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#37647 - Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:13 PM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Johan]  
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Johan said:
And this relates directly to Robin's original question. Does this requirement mean that the person "nominated" to be an elder must already have the gift of being able to instruct other people in sound doctrine of should he get some training after being ordained as elder so that he is able to instruct? Not all people really have the ability/gift to teach/instruct other people.

Johan


Both Johan. That is why the requirements are many. The elder must be mature in THE FAITH. Blameless, not a new convert. This was my point in the above post. Age is not a determining factor. I believe a young person can posess the pauline requirements. Look at many of the reformers. They were in their teens and twenties when they begin expounding the Word.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
#37648 - Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:50 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Joe k]  
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If my church needs Elders, I'll be looking around within the church for guys who are already "elding" (discipling and teaching others - whether individually or teaching a Bible study or Sunday school class; someone who already meets the Biblical requirements. And someone who, once nominated, would seek (and get, at no cost to himself), even further training.

I don't think we should nominate "trainees" (per se) as officers and then train them. But I do think that Deacons who are already "deaking" and Elders who are already "elding" should be acknowledged, nominated, given further education in the Word and doctrine, and appointed to positions they "already" occupy. Wha'd'y'think?

#37649 - Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:52 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim said:

And just an aside, this same allocation of authority within the Eldership seems to also apply to the distinction between Elders and Deacons. In many churches I have been involved with, Deacons are looked upon as "second-class" officers, which bothered me to no little extent. Any thoughts on this?


I would agree that it IS a problem, because I think the office of deacon actually could be used as a counterweight if the elders fell into sin. What I would like to see, for example, would be that the elders have final authority over SPIRITUAL issues, but the deacons would have authority over FINANCIAL matters. (I realize some if not most Presbyterian elders would not like this at all.)

I guess it seems to me that a church with absolute authority by the elders over all things could wind up finding the elders voting themselves financial benefits they really might not be due.

In Anglican churches the clergy have jurisdiction over spiritual matters, but the vestry (lay officers) has jurisdiction over temporal matters including financial--which does serve as a counterbalance to any clergy who fall into financial temptation.

Theo

#37650 - Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:34 PM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Theo]  
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Theo said:
What I would like to see, for example, would be that the elders have final authority over SPIRITUAL issues, but the deacons would have authority over FINANCIAL matters. (I realize some if not most Presbyterian elders would not like this at all.)


In our churches we have the following system: We have to kinds of offerings. (1) An offering that is given by member to maintain the preaching of the Word in the congregation. This means that the minister's "salary" (we don't call it a salary but I don't know the correct English word for it) comes from that offering as well as expenses to maintain the physical infrastructure. The elders have responsibility for how this is spent. (2) During the worship service there is a collection that is used by the Deacons for financially supporting people in the congregation who are in need. And, they sometimes also help people outside the congregation as well. Once a year the Deacons report to the Elders on their activities.

However, we don't see the Deacons' task as merely collecting and distributing money. Some reflection on Acts 6:1 will show that what is being said there is not merely a matter about material things. It is about believers caring for each other. The Deacons has this caring task as their duty but they also have to encourage the members of the congregation to by themselves care for other members of the body of Christ.

I also would like to thank all of you who participated in this discussion started by Robin. For me it was most useful to participate and to hear what others have to say about the duties etc of elders in the church. On August 25 we had an elders' meeting where we discussed a lot of matters about the office of elder and the practical aspects of our service in the congregation. I now have to write a proposal for church council about some practical aspects in the way forward. This afternoon I met with two fellow elders to discuss the basics of the proposal. I can assure you that this discussion helped me a lot so that I could firmly set the boudaries within which I think we should move forward. They agreed with me on these basic principles, one of which is that the teaching/instruction aspect of the office of elder should be expanded.


Johan

#37651 - Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:35 PM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Joe k]  
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Quote
Joe k said:
Quote
Johan said:
And this relates directly to Robin's original question. Does this requirement mean that the person "nominated" to be an elder must already have the gift of being able to instruct other people in sound doctrine of should he get some training after being ordained as elder so that he is able to instruct? Not all people really have the ability/gift to teach/instruct other people.

