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Hey I am an elder now what do I do?

By Pastor Daniel Robinson Here’s the short answer from the apostle Peter: “I exhort the elders among you: shepherd God’s flock” (1 Pet. 5:2; see also Jn. 21:15-16 and Acts 20:28). Elders serve the Good Shepherd by providing the Senior pastor with support in a local congregation . Elders feed, lead, protect, and nurture church members under the Senior pastors leadership and vision. Let’s get even more specific. While shepherding is a powerful metaphor for framing an elder’s job description, the elder needs concrete instructions. They need an answer to their question, “Now what do I do?” Fortunately, God’s Word lists very specific duties that help elders put the shepherding responsibility to work. FOUR PRIMARY DUTIES Here are four duties that are central to the elder’s job description. While this list is not exhaustive, I believe if lay elders devote themselves to these four things, they will excel as under shepherds. 1. Teach An elder must be “an able teacher” (1 Tim. 3:2; see 5:17). They must hold “to the faithful message as taught, so that they will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and refute those who contradict it” (Tit. 1:9). Jesus’ under-shepherds feed Jesus’ sheep with Jesus’ word. If you’re an elder, look for opportunities for teaching the Bible regularly. Teaching a Sunday school class, leading a home group, giving a lesson to the youth group, or study Scripture with a member over coffee etc.And if you’re offered a chance to preach, take it. Furthermore , submit to the church’s overall teaching ministry and stay connected to the senior pastors vision. Keep in tune of what’s being taught through congregational singing . Listen closely if members talk and embrace false doctrine -endeavour to steer them back to the core values of Christ. Protect the Leadership (senior pastor) and vision of the local church from gossip , slander and disunity . Also, remember that teaching includes training others to duplicate yourself and make disciples . Paul said to Timothy, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful people who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Be committed to raising up disciples. 2. Lead Just as shepherds lead their flocks, so elders are to lead when asked to .The biblical writers also call elders “overseers,” a title that highlights their role as leaders (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:1; Tit. 1:5, 7). Hebrews instructs Christians to “obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account” (Heb. 13:17). Elders, must be brave and lead Gods people with faith and integrity . When you see challenges in your church, face them proactively keeping the unity of the faith ,endeavouring to honour one another and the senior pastor as challenges are overcome. Courageous leadership might involve reaching out to a frustrated member who’s stopped attending, or confronting an unrepentant member . Or it could mean organising rosters , outreach strategies, budgeting or important decisions that affect the spiritual identity of the congregation. As you lead, don’t lose sight of the destination. The goal isn’t just to lead a church to become an efficient organisation . Rather, elders should lead church members toward maturity in Christ. Jesus gave the pastoral anointing to the church  “to build up the body of Christ until we all reach unity in the faith and come in to the knowledge of the Son of God, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness” (Eph. 4:12-13). Elders bring the flock to green pastures and still waters as they help members know who they are in Christ and increasingly reflect his glory together. 3. Model Most importantly, elders lead by example. Shepherd the church “not [by] lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Pet. 5:3). Not surprisingly, the New Testament lists of elder qualifications focus predominantly on character (1 Tim. 3:1-7, Tit. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). An elder’s most basic job is to say “Imitate me as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). The mandate to model maturity carries two critical implications. First, modeling means you must focus on your own Christlikeness : “Pay close attention to your life and your teaching” (1 Tim. 4:16). Continue to live close to the Lord, nurture your spouse and children well, resist satan and love people. Open your life to the loving accountability of other elders / leadership. Modeling maturity is a team project. That leads to a second implication: modeling requires elders to 'be among ' the people. It only works if people see you up close. So open your life to church members. Invite them into your home, your hobbies, and your ministry. People need a firsthand experience of how you handle stress, relate to your spouse, respond to difficult people, and humbly admit when your wrong. 4. Pray Finally, elders need to be prayers, “we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry” (Acts 6:4). Ultimately elders are powerless in themselves to mature anyone in Christ; only the Holy Spirit can do that through God’s Word. The sooner an elder realizes this, the sooner they will be on their knees and plead for a continual work of grace among church members, as well as in their own life. So if you’re a lay elder (or a paid elder ) strive to be a person of prayer. Build regular prayer into your daily lifestyle. Pray the Lord to put members on your heart as and when they need prayer. Stay full of the Holy Spirit , praying in the Spirit regularly . When you’re talking or catching up with a church member, be sure to offer prayer if needed. SHEPHERD LIKE JESUS Maybe we could sum up an elder’s job description this way: shepherd the church members like Jesus shepherds his disciples. Like Jesus, make teaching central to your ministry, and make Jesus and the gospel the primary content of your teaching. In every decision, lead people toward knowing and trusting Jesus. Let them see the character of Jesus exemplified in your life. And just as Jesus often turned aside to pray, so you as an elder should join Jesus in interceding for his people. Sent from my iPhone

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