Pastors and Elders; Is there a difference?

jesusisthegoodshepherdI write this article from personal experience. Whatever denomination you are part of, as a follower of Jesus Christ, your local church has a form of “government”. The English word “government” comes to us via Old French, according to Online Etymology Dictionary. The meaning is “control, direction, administration”. The origin of the Old French word is of course the Latin, “gubernare”. The Romans borrowed the word from the Greeks, modifying the Greek word “kybernan” (pronounced cybernan). It was a nautical term for steering a ship in the right direction. A local church is made up of redeemed sinners who still fight a moment by moment battle against their sin nature and as a result, they need to be guided through life. God created man to be led by Him. Once mankind rebelled against God, we traded God’s leadership for the leadership of others. We still need to be led, even to this day. Communities and relationships fall apart if there is not strong leadership. Your local church needs leadership. God has provided leadership in the local church, just like He has established leadership in local, secular government. When God set the guidelines for leadership in the church, He chose mature believers who had certain experience and spiritual giftings to lead. God chooses what spiritual girts we receive upon salvation and He also provides ministry (service) for those gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. Biblically speaking, people do not choose a path to leadership in the church. God equips them and calls them according to His desire. In order to understand church leadership, we need to examine a couple of passages in the New Testament, passages that were written under the inspiration of God and these passages are the heart of God when it comes to church leadership. Continue reading

The Apostle Paul on Leadership (Acts 20)

Leadership-2Yesterday, I was watching a video of a Bible study that our church leadership did a few years ago as we met and planned the upcoming year for us at that time. It was an amazing day. As a leadership team, we hiked about 18-20 miles, visiting villages, sharing the Gospel, doing Bible study, and planning. It was a great day of fellowship and brotherhood. We even found time to take a nap beside a lake under some shade trees during the hottest part of the day. All the memories came flooding back as I watched the Bible study session. I wanted to write an article with the teachings from Acts 20, given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul. I linked to the verses, or, you can open your own Bible and read the account, starting in verse 15 and going through the end of the chapter. As we studied the passage, we looked at what we learned about Paul and the commands Paul gave to the Ephesian elders. From these two aspects, we have much to learn about Biblical leadership.

I. Insights about Paul

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Portrait of a believer from Titus

As I am teaching through Paul’s epistle to Titus, it has been eye opening to see the description of the followers of Jesus Christ, those who bear His Name as Christians. I would like to share that here in this article. Because there are so many cultural “Christians” in our world today, it is very difficult to get a grasp on what a genuine Christian looks and acts like. In order to discover the Truth on this subject, we need to turn to the perfect Word of God to find our answer. God’s description of a Christian is what matters, not our own thoughts and ideas. This lesson can be very eye opening to those who are cultural “Christians”. Take a moment to read Titus 1. Continue reading

Bondservants, Saints, Elders, and Deacons oh my!

As I am teaching through Philippians during my Monday night Bible study, I am amazed to see how clear and practical the Word of God is. It really is for daily living. God really has given us all that we need for life and godliness. This week, we are taking a look at 4 words mentioned in Philippians 1:1. The 4 words are 1) bondservant 2)saint 3)elder 4)deacon

In order to understand these words and what was meant by saying this, I would like to divide these 4 into 2 groups of 2. Continue reading