THE ROLE OF ELDERS
Excerpts of A/P Ngozi Otum-Mba's message at the Sunshine Service on Sunday, November 19, 2017
Bible Text: 1 Samuel 21:8
Elders should be examples to the young ones. The Bible enjoins elders to teach and preach the gospel of Christ to the next generation, so that the times can be redeemed (Deuteronomy 4:9). The King's business needs urgency; and hence, elders are to preach the gospel that leads to salvation, populates the Kingdom of God and King, make disciples, heal the sick (Mark 16:15-18), etc. A Christian elder should pass on the faith and start doing so, by preparing the Body of Christ from his or her home.
Elders in the Body of Christ are Christians who have grown in the LORD over a period of time. They have service experience, good report and good understanding of the Word of God. It is the duty of elders to support the pastor of the Church in carrying out his assignment. By doing this, things are easier for the pastor.
Elders Are Salt And Light
Elders should be salt in the Body of Christ. Elders should not be found discrediting others. Elders should admonish in love. Elders should season the Church with prayers, fasting, and good works. Salt preserves and adds flavour. Elders are to preserve the Christian culture and have great desire for the purification of the Body of Christ (Philippians 4:8). Light drives out darkness. An elder in the Kingdom of God should be a man or woman of high integrity; blameless, holy, self-controlled, and a good example to a Believer in Christ Jesus (Titus 5:1-9).
In addition, elders should be ambassadors of Christ (John 15:16). As Christ's ambassador, an elder should be diligent, committed, obedient, and have loyalty to Christ. An elder should also be an ambassador for Christ in soul-winning (Acts 18:26). It is important that elders pray (Colossians 4:2). Be a prayerful person, be a powerful person.
The elder should uphold the Church doctrine - preach the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:2-3). An elder in the King's business has the responsibility of teaching the doctrine, code of conduct of the Church and uphold it.
From Scriptures we see examples of elders. Such as:
1. Jethro: He was the father-in-law to Moses and he gave Moses counsel on administration.
2. Mordecai: He trained Esther for the King's business and she became the tool God used to deliver the Jews from extermination.
3. Deborah (Judges 4:4-9): She judged Israel, led Israel to war and delivered Israel from their enemies.
4. Naomi: She schooled Ruth on what to do and the amazing outcome was that Ruth became the great grandmother of our LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, as the Owner of the business has promised that you are not serving Him in vain, pray that you make yourself available to spend and be spent in the King's business with your talent, gifts, resources, substance; believing that the King is the ultimate rewarder (Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Corinthians 15:58).