Pastor Ramocan shared a great Bible Study with us yesterday! The subject was the plurality of elders in the Bible. The structure in most churches is to have one pastor manage a congregation and one man run an entire church. Pastor Ramocan, showed from the scriptures, how this is not the biblical model of church leadership.
This study will be posted on our site in the very near future. In the mean time, here’s a quick summary:
The reasons for plurality of eldership:
- no one person has all the gifts needed to minister to a congregation. The church needs various gifts (teaching, counseling, administration, etc.) in order to function effectively.
- Christ runs the church. Having a single man at the top, forces brethren to look to a man rather than to Christ. With a plurality of eldership, no one elder has authority over the other. They are all under Christ and must learn to defer to one another in Christ-like humility.
The benefits of plural eldership:
- power is not concentrated in one person.
- they complement each other.
- they are accountable to each other.
- they share the many burdens of eldership with each other
- they provide multiple examples for the flock.
- the exercise of brotherly love and patience the elders have to exercise with each other helps them enter God’s kingdom.
The drawbacks of plural eldership:
- personality conflicts can obstruct getting things done
- demands more patience, and love
What was most surprising to many, is the broad number of scriptures Pastor Ramocan was able to reference in support of a plurality of elders. These scriptures showed that within one congregation, multiple elders were at work. Among these scriptures, Pastor Ramocan referenced:
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Titus 1:5 ¶ For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
1Pet. 5:1 ¶ The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
I think if anyone is open to God’s word, they will have to admit that the scriptures clearly come down on the side of plurality of eldership and not “one man rule” as many promote.
What do you think?