Johan


Both Johan. That is why the requirements are many. The elder must be mature in THE FAITH. Blameless, not a new convert. This was my point in the above post. Age is not a determining factor. I believe a young person can posess the pauline requirements. Look at many of the reformers. They were in their teens and twenties when they begin expounding the Word.


Very true, CH Spurgeon preached his first sermon at age 17.

Tom

#37652 - Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:33 PM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Robin]  
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Robin said:
If my church needs Elders, I'll be looking around within the church for guys who are already "elding" (discipling and teaching others - whether individually or teaching a Bible study or Sunday school class; someone who already meets the Biblical requirements. And someone who, once nominated, would seek (and get, at no cost to himself), even further training.

I don't think we should nominate "trainees" (per se) as officers and then train them. But I do think that Deacons who are already "deaking" and Elders who are already "elding" should be acknowledged, nominated, given further education in the Word and doctrine, and appointed to positions they "already" occupy. Wha'd'y'think?


This is exactly what the body is supposed to do!!!!!. But we do fall short and must ask for forgivenenss.

Ephesians 4:11-12
"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists , and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ."


Instead we make it a popularity contest, or import pastors from the seminary across the country. Its all messed up....

I agree with a hearty Amen Robin....The Holy Spirit will put them in front of you. And some may be elder material who you would least expect. There are many Levi/matthews... Sauls.And Davids.

Remember this:

n the Old Testament, when Samuel was choosing a king for Israel, and the eldest of Jesse’s sons was presented to him, the Lord said, “Take no notice of his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see: people look at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart” (Sam16:7).


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
#37653 - Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:35 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Theo]  
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Theo,

One of the requirements in the Presbyterian office for RE is to be able to teach. Now, how that is applied may be different between churches. Some requires that they have ability to preach from pulpit, some require teach in SS, some require to teach in small groups, and others may only require they know their theology well enough to keep accountability of all the church's teaching.

There may be some misconception of the function of the Ruling Elder. They are the spiritual leaders in the church, not the management leaders. They have the same requirements as outlined in 1 Timothy and Titus. The PCA Book of Church Order (BCO) says in 8-9 "Elders being in one class of office, ruling elders possess the same authority and eligibility to office in the courts of the Church as teaching elders. They should, moreover, cultivate zealously their own aptitude to teach the Bible and should improve every opportunity of doing so."

I have heard the Presbyterian form of government called a two and a half officers whatever that is meant. But there is not as defined delineation of responsibilities of the TE & RE as some wants to make it.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#37654 - Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:57 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: John_C]  
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John_C said:
I have heard the Presbyterian form of government called a two and a half officers whatever that is meant. But there is not as defined delineation of responsibilities of the TE & RE as some wants to make it.

John,

What is written in the "book" and how things are actually practiced I highly suspect and have seen personally, can be very different. If you have taken the time to read through the individual posts in this thread, you can clearly see that not one person has seen in practice what the "book" says. Now, this is mainly in regard to Presbyterian-type churches, but the abuse of the Eldership as taught in Scripture is even more abused and/or ignored in Independent churches. So, if your particular local church has a plurality of Elders who are 100% equal in authority in actual practice and where all of the Elders are "apt to teach", and the Deaconate isn't viewed as either a stepping stone to Eldership or a second-class office of the church, then your church is blessed. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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#37655 - Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:32 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: John_C]  
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John_C said:
Theo,

One of the requirements in the Presbyterian office for RE is to be able to teach. Now, how that is applied may be different between churches. Some requires that they have ability to preach from pulpit, some require teach in SS, some require to teach in small groups, and others may only require they know their theology well enough to keep accountability of all the church's teaching.

There may be some misconception of the function of the Ruling Elder. They are the spiritual leaders in the church, not the management leaders. They have the same requirements as outlined in 1 Timothy and Titus. The PCA Book of Church Order (BCO) says in 8-9 "Elders being in one class of office, ruling elders possess the same authority and eligibility to office in the courts of the Church as teaching elders. They should, moreover, cultivate zealously their own aptitude to teach the Bible and should improve every opportunity of doing so."

