Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Church Governance (8)

Elders exercise oversight.

This is an important role, because the enemy is always prowling around looking for someone to devour. False teachers and deceivers will try to lead Christians astray.

Oversight is not control, so elder exercise oversight in two ways.

  1. They should always pray for those whom the Holy Spirit has placed in their care. They can join together to stand against the spiritual forces that are attacking the flock.

  2. If Christians have chosen to submit to them, they can also give advice, but they will know that their advice can be ignored, They will not demand to be obeyed or respected. Good elders give advice in a way that does not make people depend on them Their goal will to be teach believers to listen to the Holy Spirit and receive his advice. They may sometimes challenge behaviour or attitudes, but they will need to be care careful they are worried about the same thing as that the Holy Spirit is worried about. Otherwise, they will be warning about the wrong things.

The elder’s role is mostly praying. When they get the opportunity to go beyond that because a person has submitted to them, they are limited in what they can do, because they are not seeking control, and because they do not want to create dependence. They are always pointing to Jesus, and pushing people to listen to the Holy Spirit and obey his voice to follow Jesus.

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