As we continue in our journey at Wazeecha, we want to take steps to strengthen our church for future challenges. We may not be able to hire staff members to do all that we want, but we can develop our own leaders. We will begin a discussion at our upcoming quarterly meeting about developing elders.
One of the key elements of church governance we find in the New Testament is the concept of elders. Elders are spiritual leaders who provide guidance, wisdom, and accountability within the congregation. Introducing elders into our church could be a positive step forward to develop our church's leadership.
This concept is firmly rooted in the Scriptures. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and Acts 14:23, highlight the qualifications and roles of elders. Additionally, examples from the early church, permeate the activities of early church mission. Elders can be seen actively shepherding the New Testament church and guarding its doctrine.
As mentioned above, churches of larger sizes will hire staff members that serve youth, children, and music. Often these staff members have certain training that make them right for specialized tasks. Smaller churches cannot hire out all their needs so leadership must be developed.
At our upcoming quarterly meeting, we will discuss these thoughts and have discussions about if that is right for Wazeecha. Possible discussions might include:
1. Scriptural and Historical Context: We will look into the biblical foundation for elders in the church, emphasizing the importance of aligning our governance with God's Word.
2. Practical Application: We will discuss the benefits of introducing elders, such as providing spiritual leadership, congregational guidance, healthy transitions over time.
4. Nomination and Selection: We will outline a plan for nominating and selecting elders within our congregation, allowing for transparency and congregational involvement.
5. Responsibilities: We will clarify the roles and responsibilities of elders, focusing on teaching, shepherding, and overseeing the church as demonstrated by gifts, training, and calling.
6. Timetable: If the need is determined by the congregations, we will set a timeline for the evaluation process, with the goal of implementing this change over the next year.
7. Feedback: All along the way we will discuss questions and concerns. We would rather go through all these things together as a healthy congregation, so we will take our time and talk our way through.
We believe that this step forward could strengthen us for the days ahead of us. For that reason, we ask for your prayers at every point along the way.
Scriptures for Review
Here are several scriptures that provide the rationale for having elders in the church:
1 Timothy 3:1-7: This passage outlines the qualifications for overseers (another term for elders). It emphasizes the importance of having spiritually mature and exemplary leaders in the church.
Titus 1:5-9: Similar to 1 Timothy, this passage discusses the qualifications for elders and their role in maintaining doctrinal faithfulness and discipline within the church.
Acts 14:23: In this verse, we see Paul and Barnabas appointing elders in every city where they planted churches. It demonstrates the New Testament practice of having elders as leaders in local congregations.
Acts 20:17-38: This passage offers a model of elder leadership within a modified-congregational framework. It shows the responsibilities of elders in teaching, guarding, and shepherding the flock.
Hebrews 13:17: This verse emphasizes the importance of submitting to church leaders who will give an account for their oversight. It highlights the role of elders in governance.
1 Peter 5:1-5: Peter's instructions to elders and the church emphasize the importance of humility and service in leadership, contrasting it with lording over the congregation.
Dr. Trey Turner is planter and now pastor of Church at Wazeecha. He is married with three children, two adult children and one teenager at home