Have you ever wondered how the modern day church developed the pastoral system it employs? History shows it was the rise of the Monarchial Bishop over and above the plurality of elders that precipitated the ascent of the one-man ministry structure utilized in the church of today. The Monarchial Bishop became the "pastor" over the entire church which eventually led to total control and suppression of God's people.
Even though such configurations are unscriptural, churches throughout history have simply followed the form of religious traditions passed down to them which has produced the "super pastor" structure that persists in the modern church. As a result, most men involved in the present pastoral system are physically, emotionally and spiritually drained by having to be
CEO, counsellor, preacher,visionary, missionary, etc., etc., and try to function as a husband
and father, as well. This structure places an unhealthy, unscriptural burden on any one man.
Another primary defect from this "one-man" ministry style is the actual life and vitality of the church. Since God never intended for one man to feed and nurture the flock, the spiritual growth and maturation of the church is hindered.
It is important to realize and understand:
There is not a single church referenced in the New Testament that had one-man presiding over it.
You cannot find a singular "pastor" ruling over any one church in scripture.
With all the churches mentioned in the Acts or the Epistles there is not one person specifically called "pastor".
The New Testament never utilizes the term "pastor" as it is defined and used by the church today.
Rather, the New Testament always portrays the plurality of elders as the type of leadership that was birthed and implemented by the Holy Spirit. If that is the case,
(and it is) then that is the type of leadership that we
should expect, long for and allow in the Body of Christ
The reasons for the necessity of elders in the local church
are as follows:
- It is God's ordained form of local church government
- It is scriptural / can be proven
- Provides for the people of God
- Protects the people of God
- Matures the people of God
- Empowers the people of God
- Facilitates the Life of God among the people
- Frees the people of God into destiny / purpose
The Church belongs to Christ. He is the Head of His Body, the Church. When He declared, "I will build My Church..," he fully intended to perform that which He declared. He has provided both the means and the method for His Church to be established, grow and accurately bear His image in the earth. One of the key components produced by the Life of Christ in His Church is the leadership form of the plurality of elders!
Truly, it is a trustworthy statement:
If any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.
- Are you tired of just 'going' to church and you are ready to learn how to 'be' the church?
- Do you desire to work among the Lord's people as a local elder?
- Would you like to learn more about the Biblical soundness of eldership in the local assembly?
Is it your desire to:
- Meet / fellowship with local elders who are functioning in their respective communities
- Learn the scriptural basis for eldership
- Hear testimonies and real life experiences of New Testament eldership
- Develop in your calling as an elder
The Forerunner Ministry works with elders across the United States and around the earth to assist in their growth and development. We'd love to meet you and hear your story. Please send us an email: