The Elders at Sovereign Grace Church are essentially the spiritual leaders and shepherds over the membership. The Bible uses a few different names for these leaders: Elders, Overseers, Pastors, and Shepherds. All of these names are describing the same office of the Elder. We believe that the Bible is clear that for a healthy church it should be elder lead by a plurality of biblically qualified men.
Who can be an Elder?
An elder is to be first and foremost Biblically Qualified. Titus 1:5-9 gives us a very specific list of qualities.
- Above Reproach - husband of one wife, chilren are believers, no charge of debauchery or insubordination, not arrogant, not quick tempered, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain
- Lovers of Good
- Gifted - holds firm to the trustworthy Word as taught and able to give instruction in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it.
Second, an elder must be called. Although each Christian should be pursuing the qualities of an elder, only those who are called by God should be elders. (1 Peter 5:2)
Third, male leadership in assumed for the qualified elder to be able to teach and give sound doctrine (1 Timothy 2:9-15, 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
What do Elder's Do?
Oversee (1 Peter 5:1-5; 1 Timothy 3:2, 5:17-18)
Shepherd (Acts 20:17-31; 1 Peter 5:2)
Preach, Teach and Pray
Elders Covenant to Sovereign Grace Church:
As shepherds and overseers of a local church, elders are entrusted with protecting, leading, equipping and caring for the corporate church body and her individual members. Therefore the elders covenant:to ordain elders and deacons, according to the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
- to prayerfully seek God’s will for our church community and steward her resources to the best of our ability based on the Scriptures and leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
to care for the church and seek her growth in grace, truth and love (Matthew 28:16-20; Ephesians 4:15-16; Colossians 1:28; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
- to provide teaching and counsel from the whole of Scripture (Acts 20:27-28; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 2:1).
- to equip the members of the church for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16).
- to guard against false teachers and teachings (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 1 John 4:1).
- to lovingly exercise discipline when necessary, for the glory of God, the good of the one disciplined and the health of the church as a whole (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20).
- to set an example and join members in fulfilling the obligations of the church covenant (Philippians 3:17; 1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7-8; 1 Peter 5:3).
For more detail explanation on who and what are the Elders of the Church please listen to our sermon series on the Elders from November 2015.