Lesson Thirteen – Church Government

Church Government

Lesson Aim:  To show the affect on the church with leaders who are successful parents and good at teaching and living God’s word, plus a plea for the complete restoration of church government.


So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.  Mark 16:19

Before Jesus returned to heaven He informed His disciples how He would order His kingdom on planet earth.  He said:

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.  All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.  John 16:13-15

One message the Holy Spirit relayed from Jesus to the apostles was to ordain elders in every church (Acts 14:23).  Paul said to the elders at Ephesus, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  Acts 20:28.

Our king’s plan is for a plurality of older godly men to oversee His subjects in an autonomous body at places all over the world (Titus 1:5; Phil. 1:1).  We may wonder why Jesus trusted a leadership role of this magnitude to men, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” Matt. 11:19.  In other words, the church must use Jesus’ form of government before we will appreciate His wisdom.  He was not unaware of the perils of having men oversee His church, for speaking to the elders, Paul warned that “savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock”  Acts 20:29.  He went on to say that even from among the elders men would arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

The doctrine of church government has been perverted by “glory seeking” men for the past 2000 years.  They have claimed offices on levels between Jesus and His overseers where there are none authorized by Jesus.  All of their titles and offices were created by men and for men’s glory.  Jesus strictly forbade men to be called father in a spiritual sense (Matt. 23:9).  The word “reverend” is used only once in the Bible and it refers to God (Psa. 111:9).  The elevation of men to unauthorized positions started under the shadow of the cross.  The Corinthian church of God was in danger of dividing four ways because of their desire to elevate the people who taught them (I Cor. 1:12, 13).

The world today must contend with the titles and offices that have been handed down to us by the traditions of men.  Our generation is not willing to stop, but we must add “yet one more sin.”  Now it is Reverend Mary Jane.  Also, with the present gender role confusion, the next generation could very well produce a Father Josephine.  It will not end until we put away the traditions of men and teach the doctrines of God about church government.

The quote, “Christian religious world” has almost always rejected Jesus’ form of church government.  The possible reasons are ignorance of the word, the boastful pride of life and a lack of qualified men to rule.  The latter is the reason offered by many churches of Christ for our deficiencies in church government today.

In this lesson we will neither deal with all the Biblical details of church government nor attempt to address all of the religious errors.  However, we will attempt to show how Jesus’ form of church government enhances the mental environment of His subjects because it is compatible with God’s plan for mankind.  We want to reveal the blessings of an oligarchy, or rule of the few, form of government with leaders who have proven themselves to be successful parents.  We will study their descriptive titles and qualifications in order to understand the power in Jesus’ church government.  Finally, we will consider how we can have a complete restoration of church government in the churches of Christ who desire to be the church of God that functions as the body of Christ (Rom. 16:16; I Cor. 1:2; 3:23; 12:12 , 13).


The word “government,” as it is used in the title of this lesson, is found in I Cor. 12:28.  In this scripture the Greek word, kubernesis, has been translated “governments” in the King James Version, and “administrations” in the New American Standard.  According to W. E. Vine, kubernesis means a steering, piloting, or guiding, thus governments or governing.  Jesus did not trust the governing of His church to the natural abilities of men in its infancy because He wanted every thing started out right.  The apostles administrated or governed the churches, starting with the events in Acts 2.

At the close of the book of Acts, the apostles were still evangelizing and helping care for the churches but the Holy Spirit had already bestowed power upon certain men to govern the local churches.  Elders were appointed in every church under the “spiritual gift” program (I Cor. 12:28-31).  Thus in the book of Acts, we see a movement from apostle administrated churches to apostle-elders and finally to the elders.  (Acts 6:2; 11:30; 15:1-6, 22, 23).

The apostles did not function under the oversight of the elders.  They had the responsibility of declaring the elders’ qualifications, ordaining elders and warning them of impending dangers after the apostles demise (I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9; Acts 20:17-32).  However, Jesus neither wanted an apostle governed church nor a government with elders dependent upon spiritual gifts.  Paul suggested a time would come when the elders would be left with only the Bible for their instructions (I Cor. 13:8).  They would use the word of God for directions in their oversight of the respective flocks of which they were members.  Paul made the following statement to the elders at Ephesus:

And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  Acts 20:32

A study of the words used to identify those whom Jesus uses to govern the man-dimension of His kingdom will help us understand the value of Biblical church government.  The Greek word presbuteros has been translated elder in Acts 14:23 and other scriptures.  It literally means an aged person; however, merely growing old does not qualify men for the position of leadership in the church.  They must be ordained to the presbytery by the members.  Peter, an elder of the church, said, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders.”  I Pet. 5:1, 5.

