LOVE YOUR ELDERS 敬爱您的长老

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you… shepherd the flock of God, exercising oversight voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor lording over those in your charge, but.. as examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:1-4 NKJV

Today we consecrate a new elder. It is a good time to reflect what eldership means. Elders are shepherds with spiritual oversight over the church. It’s God’s idea. In the early church, they were appointed, not elected, and eldership is always plural. (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5). In Skyline, a new elder is invited in only after much prayer and deliberation by the eldership. Usually the team is kept to five to maximise bonding and effective spiritual oversight. Each elder serves only a finite term so there is a constant replenishing of spiritual leadership in this church. In this way, Skyline never “grows old”.

What are the functions of elders? Why are they so important to the health and strength of a church? The functions of elders are to lead, teach, protect, and shepherd the sheep so that the church will grow into maturity (Titus 1: 7-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4). While not all elders are called to preach (1 Timothy 5:17), every elder must be able to teach doctrinal truths (1 Timothy 3:2). Elders also pray for the sick (James 5:14), and protect the church from doctrinal error (Acts 15:1-2). They have authority over the church, and God calls us to submit to them (Hebrews 13:17). In Skyline, while the senior pastor leads the elders, he is also submitted and answerable to the eldership.

The qualifications of elders are demanding; they must be the husband of one wife, and look after their family well. They are not greedy for money, not given to drinking, but are self-controlled and even-tempered. They are not insubordinate or violent but are faithful to sound doctrine, hospitable, and lovers of good (Titus 1:5-9). How do you keep your elders vitalised? Love them. Pray for them. And honour and respect them.

我这作长老,作基督受苦的见证,同享后来所要显现之荣耀的,
劝你们中间与我同作长老的人:务要牧养在你们中间神的群羊,按着神旨意照管他们;
不是出于勉强,乃是出于甘心;也不是因为贪财,乃是出于乐意;也不是辖制所托付你们的,乃是作群羊的榜样。到了牧长显现的时候,你们必得那永不衰残的荣耀冠冕。
彼得前书 5:1-4

今天教会将圣职授任于一位新的长老。这也是我们好好思考设立长老会真正意义的最佳时机。长老是牧者,身负监督教会属灵的责任。这是神的原意。在早期的教会当中,长老都是被委任而不是被推选的,而且长老会都由数位长老组成。(使徒行传14:23, 提多书1:5)。在Skyline教会里,在任的长老们必须通过长久的祷告与思考才决定邀请一位新的长老加入。通常长老会人数保持最多5位,以便建立最密切的联系以及达到最有效的属灵监督。每一位长老的任期都有限制,这有助于促进教会在属灵领导方面能持续有新的注入。这样,Skyline就不会变‘老’了。

长老的责任是什么?为什么他们对教会的健康与力量那么重要?长老的责任是要带领,教导,保护以及成为教会里群羊的牧者,以便教会能够变得更成熟。(提多书1:7-9, 彼得前书5:1-4)。虽然不是每一位长老都有讲道的呼召(提摩太前书5:17),但每一位长老必须能够教导正确的教义(提摩太前书3:2)。长老们也必须为病者的祷告(雅各书5:14),捍卫教会免受错误教义的误导。他们拥有监督教会的权力,而神也教导我们必须顺服于他们(希伯来书13:17)。在Skyline,当主任牧师领导着众长老的同时,他也必须顺从长老会,并向长老会负责。

成为一位长老的条件是非常严格的。他必须是一位妻子的丈夫,并且能够把家庭照料好。他不贪财,不酗酒,拥有强烈的自制能力与性情平和。他不会违抗命令或使用暴力,相反的,他忠于真理,非常好客并且热爱善良(提多书1:5-9)。那您应该如何支持您的长老呢?爱他们。为他们祷告。推崇他们并尊敬他们。

Philip Lyn 医生牧师

By | 2018-05-29T14:42:57+00:00 May 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments