwood Hills Bible Conference & Camp, 7062 Lincoln Way East, Fayetteville, PA 17222
Who: Men of all ages
Details: Here

 

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Related Digital Sojourner posts:
Which Church? New Testament Churches Were Guided By Overseers
Titus 1:6-9 A Closer Look At Elders
Titus 1:10-11 Why Such High Standards For Elders?

 

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1 Corinthians 5:6-8 Churches Should Be Pure

 

 

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV

 

Does it really matter if one member of a church commits a moral sin? Surely as long as most people are ok, the church is ok. That is not what the Bible teaches.

Watch this one to see how one person’s sin can affect a whole church.

 

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This is the 31st video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

Jump back to the first video in this series…

To be continued…

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Flashback: This Week Last Year [2012 Week #15]

Facebook buys InstagramThis week last year the world’s number one social media site purchased the widely popular photo sharing service Instagram for an estimated $1,000,000,000 in cash and stock. [source]

Initial reaction on various social media sites was overwhelmingly negative. However one year later Instagram is still growing as fast as ever with over 100,000,000 active users as of February. [source]

During the 15th week of 2012 Digital Sojourner posted a number of interesting articles including:

Enjoy this flashback to 2012 week #15 on Digital Sojourner!

 

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Jottings – Plurality of Elders

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Never is a church mentioned as having only one elder. The one instance where an individual “loved to have the pre-eminence,” the man concerned was under apostolic censure — he didn’t even receive the apostle John himself (3 John 1:9)!

Hamilton, G. Fred. (1985). Why? New Testament Principles Today? New Jersey: Christian Missions in Many Lands, Inc. p. 10.

 

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Titus 1:10-11 Why Such High Standards For Elders?

 

This is the seventh video in a series of teaching videos on the book of Titus. You can find the first video here.

Why is the list of credentials for elders so tough?

Do they really need to be of such a high standard?

It looks as if they have to be pretty capable Bible Teachers as well as shepherds, carers and leaders. This latest vblog explains from Titus chapter one what the elders in the fairly new church in Crete faced and how God had equipped the elders to handle the situation. It’s not so different today!

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Jump to the next post in this series of posts of Titus.

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Titus 1:6-9 A Closer Look At Elders

 

This is the sixth video in a series of teaching videos on the book of Titus. You can find the first video here.

As discussed in our prior video on verse 5 one of the two key tasks that Paul gave to Titus was to identify elders to care for the new believers. In the verses before us today, Titus 1:6-9, we continue to explore what God’s word has to say about elders.

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Jump to the next post in this series…

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Which Church? New Testament Churches Were Guided By Overseers

Which Church?

The responsibility for leadership in New Testament assemblies devolved upon overseers, (often translated ‘bishop’ in the King James Version). These men are also described as being elders, that is, men of a mature spiritual experience, 1 Timothy 3:6. They were not elected by the congregation, but appointed by the sovereign choice of the Holy Spirit, Acts 20:28. Certain qualifications had to be met, and these are outlined in 1 Timothy chapter 3, and Titus chapter 1.

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