The Greek word episkopos is translated bishop or overseer in Phil. 1:1 and Acts 20:28.  It is used interchangeably with elder in Titus 1:5, 7.  It means to superintend.  The overseers were told to feed (KJV) or shepherd (NAS) the church of God in Acts 20:28.  These were translated from the Greek word poimaino.  It means to do the work of a shepherd.  The Greek word poimen, which basically means to feed, is translated pastor in Eph. 4:11.  This was one of the spiritual gifts given to the early church members.  Since evangelists are also mentioned in this passage we can assume that pastors refer to elders and not to preachers.  Jesus is the archpoimen or chief shepherd (I Pet. 5:4).  An understanding of these terms helps us appreciate Jesus’ great wisdom in His church government.  He desires that His church be watched over, piloted, and fed by older men with “good shepherd” mentalities.  Today, the apostles and miraculous spiritual gifts have ceased.  Evidently, Jesus believes we have a form of government more appropriate for His goals for today.  It was He who ordained it.

All of the aforementioned terms were familiar to the Jewish Christians.  They were commonly used in the Old Testament.  Moses called for the elders of the people (Ex. 19:7).  Nehemiah said Uzzi was an overseer of the Levites (Neh. 11:22).  Jeremiah said, “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!”  Jer. 23:1.  Jesus presented Himself as the shepherd of God’s sheep, and He suggested that a good shepherd does more than feed his sheep.  He will also die for them if necessary (John 10:10-16).

A study of the qualifications of an elder from I Tim. 3:1-7 and Tit. 1:5-9 will also enhance our appreciation of the value of the presbytery on the mental environment “in Christ.”  The following are the English terms translated from Greek, with their root meaning, which Paul used to instruct Timothy about the qualifications of elders.

  • office of a bishop, (episkope) oversight, superintendent.
  • blameless, (anepileptos) not laid hold on, not open to censor.
  • vigilant, temperate, (nephalios) free from influence of intoxicants.
  • prudent, sober, temperate (sophron) denotes a sound mind, self controlled.
  • respectable, orderly, (kosmios) decent.
  • hospitality, (philohenos) lover of strangers.
  • apt to teach, (didaktikos) skilled in teachings to the point “that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  Tit. 1:9.
  • not given to wine, (paroinos) one alongside wine, not an excessive.
  • no striker, pugnacious, (plektes).
  • not greedy of filthy lucre, no lover of money, (aischrokerdes, not in some manuscripts), greedy of base gain.
  • patient, yielding, lenient, (epieikes) equitable, fair, moderate, forbearing.
  • not a brawler, not contentious, (amachoso) not striving, not fighting.
  • not covetous, no lover of money, not avaricious, (aphilarguros).
  • ruleth, to set or place over or before, (proistemi).

Jesus desires shepherds of His flock be decent, drug-free, self-controlled, hospitable men who are not economically motivated.  Added to the foregoing characterizations are these traits:  A desire to serve the flock as an elder, the husband of one wife, longevity in the church, and a good reputation in the community.  Perhaps, the most outstanding qualification is that these men must be proven successful parents.  Paul said, “but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God.”  I Tim. 3:5.  Jesus knew He must develop Christians for God in a family environment because faithful Christians will be an eternal part of God’s family (Gal. 4:7).

God’s work from the beginning in procreation shows His agreement with Jesus.  Mankind was created for family.  God arranged for people to come into this world in a physical family (Gen.5:1-3).  However, if the heads of the family fail to socialize their offspring as sons of God, then something other than the physical family is needed to insure that God’s goal can be attained for each human being.  The time of Noah is an example when the fathers of the families failed in God’s overall plan for mankind; however, no other organization was in operation (Gen. 6:1-8).  Today, we have the church.

When we contemplate why God created us and how we are to inherit His eternal kingdom as children, Jesus’ demand for leaders with successful family qualifications does not surprise us.  Jesus will return for the fruit of the earth for God.  He is expecting Christians will be ready to blend into God’s kingdom with the rest of God’s children (II Thess. 1:10-12).  Consequently, the present program is that we learn the role of a child.  This is why elders must be successful parents before they are allowed to begin to steer or pilot us in our sanctification.  Surely, no one is more qualified to steer us in God’s re-workmanship (Eph. 2:10). Christians are undergoing changes, and the following scripture describes our present situation:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow-citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.  Eph. 2:19-22

God’s household of Christians is being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.  Jesus Christ is the cornerstone.  Christians are “being fitted together” and we are “being built together.”  The use of the passive participle suggests the “fitting in” is being done by an external power in addition to the Christian’s own efforts.  The result is we are growing together with the other members into the holy temple of God.  Since God is our Father we are more and more feeling at home in our niche in His habitat.  We are being sanctified into God’s household.  A new dimension is being added to God’s kingdom as He adds the fruit of Jesus’ work to his eternal kingdom.  Please consider I Peter 2:4-10.

Today, Christian parents are admonished to bring up our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord without provoking them to anger (Eph. 6:4).  However, in His wisdom as our king, Jesus has ordained successful parents to oversee us while we discipline and instruct our children.  The value of this type of church government is obvious.  Young parents have never been parents before.  They were not given an opportunity to practice before they tried the real thing.  However, when the church functions as it is designed by our Lord, parents have successful parents as our superintendents to pilot us on this great adventure.  They are the elders of the church.

Elders have looked into the word of God, and they have proven it is a good and acceptable and perfect way to rear their children (Rom. 12:1, 2).  They have control over their families with all dignity (I Tim. 3:4).  They have proven to the ones who are behind them on the “trail of life” that they know how to use God’s word to interpret reality.  The need to properly interpret reality for each generation is the reason Jesus is willing to delegate power to men to rule His church.  All members of the church have access to God’s word; however, all do not have the maturity and Bible knowledge to properly interpret reality by the word of God.  Elders do, so they can shepherd the rest of us.

Of course, properly rearing our children is not the only attribute necessary for our development.  In fact, we may elect, like the Apostle Paul, not to get married (I Cor. 7:26).  Whether we marry or not, we still must be fitted together and built up together with the other members of Christ’s body.  Paul said, “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Rom. 12:5.  Although our physical families play a key role in our development as healthy human beings, they are for this world only.  Jesus said, “He who loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.”  Matt. 10:37.  We must be fitted together with other Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ (II Cor. 6:18).  We must learn to think of the local church as our eternal family.

Peter admonishes Christians to love our brethren fervently because we have been born of an imperishable seed (I Pet. 1:22, 23).  Paul asks that we “greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.”  I Thess. 5:26.  Mankind was made to fit into a family circle, God’s family circle.  Some have become misfits but Jesus is working to fit us in again by using successful family men to guide us while here upon earth.  Who could steer or pilot a church to function as a family better than elders who are successful parents?

Jesus is concerned about the image of His church before the world.  This is why His overseers have a good reputation in their community.  They have been faithful members of the church long enough to understand their office is for dedicated service.  It is not for their own personal glory.  The world will be benefited because of the families of these church leaders.  The devil will not be able to thwart the evangelism work of the church because of inefficient government, if we use Jesus’ form.

Perhaps, the three epistles of the elderly Apostle John depicts the kind of shepherding we can expect from men whom Jesus ordained as leaders over His people on earth.  John speaks of love, confidence and truth in a gentle persuasive way.  Yet he warns, “Any one who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ, does not have God.”  II John 9.  His letters appear to be from a man who had not only learned God’s word but who knew how to live it.  This is the mark of elders.  They are men who have experienced some degree of spiritual success because they interpret reality by God’s word.  Jesus has given the government of His church to this quality of men.  How shall we describe their value to our mental environment?  Perhaps, a study of the value of a shepherd to the mental environment of his sheep will help.  Please reflect on the Twenty Third Psalm.  In a word Christians feel “protected” with Jesus’ type of church government.

In today’s religious world we do not often find the type of church government in operation we read about in the Bible.  Let us now explore some of the possible reasons for this departure and suggest some solutions for a total restoration of New Testament church government.  First, we will address ourselves to an opinion as to how the “Christian religious world” got into its present condition.  Our leadership problems started long before the Christian period.  Man’s desire for glory on earth and his moral weaknesses wrecked God’s plan for His kingdom in the Old Testament.  God made men high priests in the Levitical priesthood and He reserved the kingship for Himself.  Later the people wanted a king like other nations, so God gave the kingship over to men also (I Sam. 8:7).  Both the high priests and the kings polluted their leadership positions (I Sam. 3:13; 13:13).  All of this has been rectified in God’s kingdom today because God removed all men from high places.  Jesus Christ is both king and priest (I Tim. 6:15; Heb. 8:1).

