House Church Unplugged

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Shortage of elders?

What if the older ones of the community really were the elders mentoned in the NT? I say “mentioned” because there would have been no need to describe or identify elders as the older ones – thousands of years of recorded history already rendered them as such. In the old world, the older ones were the honored patriarchs and vip’s. Somebody of my age, could in fact, have easily had great grand-children running around underfoot.

Every Christian senior is commissioned to be a shepherd, guide, pastor, and teacher to the young. See Acts 20, for example. How natural – the older ones teaching the younger ones. The church does seem to grasp this idea with respect to the women teaching the young, but there’s a blind spot the size of Texas when it comes to applying it to the males.

Let me put it like this: I see, in my travels around the internet, hundreds of references to “Titus 2 women.” They even have clubs. But where are the Titus 2 men, mentioned in the previous verse and chapter?

In the “pastorals” the translators confused the matter by translating the original word, presbuterous, as “elders” AND/OR as older men. See also 1 Tim 5:1-2. But you cannot miss the seniority aspects of 1 Peter 5. After addressing the elder ones – the elders who were to voluntarily shepherd the flock – Peter immediately charges the YOUNGER ones with an unmistakeable “likewise.”

Yesterday, there was a story in the news about the impending shortage of priests in the catholic church. We protestants might reply that it really depends upon how one defines “priest” and that actually all believers are priests – thus no real shortage.

Likewise for the elders of the church – there is no real shortage of them. They just haven’t (yet?) entered into the pastoral role which God ordained and appointed them unto. And a long as eldership is viewed as an office, calling, or career, they never will.

Instead of the traditional “senior pastor” concept we need to move to a “seniors who are pastors” perspective.

That aside, though the seniors were and were to be the natural spiritual leaders as the heads of large families, there is still nothing at all to prevent or discourage a younger man from focusing upon serving the church as an overseer or bishop. Thus, this subject is broached by Paul: “This is a faithful saying, if ANY man…” There, btw, is another prob – most English translators just add the word “office” – it does not appear in the Greek,

One other thing, many modern business models are making good use of mentoring and internships. Hundreds of books and articles from the corporate world advocate mentoring. Why hasn’t the church world done likewise?

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