During April, we continue to search for men who are qualified as elders. Last Sunday, we reviewed the Scriptural qualifications for overseeing shepherds.

Today’s sermon will share with you the role of church shepherds. But aside from today’s lesson, there are other leadership principles revealed in Scriptures. I have gathered a few of these additional leadership principles from Brother Knofel Staton’s book, “God’s Plan for Church Leadership.”

These principles are found in Moses and the Jewish elders leadership roles. Application is paralleled to church leaders. Here are seven leadership principles for church elders modeled in ancient Jewish leaders.

1. Moses was seen by the elders (Exodus 17:5-6) “And Moses did so in the sight of all elders of Israel.” Moses was at Horeb and God told him to strike the rock and water would gush forth. So Moses walked through the congregation and took the elders with him. Moses struck the rock as God commanded and water came forth. He did this in the sight of all the elders. Elders do not operate in a vacuum; they lead the church openly and visibly. The people clearly are aware of the leaders’ activities. Therefore, they must conduct themselves and lead with truth, integrity, and obedience to God’s will.

2.  Moses taught the elders (Exodus 19:7) “So Moses came and called the elder of the people and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him.” Being an elder does not mean you stop learning. Moses’ elders continued to learn God’s word by the continuing instructions of Moses. Church leaders must continually be learning. They cannot have the attitude of thinking they have arrived in Scriptural knowledge.

3.  The elders taught the people (Deuteronomy 32:7) “…ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you.” The church has many teachers; but one group of teachers are the elders. Teaching the Lord’s word is a serious role and Paul requires it as a qualification – “An overseer must be…apt to teach…” (1 Timothy 3:2)

4. The elders prayed for the peoples’ forgiveness (Deuteronomy 21:6 & 8) “And all the elders of that city…shall say.. ‘Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed…” Christians sin, and elders need to pray for their peoples’ forgiveness and of course their own forgiveness. They need to be just and gentle with their people who are caught in sin and are hurting by sins consequences.

5. The elders handled disputes among the people-even domestic disputes (Deuteronomy 11:16-17) “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for Me seventy men from among the elders…and they shall bear the burden of the people with you…’” Elders are to handle the burdens of the congregation. They help resolve the peoples’ disputes. Consider 1 Corinthians 6:5, “Is…there not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren…” Therefore, the quality of prudence and sober-mindedness are definite requirements for an elder.

6.  The elders selected other leaders who can assist them (Judges 11:5-6) “And it happened…the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah…and they said to Jephthah, ‘Come and be our chief that we may fight against the sons of Ammon.” Elders should look for men and women who can help in various ways to improve the workings of the church. They should use their peoples’ talents and God-given gifts to help the church mature and grow.

7.  The elders spoke the truth of God to the people (Jeremiah 26:17-18) “Then some of the elders … spoke to all … the people saying, ‘Thus the Lord of hosts has said…’” This elder’s role never disappears. People often find themselves in religious misunderstanding and error. Deceptive teachers are constantly trying to draw away the weak in faith and weak in Scriptural knowledge. It is the elder’s role to help lead the straying back to the truth of the Lord. It is the leaders role to defend the truth and refute those who speak preserve things. To the elders, Paul said in Acts 20:28-30, “Be on guard … after my departure savage wolves will come in among you…speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them.”

Brethren, be prayerful in your consideration for additional church leaders. May God bless us with qualified leaders who will lead us faithfully in the ways of the Lord. – Tom Davis