In spite of God’s precautions, problems with leadership roles still exist in the Christian age.  As it was suggested before, the church at Corinth had begun to divide four ways.  One group claimed “I am of Christ,” but the other three identified with the men who taught them about Christ (I Cor. 1:12).  They were acting like “mere men.”  Please study I Cor. 3:1-4 for a definition of “mere men.”  They are religious but they think like men of flesh.  They are babes in Christ.  They cannot interpret reality to perceive Jesus as an active king over God’s kingdom; consequently, they seek a man with which to identify.  When “false apostles” or “deceitful workers” appear, as they did in the Corinthian church, division can take place (II Cor. 11:13).  These deceitful workers could be church leaders who do not have a strong enough hope to satisfy their desire for glory.  They draw away disciples after themselves.  Paul warned the elders at Ephesus, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock:  and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”  Acts 20:29, 30.

We are not surprised people seek their own disciples when we consider our design is consistent with our purpose.  God created us to have the exalted position as sons in His kingdom; therefore, He instilled within each of us an innate desire for glory.  Consequently, if religious people do not have a hope of glory at the return of Jesus Christ, they can be dangerous to the church (Gal. 1:6-10).  Their unbelief may cause them to look for glory now (John 5:44).  A combination of “mere men” and leaders who are looking for glory from men can produce a church other than our Lord’s church.

The offices in the Lord’s church to which man can be appointed are not for our own glory.  Please read the story about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet in John 13:3-17.  The point is that leaders should not look for glory in God’s kingdom on earth.  We must be steward type servants for the Lord.  Our glory will come later but some are not satisfied with this arrangement (Gal. 4:17).  Even before the dust of the apostles feet had settled men began to devise and connive for positions of honor – positions that do not exist.  The Corinthian letters were addressed to this very problem.  This was the problem in the church at Corinth.  It is a major problem in the religious world today.  It gave us Catholicism, denominationalism and every other “ism” that has sprung up since Jesus Christ purchased His church with His own blood.  It should seriously be considered as a potential problem in the Lord’s church even now.

Six hundred years after the Holy Spirit had made overseers in “every church” and after the creation of unscriptural office upon office by mere men, the first pope’s office was established.  This was the work of men who had selfish ambitions (Phil. 1:17).  Approximately a thousand years later some men in Europe decided to reform the Catholic Church.  The result has been our present group of denominations.  They have all established offices and powers for men God does not authorize.  Study this proverb carefully and see if there is wisdom in it:  “A church will not go very far wrong with correct government, or very far right without it.”

Nearly two hundred years ago there were some denominational people who decided to correct themselves according to God’s Word.  This restoration is still going on today but we will not have gone all the way until we have restored church government to the pattern in the Bible.  In too many cases we have borrowed the denominational method of using the preacher as the pastor, or feeder, of the church.  In these churches the elders are usually used to “serve a little canned soup on cold days.”  We will not have restored the Lord’s church in the area of church government until we see two things happen:  We must see the elders feeding the saved and the preachers ministering the gospel to the unsaved.

In order to accomplish these two tasks we must first solve an economical problem.  Very few elders are supported financially in our Lord’s church; however, the same scripture authorizing support for preachers also authorizes support for the elders.  It reads, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.”  Deut. 25:4.  In Paul’s letter to Timothy he applied this principle for the elders who work hard at teaching and preaching  (I Tim. 5:17, 18).  In the Corinthian letter Paul applies this same scripture to those who preach.  All who preach the gospel qualifies for support if they can find a church willing to support them (I Cor. 9:6-14).  Teachers may also qualify for support.  Paul said, “And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.” Gal. 6:6. “Share” in this context means to communicate or make common use of.  “Teaches” is from the Greek word, katecheo; it means to sound down, to instruct orally.  This male member taught the word orally and he warranted some type of support from the person or persons he taught.

The ideal situation is for preachers to preach the gospel to the lost. Those who are converted could then support the preachers while they continue to preach to the lost.  Of course, if there is no one to teach the converts then those who preached can also be their teachers.  Teachers also qualify for support.  The same person can do both jobs; that is, preach and teach.  Christians who preach and teach are not ordained to an office like elders.  Teachers are teachers when they teach and preachers are preachers when they preach.  However, elders are ordained to the presbytery.  As elders, they can function as teachers and preachers.  Both functions deserve support but we are not always willing to support elders.

