Issues in Leadership/Ministry

Wanted: Shepherds for the Sheep

Where are the pastors today? No time for visiting? Too busy? The wolves are busy scattering the sheep; divisions and worldliness press on every hand. Compromise, neglect of Christ’s interests, disregard of His honor - all these are present; where are the pastors today? The Church has all the gifts; there are brilliant orators, scholarly teachers; good men and true. There are schools and colleges; education can be gained by any desiring it. Surely the Lord has not forgotten the ne...

Reversing the Trend

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." (Rev. 3:3). Perhaps you are in an assembly where gradual changes have been occurring. The Lord’s Supper is no longer viewed as very important. Attendance was down and the decision was made to appoint one man to orchestrate the service. It was also suggested that women be free to participate vocally. Now they seem to be more vocal than the men. Since the elders were not doing their wor...

The Bishops

First of all, we must distinguish between the New Testament concept of a bishop, and the title as it is used today. In the apostolic church, a bishop was simply one of several mature Christians in a local church who cared for the spiritual welfare of that church. Today, in church systems, a bishop is an appointed dignitary who has many churches under his jurisdiction. Barnes says: “The word bishop in the New Testament never means what is now commonly understood by it—a Prelate. It does not denote here (i.e. in 1 Timothy 3) or anywhere else in the New Testament, one who has charge over a diocese composed of a certain district of country embracing a number of churches with their clergy.’’

 

In the New Testament, the bishops were not a class of men, mediating between God and man. Perhaps it was as a rebuke to such pretension as might arise in the future that the Spirit of God listed the bishops second, not first, when Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, “To all the saints in Christ Jesus . . . with the bishops and deacons.”

In the New Testament, the thought of officialism is absent. Instead of a lofty office with magnificent titles, we are pointed to humble service among the people of God. Thus we read, “If any one is eager for oversight, he is desirous of a good work.”’ Overseership is work, not dignity of office.

Those Who Serve

THE DEACONS In our study of bishops, we learned that their function is the spiritual care and oversight of the house of God. We noted that bishops are also called elders, and that there are several bishops in one church, rather than one bishop over several churches.We come next to the study of deacons, who they are and what their functions are. 1. What Are Deacons? The word “deacon” simply means a servant - a man who pursues some ministry or service. Frequently in the New Testament it...

It's Time We Faced the Facts - Why is the Church Powerless?

Spiritually we are in a shocking condition. The status of many local fellowships is bad news, and deteriorating by the minute. It is fairly well known that there have been scandalous cases of immorality involving even elders and full-time workers. Of course this type of news never gets into the magazines; there everything is sweetness and light. But the awful truth is that some respected spiritual leaders have fallen into gross sin in recent months and the only reaction seem...

Thoughts on the Preachers Call

 Let us consider some things regarding the Divine "call" to preach the Word.I. It is individual, or personal.It is purely a matter between each Christian and his Lord and Master. The authority of the call is the prerogative of Christ alone, for He calls whomsoever He wills. He said to His disciples: "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (John 15:16). We read that Christ called "unto Him who...

Diligence in the Day of Salvation - Luke 19:11-27

“The Parable of the Pounds” or “Diligence in the Day of Salvation” Luke 19:11-27   This parable deals with the responsibility of Christians to make good on the opportunities that the Lord gives to serve Him and represent Him in the world.  It is similar to the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25) but differs in many respects. This was given on a different occasion, at a different place and has a different emphasis. The parables of the Lord were often s...

Adorning The Doctrine of God - Titus 2:10

How the Outward Reveals the Inward "In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works…not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they [you] may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”                         Titus 2:7,10     Although the Scriptures do not give explicit ins...

Revive Us O Lord

If ever there was a time for revival among the Lord’s people, it is now. The dismal state of affairs in the Church is abysmally low and seems to be declining steadily. Though it is difficult to know what is truly occurring in the hearts of the saints, there are key indicators that lend credence to this claim. Attendance levels in many meetings are low and getting worse. There has always seemed to be a problem with many believers in the present generation adhering to this biblical priority. But in recent years the attendance level in many assemblies has dropped significantly. Just a few years ago when fears over “Y2K” were at their highest, the question on everyone’s lips was: “What will become of things?” But when the new millennium arrived and all the hype died down so did the saints. We are in danger of becoming like Israel who had complacently “settled on their lees” (Zeph. 1:12) and were in jeopardy of judgment from the Lord. Attendance in some assemblies is so poor, that many have had to cancel some of their meetings or had to adjust their fellowship and outreach programs due to lack of participation by the saints. Sadly, many of the Lord’s people do not see their responsibility and privilege to enjoy fellowship with each other and sit under the sound of God’s Word in order to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), a knowledge that multiplies our grace and peace. (2 Peter 1:2) Nor do they realize the long-term consequences in their personal and family lives of sowing to the flesh and not to the Spirit (Gal. 6:8) – consequences such as a lack of peace, joy, victory, and confidence in the Lord.

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