The Biblical Responsibilities of An Elder

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The Biblical Responsibilities of An Elder

The rich experiences of old wise men played critical roles in societies and religious communities in the early days, providing guidance. The idea of elders, thus, predates the Church.

An elder is one who is full of wisdom, and wields great influence (positive) within the body of Christ (or a local church). The elders bring their rich wisdom in resolving issues, guiding church decisions, and providing checks and balances.

THE ROLE OF AN ELDER

Though their roles, through history, have changed or evolved, elders still play pivotal roles in the church of Christ today.

What is the role of an elder?

Elders’ roles are diverse. Their responsibilities and services develop continuously as challenges emerge. Here are some of the roles listed:

  1. Provide Leadership (Nums.11:16)
  2. Acts as Judge and Jury (Deut. 22:15-18)
  3. Perform Representative roles (Lev.4:15)
  4. Acts as King makers (Judges 11:11 2Sam.5:3)
  5. Acts as Decision makers and counselors (Jud. 21:16, Ruth 4:11, 1Pet. 5:5)
  6. Provide Oversight (1 Tim 5:17, Titus 1:7, Exo.3:16, 4:6)
  7. Teach and Preach the Word (1 Tim 3:2, 2 Tim 4:2, Titus 1:9)
  8. Exhort and Admonish saints in sound doctrine (1 Tim 4:13, 2 Tim 3:13-17)
  9. Protect the Church from false doctrines (Acts 20:17)
  10. Encourage and Intercede for the sick and weak (James 5:14)

Where does the name Elder Originate from?

It originates from the word “zaqen” in Hebrew which means old or aged or ancient and greater. Another word from elder is senior (Strong’s Concordance).

What does it mean to be an elder?

It means to be well advanced in aged so as to provide experiential counsel and leadership to the younger ones in a bid to curtail their mistakes in the journey of faith and life.

Leadership

There is no particular age mentioned in scriptures to be an elder. Yet, the first instance mentioned in scripture was in Exodus 3:16 when they were referred to as the ‘elders of Israel’, i.e. elderly ones.

What is the Difference between a pastor and elder?

The major difference is the functions. While the pastor ministers to a congregation, he is also accountable to the elders, while the elders perform oversight functions and counsel.

These roles, as described above, are results of changes we’ve witnessed in church advancement over the years. However, the scripture does not exactly differentiate pastors from elders.

This is because, as John Piper puts it, “elders are encouraged in the “pastoral” duties of overseeing and shepherding. In 1 Peter 5:1-2, elders are exhorted to “shepherd” the flock of God that is in their charge, which is the role of a pastor.”

Also, while the pastor could be young or old, the elders must be old.

Who are the Elders In the Old Testament?

These were the mature teachers and tribal leaders (Exodus 3:16).

  1. The 70 elders (Exodus 24:1)
  2. Elders of Israel (Leviticus 9:11).
  3. Elders of Midian (Numbers 22:4).
  4. Elders of Moab (Numbers 22:7).
  5. Elders of the city (Deuteronomy 22:18).

What are the requirements to be an elder?

  1. Must be advanced in age
  2. Possess unquestionable integrity
  3. Irreproachable or no cause for shame
  4. Husband of one wife
  5. Well behaved and godly children
  6. Not open to accusation of being loose on morals or conduct or unruly and disorderly. (Tit. 1:6)

Wrapping Up

No church exists successfully without a formidable team of old wise people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit and are knowledgeable in God’s word. We must give attention to this office, and give a prominent place in church leadership and organization.

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Job Description – Church Minister

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Job Description – Church Minister

The scripture contains many uses of the word minister in different capacities. Exodus 24:13 and Joshua 1:1 explains a minister as attendance to a person of high rank. A minister also means one of the attaches of a royal court (1Kings 10:5; 2 Chronicles 22:8).

Within the context of this topic, the term, diakonos (from which the word deacon comes), perfectly explains who a minister is. It is the term used in relation to the ministry of the gospel. Christ, being the perfect minister of the gospel, is our model minister.

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A look at Christ’s life, gives us what it is to be a minister of the gospel. To be a minister of the gospel is a call to serve. At the root of ministry is service. Jesus declared His ministry in Luke 4, and it is characterized by services. As a minister, you have no other role.

The Minister’s Role

The minister is the glue of the congregation ensuring that everyone feels welcome and engaged in the practice of their faith. Christian ministers lead services for people in church, who gather for regular worship service, or to celebrate special occasions like baptism, confirmation and weddings.

Ministers are strategic in God’s progressive work on earth. Thus, their roles are many and critical to God’s redemption work.

