Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Elders & deacons @ RFC

God's Kingdom is advancing.

Acts 14v21-23 records how Paul & Barnabus established elders in newly planted churches. The elders were both local (chosen from within the congregation) and plural (not ‘one pastor for one church’). As a church matures, two distinct leadership gifts emerge that work closely together & complement each other (Phil 1v1):

Elders: are a team of men who are set apart by God to shepherd the church, the bible refers to these men as bishops / overseers / elders / pastors. They have a biblical qualification as outlined in 1Tim3v1-7 and Titus 1v6-9.  Broadly speaking they govern, teach & guard the doctrine that the church holds to (Doctrine); they shepherd the church in the direction that God is leading them (Direction); they seek to ‘discipline in love’ wayward church members to win them back to repentance and restoration (Disciple); and they seek to display Jesus, the Good shepherd (Display).

Deacons: are a team of men and women who are set apart by God to serve alongside the elders to lead areas & ministries of church life. They also have a biblical qualification as set out in 1Tim 3v8-13, the primary qualifications centre on character and ability to carry ministry responsibility. It is important to equally honour the biblical office of deacon, as it is to honour the biblical office of elder. Whilst elder’s duties are universally constant in every church (govern & shepherd), deacon’s duties vary according to the needs of local churches.

These qualifications protect the church from the incompetent, the morally unfit, the deluded and the evildoers.

It is worth reminding ourselves that Jesus is the head of this church, not the elders or deacons. As Jesus advances His Kingdom, He gives his gifts of grace to His church … some to be apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers & evangelists.

Jesus’ flock at RFC is growing and we want to ensure they are guarded, fed, cared for and led well. Therefore, we are formally asking all at RFC to prayerfully consider if God is raising up more elders & deacons.

So over the next two months, please spend time prayerfully considering, then proposing futures elders and future deacons.