I have heard the Presbyterian form of government called a two and a half officers whatever that is meant. But there is not as defined delineation of responsibilities of the TE & RE as some wants to make it.


John,

Thanks for those comments. Your first paragraph is pretty much on target: I myself have seen different churches handle the teaching role of elders in every one of those ways--at least one that I had heard about even had ruling elders in the preaching rotation. It would be interesting to know if anyone has ever made a case for the different ways of handling that role: that is, why should a RE in First Presbyterian be required to preach or teach Sunday School, while an RE at Second Presbyterian winds up simply being asked to serve on Session and be knowledgeable of doctrine?

I do agree with your second paragraph personally but based on my own observations of four Presbyterian churches, I'd have to say that in at least two of them the Session had taken on the role of management leaders as well as spiritual leaders. And I would bet they were never going to relinquish control over the budgetary matters.

Theo

#37656 - Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:52 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: John_C]  
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John_C said:

I have heard the Presbyterian form of government called a two and a half officers whatever that is meant. But there is not as defined delineation of responsibilities of the TE & RE as some wants to make it.



That is becasue it is an unscriptural foundation. Straining the writ terribly. First off to use the word "ruler" to signify any type of leadership position is not very Christlike. When used with the expectation of Lordship of any type.

Smacks of a pharissee title.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
#37657 - Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:57 PM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Joe k]  
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Joe k said:
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John_C said:

I have heard the Presbyterian form of government called a two and a half officers whatever that is meant. But there is not as defined delineation of responsibilities of the TE & RE as some wants to make it.



That is becasue it is an unscriptural foundation. Straining the writ terribly. First off to use the word "ruler" to signify any type of leadership position is not very Christlike. When used with the expectation of Lordship of any type.

Smacks of a pharissee title.


Elders are suppose to RULE (manage, oversee):

Quote
Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Tim. 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1 TIm. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

There is a gift of government (1 Cor. 12:28). As Moses stated, "Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you" (Deut 1:13). Though "lordship" (attributes: control, authority, and presence) may be abused, it is VERY biblical. Read "The Ruling Elder" [An Essay, on the Warrant, Nature and Duties of the Office of the Ruling Elder, in the Presbyterian Church] by Samuel Miller. It is rather enlightening.

#37658 - Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:46 PM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: J_Edwards]  
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J_Edwards said:
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Joe k said:
Quote
John_C said:

I have heard the Presbyterian form of government called a two and a half officers whatever that is meant. But there is not as defined delineation of responsibilities of the TE & RE as some wants to make it.



That is becasue it is an unscriptural foundation. Straining the writ terribly. First off to use the word "ruler" to signify any type of leadership position is not very Christlike. When used with the expectation of Lordship of any type.

Smacks of a pharissee title.


Elders are suppose to RULE (manage, oversee):

Quote
Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Tim. 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1 TIm. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

There is a gift of government (1 Cor. 12:28). As Moses stated, "Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you" (Deut 1:13). Though "lordship" (attributes: control, authority, and presence) may be abused, it is VERY biblical. Read "The Ruling Elder" [An Essay, on the Warrant, Nature and Duties of the Office of the Ruling Elder, in the Presbyterian Church] by Samuel Miller. It is rather enlightening.


I have read it. It is weak at best. The rcc has a better warant for the sacrament of penance. Moses does not a NT position make.

And Ruler is not the Christ model of servant. Pauls use of the word had nothing to do with ruling in a lording way.. It is the shepard.

The is non scriptural warrant for the 2 positons..<<< period


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
#37659 - Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:07 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Joe k]  
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There is certainly Scriptural warrant for government! But I find little if any truly Biblical warrant for "two kinds of Elders" even though some are more gifted in teaching than others.

#37660 - Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:17 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: Joe k]  
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And so how does one "rule" without control, authority, and presence (the definition of lordship)? Shepards must rule (control, authority, and presence) the sheep to be a successful shepherd. And yes, rulers may be and "should be" servants -- even in the civil realm (Rom 13:6).

