Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Elders (Part 1) - The Church Needs Orthodontists

This Sunday as part of all three of our worship services here at Grace Church, our church family will have the opportunity to re-elect six men who have been serving as Elders of our church to another three year term on the Elder Board. These men include

Dan Buch
Dennis Hummer
John Kegarise
Carl Myer
Andy Spade
Pastor Wilard

We also have one new man that we are recommending to the church to be approved as our newest Elder. That is Mike McCracken. For those who get my free Pastor’s E-mail Update that I send out twice a week, I have given information about Mike as well as the other seven men up for re-election. If you do not get my e-mail update, you can subscribe free through our church website (http://www.lgbc.org/).

According to our church constitution, voting on Elders by the congregation is a “check and balance’ to be sure that these men still fulfill the Biblical qualifications of an Elder. The ballot will include a list of Elder qualifications given in the Bible to Titus and Timothy. In other words, you can’t just vote “no” on an Elder for any reason. For a “no” vote to count, you must mark which qualification you believe that individual does not fulfill. In order to help you in this, I would like to use my next three blog postings to give you some thoughts from the Biblical passages that speak of Elder qualifications. Let’s begin in the book of Titus.

The book of Titus begins with the topic of church leadership. In the first five 5 verses we see the identity of such leadership. The writer of this letter is Paul who calls himself a bond-servant of God (one who by choice gives up all his own rights to serve his master, 2 Corinthians 5:15) and an Apostle of Jesus Christ (a messenger; a kind of ambassador who speaks with the authority of the one who sent Him). Paul is writing to Titus who was a gentile convert (Galatians 2:3). Titus had been left an the island of Crete by Paul to carry on the ministry there (Titus 1:5).

The instruction that Paul gives to Titus is to “set in order" what remains. This comes from the Greek word “orthoo” which means “to make straight”. It is where we get our English word "orthodontist". It was used in ancient times speaking of straightening bent limbs and setting broken bones. Titus was to correct and set straight certain doctrines and practices that had become defective in the churches in Crete. Paul had started this process and now was instructing Titus to complete it. As we will see tomorrow, for Titus to act as “orthodontist” for these churches would mean the need to put Elders in place.

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