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Wednesday, May 31, 2006 

A True Shepherd!

Last week I was in Richardson, Texas as a part of a program through the Waterview church of Christ. I got a chance to preach there and I also spent a week doing some studies with Robert Oglesby which was really beneficial to me. On Wednesday night Robert invited me to come and observe their elders meeting there. There were 12 elders in all and I was very interested in seeing how this would all take place. So we entered the elders conference and as soon as you enter you see this huge round table and these nice leather chairs surrounding the table. I quickly made the observation that this looked a lot like a business conference room. The meeting began and they followed parliamentary procedure which was a little different to me. Then it happened, I made a snap judgment of the group. I decided that they were trying to run a business and not running the church like true shepherds. About half of the meeting was spent talking about various things that needed to be done with the church including a capital improvement campaign. Then I saw something I really liked. These men took time to pray over the entire prayer list of the very large church. It took quite some time as they are a very large church family. They then spent the rest of the time talking about spiritual matters and some ways in which they could help the church grow spiritually. I was very impressed. I was wrong these men are true shepherds in my view. I dawned on me that night how difficult a task these men have. I think that it is time that we stopped judging these men called elders. They do a noble work before the Lord and I value their wisdom in so many ways. I for one have great elders! They are men that love the people of the my congregation so deeply. I am very happy to serve under them and yet they give me the privilege of serving side by side with the. I praise God for the elders of any church. For any of you in ministry you no how much blood , sweat, and tears that give to the task of shepherding the church. I know of a few of my ministry buddies that are trying to minister in a church without elders and you better believe that they dream of the day when they can appoint new elders. I for one refuse to take them for granted and praise God for the eldership that I serve with. We seem to focus on the qualifications of the eldership alot and that is valid and yet many times we forget what kind of relationship that scripture calls us to have with our elders.

A. Appreciate the elders (1 Thess. 5:12)
B. Esteem them very highly in love (1 Thess. 5:13)
C. Be submissive to the elders in their leadership of the church (Heb. 13:17)
D. Live in peace with them (1 Thess. 5:13)
E. Obey the elders (Heb. 13:17)
F. Do not sharply rebuke an elder; appeal to him as a father (1 Tim. 5:1)
G. Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19)
H. Remember them and imitate them (Heb. 13:17)
I. Count them worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17-18)
J. Call them when in need (James 5:14)
K. Correct them when they continue to sin (1 Tim. 5:20)
L. Elders are fellow Christians, therefore they are entitled to all of the mutual duties the Body of Christ fulfills to each other Christian.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time up here. Michael enjoyed seeing you again. My dad and I spoke about the hard decisions elders often make. We do need to do all those things that you listed. I am very glad to hear that you have great elders. I believe our elders are some of the best as well!

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About me

  • I'm Michael Potthoff
  • From Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
  • My name is Michael Potthoff and I am 27 years old. I was raised in League City, Texas (close to Houston) I have a beautiful, godly wife name Ruth who makes me a better man! I have been in ministry close to 5 years now and Jesus Christ is my passion. Preaching His good news is something that I truly love! I am blessed to be able to do something that I truly love.
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