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Ask the Pastor 102

What is meant by “Elder leadership”?

In our last article we examined how that democracy and congregational rule are not found in the Bible but are human inventions. This would raise the question, then what is the biblical form of church government? We made reference to elders in the last article because this is the form of leadership that is taught in the Bible. In the first century when local churches were first established, elders were appointed by the Apostles (Acts 14:23), then they were appointed by apostolic legate (Titus 1:5), today they are to be recognized for the work that they do (I Thessalonians 5:12). The Bible sets down qualifications for these men found in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. There are several passages of Scripture which describe what these men do but the one that best summarizes their work is found in Acts 20:28; where we read that they are to be as shepherds who oversee and shepherd the flock, which would be that they are fed, protected and cared for. The Scriptures use the language of a shepherd caring for sheep throughout the description of what elders do and what they are. The word for pastor is one who shepherds. In these modern times where we have a pastor or pastors as the key leader(s) in our churches; we see that in the Bible these are simply full-time elders who are paid to shepherd the Lord’s flock (I Timothy 5:17-18). By a large majority, fundamental, evangelical Bible churches have elder leadership because this is what the Bible teaches. Lord willing in our next article we will examine the type of leadership that is to be provided by these elders.

Have questions about the Bible?Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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