Friday, June 07, 2013


What Elders Do

Jeramie Rinne @ 9Marks discusses how an elder should be working to build mature disciples
>:Elders shepherd church members in order to help those members grow up in Christ. Elders tend the flock in such a way that believers develop from spiritual infancy to full-grown Christ-likeness. Overseers labor in hope that the sheep will move beyond a needy, self-focused, toddler Christianity to an adulthood of serving Jesus and leading others to Jesus.
He discusses different and personal aspects of helping others reach maturity. (Marks, as a blog, is also based on a slightly different form of church government than the Presbyterian one I inhabit. But regardless of the specifics, Elders are the leaders of the church and a big part of leaderships is accountability - both amongst the elders, but also the elders and the pastor. So not only must the elders be personally engaged in building mature disciples, they should also be helping the entire institution do the same thing.

It is as if the pastor is now the evangelist and the elders are supposed to be the pastors. But as Rinne points out, pastors and elders are hardly distinguishable scripturally and they are charged with helping the body mature, not simply replicate.

That makes me think that there is a metaphor here I need to explore. When we are immature we are obsessed with our reproductive "capabilities." When we mature we learn that such a function is a part of a much larger context of our lives and while it is good and wonderful, it is not the point of our existence.


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