The Christian Ministry
Philosophy and Identity
from the Word of God
By Daniel Thompson
A Statement of Ministerial
Philosophy from Scripture
The Plurality Of Elders
In The New Testament
Qualifications of an Elder,
1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9
Eldership and Teaching/Doctrine
Eldership and Ruling/Ordering
the Lord’s People
Statement of Ministerial Philosophy from Scripture
gave.., pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the
work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians
primary duty of the pastor/teacher is to equip the saints by instruction
and guidance so that they might edify each other unto maturity in the grace
and knowledge of Christ.
the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially
they who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17).
The pastor is one
of many elders, equal in every respect, and together they give themselves
to laboring in the Word and prayer so as to equip the saints for every
good work, cf. 2 Timothy 3:17.
“Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the
Son, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever!
Have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19,20).
with the other elders, are to fulfill the great commission, making disciples
of all men, and instructing them in the commandments of God that christians
might grow in faith that works by love, cf. Galatians 5:6.
“But we were
gentle among you, as a nurse cherishes her children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7).
as the apostle Paul says that a nurse who cares for another mother’s child
loves her own child, so a pastor is to travail in tender love and fervent
labor for the people of God as an under-shepherd, until Christ is formed
in them, cf. Galatians 4:19.
“Take heed to yourself, and
unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall save both
yourself and those that hear you” (1 Tim 4:16).
pastor is to be mindful of his own life, using in particular the exhortations
of his fellow elders, so that he continues in a closer walk with Christ.
The primary means used by the Holy Spirit to bless both the pastor and
congregation is the Word of God, cf. 1 Tim 4:6.
“But having renounced the
hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the
Word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of truth, commending
ourselves to every man ‘s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians
dealing with eternal souls and God’s eternal and holy truth, a pastor is
to conduct himself with sincerity, gravity, and affection in the sight
of both God and man. His great desire is that men might be saved, and come
to the knowledge of truth, cf. Romans 10:1; 1 Timothy 2:4.
“Preach the word; be instant
in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering
and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
pastor/elder is to labor and persevere in service to God’s people. His
rule of service is to be; “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for
you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” - 2 Corinthians
“For as we have many members
in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many,
are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5).
pastor is to lead the congregation in the use and growth of their personal
gifts which God the Holy Spirit has given them unto edification. Such leadership
must pro mote unity of heart and soul among the saints as prayed for by
our Lord and spoken of by the apostle Paul, cf. John 17:20-22; Philippians
“My brethren, be not many
masters (greek, “teachers”), knowing that we shall receive greater condemnation”
pastor is always to serve in light of the judgment of God, handling the
Word with fear and humility, cf. Isaiah 66:2.
“For I determined not to know
anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians
pastor’s passion is to be Jesus Christ, who loved and gave Himself for
sinners, cf. Galatians 2:20.
Plurality Of Elders In The New Testament
The Biblical Pattern of Plurality.
Why this Biblical Pattern: The
Nature and Offices of the Lord Jesus Christ
Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:2,4,6,22,23;
16:4; 20:17,28; 21:18.
Ephesians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians
5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17.
Titus 1:5; Hebrews 13:7,l7,24; James
5:14; 1 Peter 5:1,5.
Jesus is our overseer,
Jesus is the Head of the
Jesus is the Great Apostle,
Jesus is the Final Prophet,
Jesus is our Teacher, John
13:13,14 (greek, didaskilos).
Application / Comment.
Old Testament leaders are
not to be the pattern for New Testament Church order (i.e. Singular elder/ruler/leader).
Rule in the New Testament is by
the Spirit of Christ through men, Acts 13:1,2.
The problem of “contradiction” in
teaching (one elder teaching one view of a nonessential doctrine while
a second elder expounds a different view) is not to be solved by
limiting the eldership to one man/pastor, but by teaching the congregation
to fulfill their duty to prove all teaching and hold fast to what is good,
recognizing that growth is a part of the christian life, cf 1 Corinthians
14:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.
The problem of “contradiction” within
eldership is not solved by limiting the eldership to one elder/pastor,
but by following the New Testament commands in Matthew 23:8 and
1:27 to be of “one mind” in the love of Christ.
of an Elder, 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9
Command to Every
Why an Elder?
(He must have these qualities
in mature and tested form)
1 Tim 3:2
1 Peter 5:8
An elder must watch
1 Tim 3:2
An elder feeds us
I Tim 3:2
An elder is an example,
I Tim 4:12
l Tim 3:2
I Peter 4:9
An elder serves,
2 Cor 4:5,
Not given to wine
1 Tim 3:3
An elder must be discerning,
Not quick tempered
1 Tim 3:3
An elder must entreat,
2 Tim 2:24ff
l Tim 3:3
An elder cares for
2 Cor 11:28
No lover of gain
l Tim 3:3
1 Timothy 6:5,17
An elder must grow
Serves as unto God,
2 Cor 2:17
An elder walks in
2 Cor 13:8
The sum of all ministry,
The attributes of an elder are to
be found in every christian according to scripture. An elder, because of
his responsibilities, is to have these attributes in
for the reasons listed in Ephesians 4:8-16.
The Preeminence of teaching
doctrine in the Pastoral Epistles.
1 Timothy 1:10; 4:6,13,16; 5:17.
Doctrinal areas of knowledge needed to
2 Timothy 3:16; Titus 1:9.
Systematic theology (Doctrines
The communication of Doctrine to the
people of God.
Biblical Theology (Doctrines as
they unfold historically from Old Testament to New Testament).
Historical Theology (Doctrines as
they have been understood by the church and attacked by heretics and unbelievers).
Experimental Theology (the application
of doctrine to the human heart).
Ability, 1 Timothy 3:2.
How important Is It to be doctrinally
In the sight of God, 2 Corinthians
With gravity, 1 Corinthians 2:lff
With plainness, 2 Corinthians
Prayerfully, Ephesians 6:18,19.
With a selfless motive, 2 Corinthians
In all things laboring, 1 Timothy
The goal, the blessing of men, 1
In due season or timely, Luke
The absolute need to be correct
with respect to God and grace/justification.
The need to be flexible with respect
to doctrines as John Bunyan calls them - “in dispute” among sincere/godly
The importance of having conviction
in preaching (that is, the Lord teaching us before we teach other).
The need of having conviction in
such a way as not to cloud what truth is essential and what is not.
and Ruling/Ordering the Lord’s People
The truth that elders rule/order
Luke 12:42; Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians
The crucible/testing ground of ruling
ability is in the home.
1 Timothy 3:5; 5:17; Hebrews 13:7,17,24.
1 Timothy 3:4-5; Titus 1:6.
Ruling/ordering in the home is essentially
of the home.
The test of true care, is:
The single greatest attribute of ruling/ordering
is DILIGENCE, Romans 12:8.
with a servants heart.
Diligence in watching for the souls
of God’s people, Hebrews 13:17.
The single greatest responsibility !n
ruling/ordering Elders shall give an account to God.
Diligence in discipline with respect
to sin, Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.
Diligence in patience, 2 Timothy
Diligence in Labor, 1 Thessalonians
Diligence in prayer, Philippians
Diligence in personal holiness,
1 Corinthians 9:25 if.
Hebrews 13:17; James 3:2; therefore:
They watch for the souls of men,
They always minister that which
is of value, 1 Corinthians 3:5-15.
They look to God, not man, Galatians