  1. Please God and do His will (John 4:34, 6:29).
  2. Serve God’s people (John 13:1-20)
  3. Preaching of God’s word (Acts 6:2, Luke 4:16-19).
  4. Intercession for everyone (Timothy 2:1-3).
  5. Serves and attend to needs (Acts 6:7, Exo.29)

The difference between a minister and a pastor

According to Strong’s Concordance, the pastor is a minister but a minister may not always be a pastor. However, a minister could be an evangelist or prophet etc. (Eph. 4:11).  Pastor is derived from the Greek word Poimen which means to Shepherd.

Qualities/Skills Applicable to Church Ministers

  1. Proclaiming and Teaching God’s Word
  2. Leading and equipping leaders
  3. Role modeling the church’s mission
  4. Assuring Care (Supports Leadership directing care for our church body)
  5. Proclaiming and Teaching God’s Word
  6. Devoted to prayer

What is ministry in the church?

As stated earlier, a minister is literally a servant or one who serves. This refers to the act of attending to the needs of believers or the saints, for example:

  1. Their Spiritual needs of God’s word and prayers
  2. Their Physical needs of welfare packages and materials
  3. Their emotional needs of care, love and family-hood. (Acts 6:1-7)

What is the mission of the Church?

The mission of the church is to make disciples of the world, (Matt.28:19-20), mostly known as the Great Commission. At the heart of the Great Commission is not just preaching. It is disciple making

“Mission is service to unbelievers and ministry is service to believers.” – Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life)

How Do You Know Your Ministry?

There are two types of ministry i.e. the general and the specific (Purpose Driven Life). The general ministry is the ministry of reconciliation (that by word and deed we might bring others into harmony with Him) 2 Cor. 5:18.

But your specific ministry finds its expression in the general. So, your ministry is your contribution to the overall ministry, which is embedded in the fivefold Ministry, which are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers (Eph.4:11-12).

Church Minister

Rick Warren also noted,

Discover your spiritual gift and then you’ll know what you’re supposed to have.” It actually works the exact opposite way. Just start serving, experimenting with different ministries, and then you’ll discover your gifts. Until you’re actually involved in serving, you’re not going to know what you’re good at.”

How do Church Members get involved?

Simply by service or serving (Mark.10:43, Rom. 12:5). The church, as the body, functions effectively when everyone of its members plays their role. Members are quite strategic in what God is doing through the church. As Rick Warren shared, “We serve God by serving others.”

What are the 7 ministries of the Holy Spirit?

Though several opinions are held on this issue, I believe Isaiah 11:2 clearly reveals these ministries to us. According to this passage, the following are the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit.

  1. The spirit of the Lord
  2. The spirit of wisdom
  3. The spirit of understanding
  4. The spirit of counsel
  5. The spirit of might
  6. The spirit of knowledge
  7. The fear of the Lord

Conclusion

In summary, a minister is an ordained spiritual leader, who holds prayer services, preaches to people in church, leads worship services on Sundays and on holy days, teaches religion classes, and meets with those seeking personal or spiritual direction.

Now, may I ask you a question? Do you know what your responsibilities are as a church member? Hopefully, you’ll appreciate that in whatever capacity a person has been called to serve, selfless and God-glorifying service is at the heart of it.

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The Work of An Evangelist

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The Work of An Evangelist

When you hear or read the word “evangelist” or “evangelism” what comes to mind? Perhaps, you may conjure thoughts of Evangelist Billy Graham, also known as ‘America’s pastor,’ who shaped modern evangelicalism.  Surely, he restored a sense of goodness about the Good News.

Evangelism is the preaching of the message of the gospel of Christ. The renowned preacher of the 19th Century, Charles H. Spurgeon defined evangelism this way:

It is one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread.”

Heaven

An English Archbishop, William Temple gave a unique and elaborate definition on evangelism. He said,

Evangelism is to so present Jesus Christ in the power of Holy Spirit, that men shall come to put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their Savior and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of the church.”

Regarding the above, God is strategic in raising individuals with the capacity for this important role of an evangelist. This is the duty of the evangelist. God has given the message and the evangelist is to be faithful to every word.

The Role of An Evangelist

The primary responsibility is to preach God’s Word, telling people simply and clearly what God says concerning His Son Jesus Christ and what He has done for all.

An evangelist may go out into the community himself/herself, perhaps in a door-to-door ministry, sharing the gospel of Christ with all they meet and inviting them to church.  

Heaven and Hell

This soul winner may conduct regular evangelistic crusades or meetings in other areas for the goal of spreading the gospel and calling others to Christ.

  1. Publisher of glad tidings.
  2. Missionary preacher of the Gospel. Eph 4:11 (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

What is the Biblical Definition of An Evangelist?

Evangelists is derived from the Greek Word “euaggelistes” which means a preacher of the Gospel (Strong’s Concordance). Evangelists proclaim Christ as the center of God’s redemption plan for all of humankind. Through salvation messages, evangelists project Christ and reconcile lost souls to God (Acts 8:4-14; 21:8).

What Does an Evangelist Do?

The Easton Bible Dictionary says of evangelists as itinerant preachers having it as their special function to publicly carry the Gospel to places where it was previously unknown.

Does an Evangelist Have to Be Ordained?

From Scriptures the Only two people who were referred to as Evangelists had hands laid on them which confirmed their ordination, these were Philip first ordained as a Deacon (Acts 6:5-6) but later referred to as Evangelists (Acts 21:8) and Timothy (1 Tim 4:14, 2 Tim 4:5).

So, the Bible approves ordination of evangelists. However, this does not disprove the fact that the Holy Spirit is the most potent anointing we all have received to function in our various offices.

What Are the Qualities of An Evangelist?

  1. Have great oratory skills
  2. They are Bold as they are missionary preachers (Eph. 4: 11)
  3. Unrivaled passion for lost souls

What is the Difference Between a Preacher and An Evangelist?

A lot of Christian leaders such as pastors, teachers, elders or even apostles preach the gospel of Christ. They are often called preachers. Evangelists, however, are empowered and designed to share the gospel. They have been anointed to preach. It is the primary ministry of an evangelist to preach.

How Can I be a Good Evangelist?

The saying you can’t give what you don’t have comes to mind. Beyond the commissioning as evangelists, the evangelist must make fool proof of his/her ministry (2 Timothy 4:5).

For you to publicly declare the word to others you must have sufficient Word of God in you. Being a good evangelist begins first with a deep study of the Word.

Evangelism

Next, the evangelist must have a heart for lost souls. An evangelist who will please the Lord must feel Christ’s love for the lost world. It is also necessary for an evangelist to train himself/herself in the art of speaking.

Wrapping Up

The church is not complete without the roles of evangelists. Having been called, you must assume this role with such reverent fear of God and dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. No evangelist excels in this call without a continuous dependence on God.

So, dear friend, are you ready to do the work of an evangelist?

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7 Things to Remember When Hard Times Hit

7 Things to Remember When Hard Times Hit

March 28,  2020

Juanita McKenzie

Written by Pastor Juanita McKenzie

We all have felt the global impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.  So, what do you do when hard times hit? In this life, we are bound to face trials, challenges, and some unpleasant situations that will break us down and make us feel alone. But Jesus has already told us that all these things will surely come.  

He told us so that we can brace up ourselves and do the right thing. So, when someone says life is hard, there is no argument to that. We face tough situations in different areas of our lives. Some might be battling with their health whilst others might be battling with their finances. Yet, we all face difficulties.

Going through hard times makes you stronger. Everybody will face his or her own challenges in life. Yet, these challenges serve as a stepping stone to greatness if we face them and fight. In order to overcome these hard times in life, there are things that must remain top of mind, things we need to remember.

1. Remember God to Survive Hard Times

If everyone is leaving you alone, family and friends are going, remember God. God will never leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 

This is what the Lord has promised us. If challenges come, God will use them to help strengthen us.  He will be there to help us fight whenever it seems family and friends are leaving us.

Remember God’s love. If God can send his only son to die for us, then are we going to say He has stopped loving us? God has not stopped loving us – his love will show us comfort in hard times. We should not blame God for the bad things happening.

However, many people blame God for their downfall; they blame God for their deteriorating health. God doesn’t want sickness for you; God loves you and He promised to heal.  Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”

2. Nothing Lasts Forever

The truth is that whatever you are facing right now will not last forever. Psalm 30:5 “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” 

There is a time for everything on earth. What you are facing only makes you grow stronger and teaches you to trust in God when hard times come.

It’s not enough to believe that it will be over soon but to know that if it will come again, you will surely overcome it. Since it doesn’t last forever, simply focus on the brighter side, focus on what is good.  

Any time I face a situation that is so unpleasant, I learn to adapt and then look into the future because I know God has better plans for me. So, the situation is just there to prepare me for it. It might look like it will not be over but soon it will be over and the tears will turn to joy.

