Defining Pastoral Eldership

Restoring Pastoral Eldership
Chuck Gianotti


I. General NT Concept of Eldership: Pastoral Oversight

A. The NT concept of elders is p__________________, as seen in Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:1-2.

B. The eldership is not an executive board of l_______________, nor is it a finance committee or building committee or assistant to pastor.

C. Once you understand NT eldership as pastoral o________________, it changes everything.

D. The NT teaches that eldership is pastoral leadership of the local church by a team of qualified, Spirit-appointed m____________.

II. Definition of Christian Eldership

A. Overseers (episkopos) (Phil 1:1, see also 1 Tim 3:1, Titus 1:7)

B. Shepherds (presbuteros, poimenos) (1 Peter 5:1-2)

C. Elders (presbuteros, episkopos, poimenos) (Acts 20:28, see also 1 Peter 5:1, 1 Tim 5:17)

D. Stewards (Titus 1:7)

E. Leaders (1 Tim 5:17)

III. Equality and Diversity within the Eldership

A. Need both – keep in balance.

B. On the side of equality, Scripture teaches that all the elders:

1. Have been made overseers by the Holy Spirit for the specific purpose to shepherd the church (Acts 20:28).

2. Have been c_________________ by the Holy Spirit to shepherd [pastor] the church (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-2).

3. Share e___________________ the authority and responsibility for the pastoral oversight of the entire congregation: “Pay careful attention…to all the flock” (Acts 20:28; italics added).

4. Are equally r____________________ to be alert to the constant dangers of false teaching and to guard the flock from false teachers (Acts 15:6; 20:28-31; Titus 1:9-13).

5. Are to be able to t________________ Scripture and r____________ false teachers (1Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9).

6. Are to be publicly e________________ as to the biblical qualifications for "overseership" before serving as overseer (1 Tim. 3:10; 5:22-25).

7. Are responsible to v__________ and p______________ for the sick (James 5:14).

8. Share the designations “elder” and “overseer” (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 5:17).

9. Are equally accountable to the e______________ eldership body and under the loving pastoral care of the entire eldership body (Acts 20:28a).

10. Are to be a________________, esteemed “very highly in love,” honored, protected from slander, and obeyed (1Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 5:17-19; Heb. 13:17).

C. On the side of diversity

1. The first leadership body in the church was appointed directly by the _______________________ and had within it, by His approval, both equality and diversity. Three men Peter, James and John stood out among the disciples.

2. The same thing is true among the elders (Acts 20:28, 1 Tim 1:3, 5:17-18)

3. Not all elders are equal in giftedness, effectiveness, influence, time availability, experience, leadership ability, knowledge

a) Not all elders labor d___________________ “in preaching, teaching”

b) Not all elders “rule well” (1 Tim. 5:17).

c). Not all elders receive “double honor” from congregation

d) Not all elders receive f__________________ compensation or the same a_________________ of compensation (1 Tim. 5:18; Gal. 6:6)

D. So both equality and diversity exist within a church eldership team.

E. This requires a s______________ group of qualified elders, with a clear vision of the h____________ of Christ, committed to Word of God and gifts of the Spirit.