The churches of Christ are generally willing to support those who identify themselves as preachers.  Please consider this thought.  If God’s word authorizes support for preachers when they preach to the lost, then surely it stands to reason that when they are supported they should continue to preach to the lost.  Why did we pull our preachers away from the lost and start using them to feed the flock?  And, even in many cases where elders are already ordained.  Did we ordain the wrong men?  The church should not ordain elders unless they are qualified to feed the flock.  If they are qualified, then why do we support preachers to do their work?  Something is wrong where this condition exists decade after decade!

The elders should be given the power and support to carry out the charge given to them.  If they must feed, the church must eat.  If they must oversee, the church must be submissive.  Unfed members can cause elders to lose their souls at judgment.  Unruly members can lose their own souls (Heb. 13:17).  The preachers do not share the responsibility of the church with the presbytery any more than the other members of the congregation.  A study of the following scriptures and words will enlighten us on the subject of the preacher and evangelist.  Because some supported men identify as a minister, we will also consider this word.

Preacher –    kerux – proclaimer (I Tim. 2:7; II Tim. 1:11; II Pet. 2:5).
Preacher –    kerus – To cry or proclaim (Rom. 10:14).
Preaching –   kerusso– to cry, or proclaim  (Matt. 3:1; 4:17, 23; II Cor. 1:19).
Preached –   kataggelo – to tell thoroughly (Acts 4:2; I Cor. 9:14; Col. 1:28).
Evangelist –  euangelistes– one who announces good tidings (Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11; II Tim. 4:5).
Minister –      diakones – laborer, ministrant, deacon  (I Cor. 3:5; II Cor. 3:6; 6:4; 11:23).
Minister –      huperetus – an under rower, assistant, helper (Luke 1:2; Acts 13:5; 26:16; I Cor. 4:1).

The meaning of the above words should tell us where those who do the great work of preaching belong.  In order to do their work they must have much contact with the lost.  We must send them to the lost or bring the lost to them.

Now let us address ourselves to an “unspoken doctrine” causing a great deal of confusion in our Lord’s church today.  It may be the reason the restoration of Biblical church government has not been accomplished in many churches of Christ.  The problem arises when the preachers identify their work with the exact work of Timothy and Titus.  This gives them some “mystical powers” and puts them in the “awkward position” we now find ourselves dealing with in many churches.  This position is not awkward in the denominational churches because, generally, they disband the elders.  The positions many preachers in the churches of Christ hold are about the same in function as the pastors in denominational churches.  This makes it extremely awkward for qualified elders to feed the flock.  It is causing the lost to be neglected and in too many cases, it is disrupting scriptural church government.  Usually, we teach the doctrine of church government properly but often in function we silently slip into the denominational pastor tradition.

To understand the letters written to Timothy and Titus we must understand their special relationship to Paul, the apostle.  We must understand the work of Paul, the apostle.  The preachers today do not stand where Timothy and Titus stood in their day.  Yes, they were preachers.  Yes, Christian men can be preachers today.  However, the difference between a segment of Timothy’s and Titus’ work and the preachers’ work today is the office of the apostle.  Let us carefully follow Paul, the apostle, and note how much of the work of Timothy and Titus was under his apostleship.  Their authority came through Paul’s apostleship.  If the apostles are “no more,” so goes the authority given to Timothy and Titus by the apostle Paul.  Please study the following points and scriptures.


  •   gave orders (I Cor. 7:17; 16:1).
  •   strengthened churches (Acts 15:41).
  •   called elders (Acts 20:17).
  •   sent messengers, translated from APOSTOLOS, (II Cor. 8:23).
  •   robbed churches (II Cor. 11:8).
  •   care of churches (II Cor. 11:28).
  •   preacher (II Tim. 1:11).


  • Paul’s fellow-worker and partner (II Cor. 8:23).
  • church at Corinth received him with fear and trembling (II Cor. 7:15).
  • Titus organized a benevolent work at Corinth (II Cor. 8:6).
  • helped administer work (II Cor. 8:19).
  • travelled with Paul (Gal. 2:1).
  • “set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I (Paul) directed  you.” (Tit. 1:5).


