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Elders? Yes Or No?

July 8, 2015


“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed.  Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock.”  1 Peter 5: 1-3  Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament

Yes, there are such people as true elders in the Body of Christ.  However, please notice that they are AMONG us and NOT over us.  In my over 35 years of serving the Body of Christ I have noticed that true elders do not accept titles or pay for their service.  No, they serve gladly and give of themselves continually without compensation or reward.  These older folk help us find safe pasture where we are able to grow and learn directly from The Master.  They help make sure we are safe in all matters of faith and practice.

The Lord never meant for these gifts to become offices to be filled.  This is not about positions within the Body, because there are really no positions in the true Body of Christ.  Because we are all equal siblings peers and Priests in God’s true Church.  There is no positional Leadership in the Body of Christ, except that Jesus is King and we are not.  The only way to effectively lead in Christ’s Body is by example.  We are not to stand over and above others in the church and tell them what to do or believe.  We will not Lord over others in the Body.  What we will do is live upright lives worthy of the callings we have received.  We will be the same person in public or in private.  We will love others by laying our lives down for them.  The greatest calling any of us can receive is that of being a servant to all, just like Christ Jesus.

I have witnessed the church function gloriously without professional, positional, paid leadership for over 35 years.  It can and does work extremely well.  The church does not need those with titles or positions to be effective in its ministry.  The church I am speaking of makes disciples and cares for others extremely well; and it spends all its resources on direct ministry to widows, orphans, and those in Spiritual and natural need; instead of on Clergy salaries, buildings and institutional maintenance.   Any human hierarchy within the church hinders the church.  I know it is a very simple way that I follow and in that way Jesus is the One and ONLY Head and Leader.  I will bow down to Him and no other.  Who do you follow?  I certainly don’t want anyone to follow me.  I am just glad when folks choose to stand alongside me.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !


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  1. So true, elders are among us but not over us. It is so true what you said, that ‘we are all equal siblings, peers and Priests in God’s true Church. There is no positional leadership in the Body of Christ, except that Jesus is King’. He is the head and each of us are equally important functioning parts of the body.

  2. I agree with what you are saying about the Elders. They should be Godly examples. Encouraging others when needed. Always praying for the body of Christ. Not thinking they are better than others because they are considered an Elder in the body.
    We are all equally important in Jesus eyes. We are all needed.

  3. Ramma permalink

    Another thought about “elders”, it means one more aged than another. Does not mean in years necessarily. A person can be much younger than us and have more wisdom as though they were much older. I always thought that it meant the “older” people as in agewise. Not at all. Blessings

  4. Judy baker permalink

    I agree wholeheartedly!
    So glad my congregation elders are what you spoke should be …not above anyone but work freely for the congregation …no pay …. Just service . Not above anyone …a slave for Jesus .

  5. Great points, Chris and those commenting! I knew from the House Church Discussion List from years ago that it was elders in an area who were mature in the Lord (and definitely NOT the one pastor to congregation model). But, I never knew the exact scriptures… that is until you pointed it out Chris in what you shared above! So thanks everyone for your comments!

  6. Jayson Graves permalink

    Elders or ‘overseers’ were almost never appointed except in 2-3 instances in the NT and only due to exceptional need or context. Rather, elders were recognized and recognized in main part due to their service and wisdom…not because of position, office or even age.

  7. " BK" permalink

    We could also note they are overSEERS, not overRULERS or overLORDERS 🙂 They ‘see’ over and as you said, come alongside if needed and led. “BK”

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