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Pilgrim
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Plurality of Elders #54908
Mon May 07, 2018 1:05 PM
Mon May 07, 2018 1:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,481
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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What advice if any would you give to a pastor who believes in a plurality of elders and believes that the situation he finds himself in as the only elder is unhealthy.
His delemna is although he has been trying to identify and disciple potential elders in the body to become elders. After several years of doing so, nobody is ready for such a responsibility.
A few years ago, he thought he found one; but unfortunately his trying to push the man to become ready ended up with the man and his family leaving the Church with hard feelings. This is something the pastor admitted he was most responsible for; because he started to become impatient with him.
He is fairly happy with the direction the Church is going otherwise.

Tom

Re: Plurality of Elders [Re: Tom] #54909
Mon May 07, 2018 3:28 PM
Mon May 07, 2018 3:28 PM
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NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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It is commendable that this pastor "has been trying to identify and disciple potential elders..."

But.... there is another 'side' to this matter of eldership. Let's see what the apostle Paul wrote as a preface to the qualifications of an elder:

1 Timothy 3:1 (ASV) "Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."

The point is, there should be a seeking for potential elders by both the elder(s) who are currently serving in a local church AND by those members who desire the eldership. And... the congregation should also be able to recognize, at least externally, those men who exhibit those qualities which would commend a man for eldership and share that information with both the elder(s) and the man/men themselves.

Remember, Scripture does NOT teach there are two separate offices of elder; teaching and ruling. The requirements and qualifications apply to the ONE OFFICE of elder and thus to all who are set apart to that office to SERVE the body of Christ, the Church. The terms 'pastor', 'elder', 'bishop' are synonymous and should not be understood as separate offices within the Christian Church.


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Re: Plurality of Elders [Re: Pilgrim] #54910
Mon May 07, 2018 5:37 PM
Mon May 07, 2018 5:37 PM
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim
Everything you have said here is what I believe and I think it is safe to say that this particular pastor agrees with.
Part of the problem I see lies in the fact the people that I think might be qualilified for the office of elder, are too busy with large family and work to commit to that responsibility.
I do not want to leave you with the impression that it is all a one man show. That is not the case, in fact there are a lot of people involved in various Church related activities. He also has a few men on whom he confides in on various issue.
About 5-6 years ago, there were actually about 5 elders. A few were elderly and needed to step down and a few were actually left over from before the current pastor and were Arminians. The later causing quite the friction in the leadership to say the least.
When they left the Church, a lot left with them; which I believe was actually a good thing. Mainly because the pastor insisted on following the statement of faith of the denomination.
Tom

Re: Plurality of Elders [Re: Tom] #54911
Mon May 07, 2018 6:46 PM
Mon May 07, 2018 6:46 PM
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NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Originally Posted by Tom

Part of the problem I see lies in the fact the people that I think might be qualilified for the office of elder, are too busy with large family and work to commit to that responsibility.

Those who aren't willing to take on the responsibility of serving as an elder are, in fact, not qualified. For, Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes clear that those who are qualified have a desire to serve and the responsibility of that office is not a discouragement to them but rather a motivation. He, Paul, also makes clear that the majority of elders will be married and have children 1Tim 3:2,4,5; Titus 1:6.


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Re: Plurality of Elders [Re: Pilgrim] #54912
Tue May 08, 2018 12:14 AM
Tue May 08, 2018 12:14 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
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Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim
I have actually never thought of it that way. It is not that people do not have a desire to serve, in fact we have an active Church. It is just that at present nobody seems to want to be an elder.
I know my pastor is discouraged; despite the fact he doesn't complain. He knows the last time he tried to push someone, it did not end well. To that end, he admitted that it revealed an idol in his heart, because he was trying to push his own agenda; rather than just be faithful and work within God's timetable. By the way, my pastor is very busy with a wife and two boys, the oldest with a lot of health concerns. I think you can imagine, the pressures he is under.
Through all of this however, he has said that he is happier with the direction our local body is going than any time of his pastorate. I kind of understand his reasoning for this; no one is complaining about "Calvinism" and the Church is growing both spiritually and numbers wise. By the way, this past weekend he got his doctorate and one of my favourite theologians preached at it. Dr. Steve Lawson.

Tom


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