Monday, August 20, 2012

Your Job

By Ron Thomas

     On occasion, one might ask a question concerning the “job” of a preacher or an elder. Because that question is asked every now and again, I thought it would be good to see what the Scriptures say the “job” of each member is.
     The elders. The elders of the Lord’s church are spiritual men who oversee the spiritual health of the church. That is, they shepherd (feed) the church in spiritual things. To be an elder (shepherd or pastor) is to be involved in the lives of the congregants. The elders are not board of directors. They are not to meet at certain intervals for the sole purpose of making decisions. They can meet at certain interval—whatever they determine is appropriate—to discuss matters that are important. In the scriptures, God put elders in place because they were to (are to) guard the flock (Acts 20:28). If a man will not elder properly, he should resign. What about one who can’t shepherd properly? He should resign. What about one who is unqualified to serve? He should resign. The Lord’s church needs spiritual men to actively shepherd the flock. 
     The deacons. The Scriptures speak less to this than many of us would like. However, I think we can get a sense of what it is they do and are to do. The word deacon comes from a Greek word that means to serve. If Acts 6 is our modal for the work of deacons, then we can see these spiritual men serve the congregation in material things. The elders (apostles in Acts 6) who place men in the role of deacon are to trust them to the do the work. If an elder does not trust a man who serves as a deacon, that speaks more against the elder than it does the deacon. If a man cannot do the work because he is untrustworthy, that man is to be dismissed.
     The preacher. The preacher is one who proclaims God’s word to both the congregation and to the people at large (2 Timothy 4:2). He is to preach God’s word. This will include encouraging them who struggle, correcting those who are in rebellion, and teaching people the Lord’s will for their individual lives. If a preacher does not do this, then the elders of the congregation are to dismiss him. The congregation is to insist that he preaches the Lord’s word. They are not to allow themselves to be aligned with him because they like his personality. They are to be aligned with him because he teaches God’s word faithfully.
     The members. The members of the congregation are men and women who are Christians. They are people who have already submitted themselves to God and His word, serving Him faithfully. They are to submit to the authority of the elders. They are to be workers in the Lord’s kingdom, not sitters. The older men are to teach the younger men about life’s important things. The older women are to teach the younger women in life those things that are important. All Christians are to adorn the doctrine of God. Now, what is your job?
- Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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