3. All Things Work Together for Good

Are you sad because of what you are going through right now? Don’t let your present situation weigh you down. Paul struggled with his past life and when he received inspiration from Jesus, he came to this conclusion in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Paul wrote this particular verse of the Bible. You can imagine what he was thinking before writing this. This is coming from someone who had faced great tribulation. He endangered his life by the preaching of the gospel. Yet, he wrote that “All things work together for good.”

If you have been weighed down by your past, or what’s happening to you right now, leave it to Jesus. He will turn all into joy and you will receive strength. Do you remember Jabez, who was born in sorrow?  He was poor and weighed down because of his past. His mother had pronounced evil on him (1 Chronicles 4:9). But Jabez cried out unto the Lord and his story was changed.

4. The Promises of God

Don’t blame God for all that is happening to you, but remember God’s promises. Don’t let what’s happening now hide the promise of God away from your sight. If God promises a thing, He will always do it because He honors His word. 

Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

God promised a wonderful ending not otherwise. So, we shouldn’t think it’s over for us when a little problem hits us but look into the promises. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expected end.”

5. The Name of Jesus

When we are in danger and we need help, what we often do is to shout for help. In this same manner, for us to be saved from hard times, we need to call on the name of the Lord. 

Romans 10:13 “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” When you call on the name of the Lord, He answers and saves you not only from the destruction but also from the guilt of sin.  Also, from temptations, trials, hell, and from the judgment of God that will befall on the wicked ones.

The Lord Himself told us to call Him in times of our trouble and He will deliver us (Psalm 50:15).  It’s never too late to call on the Lord. Whatever situation you are in right now, the best thing you need to do is to call on Jesus. Psalm 145:18 “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

The blind man, Bartimaeus, when he heard Jesus coming, he didn’t mind his situation – he called on Jesus. Imagine what he must have gone through with his blindness, frustration, and rejections.   

Yet, he couldn’t let this opportunity be wasted – he cried for mercy; he cried because he wanted to be saved. Because Jesus is near to those that call him, He answered him and saved him. Don’t allow anybody to silence you, don’t allow your thoughts to silence you, but instead, cry out to Jesus for help.

6. Remember God’s Grace

You are not better than those that faced the same challenges you are facing but couldn’t get through.  Some have lost their battle with the same sickness, which you survived. You are not better, but it’s just the grace of God you are enjoying. 

His grace has been there for you and whatever you go through, remember that His grace is enough for you. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

7. Your Divine Assignment

You are not in this world for nothing; you have been created for a purpose. God has chosen you so you cannot let any situation change that. Focus on the purpose, be purpose driven and not situation driven. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Remember the relationship you have in Christ. Whatever God says we are, depends on the type of relationship we have with Him. For those that are far from Him, those that don’t obey what He says, He called them “The wicked.”  He will pass judgment on them.

2 Timothy 3:3 “They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” These are the typical characteristics of  wicked people. This is not your own fate as you have Christ and a purpose. Remember the purpose and let it take you through the hard times.

Keeping the Faith When Hard Times Hit

Remember that the first step in staying calm and holding your faith when hard times hit is to meditate on God’s Word. Your circumstances are merely a temporary inconvenience and won’t last forever. Surely, all things in the end always work for your ultimate good. 

Pray with faith and continue to focus on the promises of God. And when in danger, call on His name. God’s grace is sufficient for us. Keep renewing your mind and building up your faith in God for you were created with a great purpose. 

Nurture your spirit, soul and body and continually offer praise and thanksgiving unto your Heavenly Creator. Following these tips will help you to deal with the hard times when they eventually hit.

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During Trying Times, Don’t Lose Faith

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During Trying Times, Don’t Lose Faith

Everywhere you turn in this world it seems to be complete disorder and confusion.  We in the body of Christ must and should understand that God is a God of order. 

You Must Pass the Test!

In a time like this, we should not lose faith but trust God because He is the only way. In this hour your faith is going to be tested and you are going to be tried but remember: 

Habakkuk 3:19 says “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights…” You may ask ‘What does it mean to rely on God’s strength?’ 

It means taking our hands off of our situation and giving it to God. 

Hard Times

 

Philippians 4:6-7 says, 6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

The name of our God is powerful!  COVID-19 has to bow at the name of Jesus. 

Cancer has to die at the name of Jesus. 

Demons must flee at that name. 

There is healing in the mighty name of Jesus. Peace, joy, and deliverance are in the name of Jesus. In this season we need to lean and depend on Jesus. 

1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” 

1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 

So, when hard times hit, don’t allow your present situation to break you or cause you to bend. Keep your eyes focused on the big picture, the prize which is Christ Jesus your El Shaddai, the only wise one. 

Listen! 

God loves you, He cares for you. And He has you on His mind.

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