  • accompanied Paul (Acts 16:1,2).
  • Paul commanded him (Acts 17:15).
  • fellow-worker (Rom. 16:21).
  • Paul sent him (Acts 19:22; I Cor. 4:17; I Thess. 3:2).
  • Timothy did the Lord’s work for Paul (Phil. 2:19, 20).
  • preached (II Cor. 1:19).
  • Paul and Timothy wrote to churches (Phil. 1:1).
  • Timothy had a spiritual gift (I Tim. 4:14; 5:22).
  • Paul told Timothy what to teach (I Tim. 4:11).
  • Paul told Timothy what to do (I Tim. 5:9, 19).

Paul called elders, sent messengers, confirmed and robbed churches, but he or the other apostles were never under the direction of the presbytery.  Timothy, Titus and others were his messengers, fellow-workers and partners.  All of this was a part of Paul’s work as an apostle.  They all preached but it was Paul’s apostleship that gave them power over the churches of Christ.

Today there are no apostles; therefore, there are no powers on earth outside the local congregation.  We are the body of Christ and Jesus is our only head.  There is no one in a local church who is not under the elders’ oversight.  The elders must answer for all – but the rebellious (Heb. 13:17).  The work of evangelism must go on `but the evangelist must adhere to church government just as everyone else.

Generally, our excuse for bypassing God’s perfect plan is that there are no qualified elders.  Unfortunately, this is true in some cases; however, unless a different view is adopted we will never have enough qualified elders.  We will never restore the Lord’s church.  The following suggestions could help the churches of Christ continue on the road to restoration in the area of church government and world evangelism at the same time.

  • Let us all view the preacher in his proper work.
  • Let all preachers who are now qualified for the presbytery accept this office if they plan to continue to feed the flock.
  • Let us free the churches from dependence on the elders’ financial contributions if it forces them to neglect the flock because they work long hours at secular work.
  • Let us be willing to financially support elders who teach and preach.
  • Let us study our Bibles and eliminate the “ghost preacher” sent by some power “from we know not where.”
  • Let us all grow in faith to the point we see sonship with God as His plan to satisfy the need He put in us for glory.  Let us not build up glory around a pulpit before the eyes of our young men to the point they lose vision of the lost. Let us train them to preach to the lost as their main calling.
  • Let us pray to God we are not deceived by the false concepts from denominational people concerning church government.  (It will be a “never-ending” battle because most of the converts to the Lord’s church in the USA come from denominations; therefore, the influence will always be with us.)
  • Let the elders, preachers and teachers actively teach the church and the world about God’s plan for church government.

Since faithful Christians are God’s sons eternally it is natural for Jesus to organize His church as a family.  The church was not designed to give glory to some Christians now and others later.  The order is training and service on earth and glory with God in heaven.  May we be careful to give God the glory by maintaining His order of church government?  May the shepherds feed the flock so that the lost can see those “beautiful feet” of the preachers once again?

And how shall they preach unless they are sent?  Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!”  Rom. 10:15.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Give one message the Holy Spirit relayed to the apostles concerning church government.
  2. What are some reasons for the rejection of Biblical church government by the “Christian religious” people?
  3. What is one reason why people might want to draw disciples to themselves?
  4. What combination of people might develop a church other than our Lord’s church?
  5. How many offices are authorized between Jesus, our king, and the elders?
  6. What was causing division in the Corinthian church?
  7. What is the meaning of the word “government” as it is used in the title of this lesson?
  8. Describe the movement found in the book of Acts in relation to church leadership.
  9. What did Paul warn the elders of the church in Ephesus would happen after his departure?
  10. List and define the Greek words identifying those who govern the church.
  11. Why can we conclude Jesus thinks the elders make better leaders than the apostles for His church today?
  12. Why should the Jewish Christians have been familiar with the terms identifying church leaders?
  13. Summarize the qualifications of an elder.
  14. Why is the qualification of being a successful parent compatible with God’s plan for mankind for church leaders?
  15. How does the leadership role of elders fit in with what is described in Eph. 2:19-22?
  16. How can elders help young parents?
  17. Why should we think of the local church as a family?
  18. How do spiritual elders interpret reality?
  19. How did the “Christian religious world” digress to its present condition in relation to church government?
  20. What wrecked God’s plan for His kingdom with physical Israel?
  21. What point did Jesus make by washing His disciples’ feet?
  22. What is the Old Testament scripture which authorizes financial support of a church member and to whom does it apply today?
  23. Why is it reasonable to think a preacher should be more concerned with the lost than the saved?
  24. What is the “unspoken doctrine” suggested in this lesson?
  25. If a presbytery decided they needed someone to feed their flock for them, what should the church conclude about those men?

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