Posts in church organization
Who Are The Bishops of Philippians 1:1?

Paul writes at the beginning of his letter to the Philippians in Philippians 1:1,2: "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Who were these bishops?

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What Does It Mean For An Elder To Hold Fast To The Word of God?

One of the qualifications that must be found in a mature Christian man before being appointed to the eldership is that he must hold fast to the word of God (Titus 1:9-11).

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Is It Necessary To Place Membership With A Congregation Once You Have Been Baptized Into The One True Church?

As Christians seek out a congregation with which to work and worship (and thus commit to be under the oversight of the local leadership, Acts 20:28; this is commonly called "placing membership"), they need to be cautious and wise, making sure the church and its leadership are sound in the faith (1 John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:21).

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Is A “Bishop” The Same Work As An “Elder”?

The answer to this question is “Yes”.

This question arises from a Bible study that was conducted with two young Latter-Day Saint (hereafter, LDS) missionaries who were given the title “elder”. Each LDS congregation has one bishop. They also have missionaries who are called elders and serve under the bishop of each of their congregations. The LDS denomination seeks to be like the true church that is found in the Bible, yet their pattern of church organization is very different from the church organization found in the Bible.

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Is It Right To Pay An Elder For His Services?

In 1 Timothy 5:17, 18, the Bible states: "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages."

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Is It Necessary To Have Living Apostles And Prophets Today?

Several denominations (such as the Mormons) claim in order to have a true church there must be living apostles and prophets today. They try to justify their position by twisting Ephesians 2:19-22. Their flawed argumentation is as follows: the foundation of the Lord's church is the apostles and prophets and if they are removed, then we remove and destroy the foundation upon which the Lord's church was built. It is true that the Lord's church is built upon the work and teachings of the Lord's original apostles and prophets, but to be built upon new and living apostles and prophets is simply not true! This passage is referencing the original apostles and prophets that the Lord had chosen in the 1st century A.D.

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Is A Congregation Scriptural With Only One Deacon?

All scriptural information indicates that only a plurality of deacons were appointed (Philippians 1:1; possibly Acts 6:1-6). In arguing that the scriptures teach that there must be a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5), we must be consistent in arguing that there is to be a plurality of deacons as well. On the other hand, there is a clear distinction between elders and deacons is that the work of elders is a work of oversight while the work of deacons is service to the congregation, not a work of oversight over the membership. There would be no threat of a "power grab" if there was only one deacon appointed. A single deacon would be carrying out his assigned duties that are given by the eldership. It may be the case though that he has too much of a workload, which is the reason of wisely appointing more than one deacon.

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Must An Elder Have A Plurality of Children?

One of the qualifications that a Christian man must hold to in order to be appointed to the eldership is that he must "blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination" (Titus 1:6) and "one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, ho w will he take care of the church of God?)" (1 Timothy 3:4,5).

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What Are The Duties Of The Members Toward Its Elders?

1. Know the eldership (1 Thessalonians 5:12).

2. Esteem the eldership (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

3. Be at peace among yourselves (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

4. Be submissive to the eldership (Hebrews 13:17).

5. Obey the eldership (Hebrews 13:17).

6. Receive not an accusation against an elder except by the mouth of two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19; keep in mind this principle: rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father, 1 Timothy 5:1).

8. Remember and imitate the eldership (Hebrews 13:7).

9. Count the elders worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17,18).

10. Call the elders when you are in need (James 5:14,15).

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What Are The Duties Of The Elders Toward Its Members?

1. Take heed to themselves (Acts 20:28).

2. Watch for grievous wolves [i.e. false teachers] (Acts 20:29-30).

3. Stop the mouth of vain talkers (Titus 1:11).

4. Take heed to the flock (Acts 20:32).

5. Feed the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1,2).

6. Be guided by the word of God (Acts 20:32; Titus 1:9).

7. Oversee/shepherd the local congregation (1 Peter 5:2)

8. Be examples to the flock of God (1 Peter 5:3).

9. Rule well (1 Timothy 5:17).

10. Make decisions in the local congregation concerning matters of judgment (Acts 15:6) and enforce matters of faith (Titus 1:9-15).

11. Admonish the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12).

12. Support the weak (Acts 20:35).

13. Pray for the sick and administer to their needs (James 5:14,15).

14. Watch for the souls of the church (Hebrews 13:17).

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Can An Elder Serve A Congregation As He Should When He Preaches At Some Other Place On Sundays?

No. God has charged that elders ought to be overseeing and feeding the flock of God of which he is part. 1 Peter 5:1-4 states: "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away."

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Must Deacons Have The Same Qualifications As The Elders?

No. Paul makes it clear by the authority of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:37), the Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22,23), that these works are different and distinct from one another. In 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Paul uses the word "likewise" to show a distinction between the two functions. Paul, in his letters, means by that word that a new section is beginning, but it is somehow related to the previous section. The similarity is that they must exhibit the qualifications to be appointed to either of these two works. One can also see that there are two different sets of qualifications showing that they are both different works.

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How Long Does It Take To Prove Deacons At A Local Congregation?

1 Timothy 3:8-10 states: "Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless ."

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Should One Elder Take It Upon Himself To Make Changes Without Consulting The Other Elders?

No. Authority does not reside in one man, but within the eldership. Note the plurality mentioned in (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). The elders must agree upon the changes in question and discuss whether they are in accordance with the word of God (Colossians 3:17).

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Must an elder have every qualifications himself? Or can all the elders share together all the qualifications?

1 Timothy 3:1-7 states: "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having hischildren in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

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Is It Possible For Today's Men To Meet All The Qualifications Of An Elder?

This question assumes that a person cannot obey the commandments of God. It assumes that God's commandments are impossible. Would God give such impossible commandments? The qualifications do not demand a sinless, perfect man (1 John 1:7-10). If that were true, no man would qualify. The fact of the matter is that some of these qualifications tak e time to develop, therefore, we need to teach our young men to desire to be an elder one day.

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Could A Bachelor Be An Elder If He Has Had Experience With Children, Such As A School Teacher?

No. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 states: "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

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Is Your Pastor A Pastor In The Biblical Sense?

The word "pastor" (Latin for “shepherd”) appears in our English Bible and is from the Greek word poimen. This word occurs 18 times in the New Testament and refers to one who feeds and cares for a flock of sheep. This word is most often translated "shepherd" but it can be translated "pastor" also.

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Must An Elder Remain Married?

As part of the qualifications of an elder the Holy Spirit says, “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach…” (1 Tim. 3:1-2).

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