You appear to have an unbiblical idea of what a godly ruler is! Though you have expressed your dislike of the OT, may I point you to Joseph there. However, though the OT is the Gospel "also", if it is insufficient for you, the generally accepted outline of Mark is: (1) Chapters 1-8:26, is "The Servant Who Rules: The Authority of the Servant," and (2) 8:27 to the end is "The Ruler Who Serves." Since Christ is our example, I see a ruler who is a servant and a servant who is a ruler. One of the reasons the qualifications of elders includes managing his household (1 Tim 4:3) is that he is to be a proper ruler over his family (Gen. 3:16 -- please hold God accountable for His OT reference). Thus, we see an example of Christ, a servant-ruler (prophet, priest, and KING) who lovingly meets the needs of those under his care.

Biblical leadership is expressed by several terms which are used of the same office. Generally speaking: (1) the term elder emphasizes his character and maturity, (2) the term overseer or bishop emphasizes his function—he exercises oversight and supervision, and (3) the term shepherd or pastor emphasizes his attitude—he has a shepherd’s caring heart. As Paul states, "Let the elders that rule [proestotes] well[/b] be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine" (1 Tim. 5:17). Or, "He must manage [proistamenon] his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage [prostenai] his own household, how can he care for God's church" (1 Tim. 3:4-5;)? Luke says, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" and Peter, "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve" (1 Pet. 5:2, NIV). As Paul states, "But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you [proistamenous] in the Lord and admonish you" (1 Thess 5:12).


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#37661 - Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:59 AM Re: How are Elders Trained? [Re: J_Edwards]  
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J_Edwards said:
And so how does one "rule" without control, authority, and presence (the definition of lordship)? Shepards must rule (control, authority, and presence) the sheep to be a successful shepherd. And yes, rulers may be and "should be" servants -- even in the civil realm (Rom 13:6).

You appear to have an unbiblical idea of what a godly ruler is! Though you have expressed your dislike of the OT, may I point you to Joseph there. However, though the OT is the Gospel "also", if it is insufficient for you, the generally accepted outline of Mark is: (1) Chapters 1-8:26, is "The Servant Who Rules: The Authority of the Servant," and (2) 8:27 to the end is "The Ruler Who Serves." Since Christ is our example, I see a ruler who is a servant and a servant who is a ruler. One of the reasons the qualifications of elders includes managing his household (1 Tim 4:3) is that he is to be a proper ruler over his family (Gen. 3:16 -- please hold God accountable for His OT reference). Thus, we see an example of Christ, a servant-ruler (prophet, priest, and KING) who lovingly meets the needs of those under his care.

Biblical leadership is expressed by several terms which are used of the same office. Generally speaking: (1) the term elder emphasizes his character and maturity, (2) the term overseer or bishop emphasizes his function—he exercises oversight and supervision, and (3) the term shepherd or pastor emphasizes his attitude—he has a shepherd’s caring heart. As Paul states, "Let the elders that rule [proestotes] well[/b] be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine" (1 Tim. 5:17). Or, "He must manage [proistamenon] his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage [prostenai] his own household, how can he care for God's church" (1 Tim. 3:4-5;)? Luke says, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" and Peter, "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve" (1 Pet. 5:2, NIV). As Paul states, "But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you [proistamenous] in the Lord and admonish you" (1 Thess 5:12).


This is starting with a premise. ie 2 elderships, and forcing the text to say what it never intended Joe. The ekklesia is not under the design of the temple/synogogue no matter how many presby's attempt to make it. I agree the Gospel is present. But this will digress the thread. A simple reading of scripture speaks of 1 eldhership with many requirements and hats

I am not saying they are not to rule, I am specifically stating there are not 2 distinct positions. Paul does not make the seperation no matter how much miller thinks he does. There is one who rules yet does not teach? Talk about too many layers.

The westminsters were split on this topic anyway. It was far from a majority who supported it. REason being no matter how had many looked, they could not find it present in the writ..


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
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