Faithful Men — 2 Timothy 2:2


There are but two offices in the New Testament church: elders and deacons.

The word ŇeldersÓ refers to those who are the spiritual leaders and teachers of the congregation. The pastor of a church is the presiding elder, or overseer of the congregation. In a very large assembly there may be need of other elders. As God creates the need and raises up gifted men to meet that need, those elders who serve with the pastor must serve in submission to him, as his assistants in the ministry.

While it is evident that in the New Testament some of the churches had more than one elder, there is no requirement given in the Word of God that a local church must have, or even should have more than one. In the New Testament wherever more than one elder was found in a local church, it is evident that only one elder stood as the overseer and spiritual ruler of the congregation.

It is not possible for a church to have peace and harmony under the government of a board of elders, or a board of deacons. There can only be one captain on a ship. And there can only be one overseer in a congregation. The spiritual overseer of the church is GodŐs messenger in that congregation, the pastor. He is not a dictator, lording over GodŐs people. But a faithful pastor must rule the church of God. He rules the house of God just as a husband rules his household. He rules with love, tenderness and understanding. But he rules firmly for the glory of God and the welfare of GodŐs people (1 Timothy 3:5; Hebrews 13:7, 17).

Deacons are those men whose responsibility it is to take care of the physical, financial affairs of the congregation. They may or may not be gifted to teach the Word; but they are spiritual leaders by example, willing to serve their pastor and church for the glory of Christ. Deacons are to relieve their pastor of all mundane affairs, so that he can give himself exclusively to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:2-4). The service of a deacon is most honorable and helpful. Faithful deacons take care of the church property, visit the sick, care for the needy and see to it that the needs of the pastor and his family are met. By relieving their pastor of all these cares, the deacons enable him to give his time and attention to study, prayer and the preaching of the gospel of Christ. There are few men so spiritually minded that they are willing to serve as faithful deacons for the gospelŐs sake; but those who are, are blessings to GodŐs churches everywhere.







Don Fortner



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