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What do you expect from your elders? What do you want them to do?

What do we expect of our shepherds? What do we expect of overseers? A simple answer might be “leadership.” But leadership is a general term. Leadership has common traits, but it functions differently in business than it does in government. It functions differently in a family than it does in a committee.

For our purposes, let’s ask the following: Who is being led? What are we being led to? What sort of authority do leaders have? Is it legal, is it official, what is it?

Mark 10:35-45 - Observations:

Do You Understand What Jesus Is Teaching Us?

A few years ago the elders asked “What do you expect us?” I can recall an answer that one of you gave: “I want you to come pray for me like you did with John Carson.”

When we say that this is what we want our elders to do, then we are looking for spiritual leaders – not trustees of an institution. Shepherds who care for the flock, overseers who are stewards of God’s household – the spiritual household, not the bricks and beams.

What happens next ...

Our elders are talking to men that you have named. Those men are counting the cost and seeking wisdom. This is a special process of growth. In time the names of those men will be submitted to you for your support. That is a humbling thing. They will be putting themselves before us and asking from feedback. What a challenging and delicate thing that is.

Our current elders are leading us through this. They are relying on God’s wisdom and Spirit.

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 31 January 2010

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