Elders of the church
I believe that elders have missed a huge calling from God in today’s culture. All they seem to focus on are petty things of life. Elders spend their time worrying about money, approving church activities, and building maintenance. At times is seems like that is all they care about. In the New Testament however, elders are spoken of as great spiritual leaders who gave everything they had to better Christ’s church. As we can see, the roles and responsibilities of the elder have changed dramatically. There is a proper balance of being an elder that is defined in the New Testament. So I have asked one question to find that balance. Biblically, what are the requirements and responsibilities of being an elder in the Christian church?
An elder is someone who has many responsibilities in the church. I believe that the elders are not only to be the governors of the church, but are also to lead its members spiritually and physically. Paul used the terms elder, overseer and pastor/shepherd interchangeably to describe responsibilities of the elders in the church (Newton 33). The Greek term for elder is presbuteros, which means to be an older person full of maturity and wisdom (Mounce 208). Second, we have episkipos, the Greek term for overseer, which means to care of and watch over others in need (Mounce 493). The term overseer was used by peter to speak of the sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross. Christ is called the guardian of our souls, which means he watched over us to keep us from harm in every way. If the elder is to be the overseer, like Christ was, then they need to oversee the spiritual lives of every member in the church. The last term that is used to describe elders is poimen, which is the Greek term for pastor; the word literally means shepherd, which is to watch over our physical needs (Mounce 500). In First Corinthians 9:7 Paul uses pastor to describe work that he and Barnabas had done as elders.
To be an elder,...