THE PLACE OF THE CHRISTIAN ELDER IN

THE CHURCH AND THE COMMUNITY
by Ven Dr I. U. Ibeme http://www.scribd.com/ifeogo
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CONTENTS
1. Who Is A Christian?
2. Who Is An Elder?
3. Who Is A Christian Elder?
4. Origin And Developent O! Eldership And "eadership Aong #od$s %eople
&. The 'ital (oles %la)ed *) Elders In The S+ript,re As O-.e+t "essons /or
Christian Elders Toda)
WHO IS A CHRISTIAN?
The Gospel of Christ announces the fulfilment of God’s ancient
prophetic promise that whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
and receives Him as the risen Lord, shall be saved from sinful
damnation unto eternal spiritual life of divine righteousness by
God’s grace and power (Joh !"# $!%&'# "(!$# )ct (!%$# *om
(!+,- Therefore a Christian is anyone who is saved through faith in
Christ in accordance with The #ospel, with active parti+ipation in the
New Covenant fellowship of the Body of Christ, which is the Church (Act
2:38!2" #$ohn #:3%&'
True Christians have de+ided and ,nderta0en to live a life of dedi+ation
to $esus Christ as (ord and )aviour' They are not only noinal (clai* to
+e Christians& +ut are also a+tive (participate in the Church& and
+oitted (dedicated to Christ&' To +e saved fro* da*nation into the
,ingdo* of Christ, i*plies that one is +onverted fro* sin and
+ovenanted to Christ (Act 3:#-" #.:3#" 2/:2#" 2.:#82/&' 0evoted
Christians reali1e that they are not only in +o,nion with the Church
+ut also on +oission to reachout to the world with the 2ospel (3at
28:#82/" (u4 2!:!.!%&'
WHO IS AN ELDER?
5very father is the 5lder of his fa*ily +y his longevit)' 5very leader is an
5lder in the co**unity +y his6her dignit)' 7or* pri*eval ti*es, in
patriarchal societies, people -e+oe 5lders +y +eing the oldest 7ather or
+y +eing the succeeding eldest son of the oldest father in the fa*ily or
co**unity'
(ater in the larger *i8ed society, one was a++orded the dignit) of
5ldership and leadership not only primarily +ecause of longevit) of life
(e'g' aged 7ather and even aged 3other&, +ut also secondarily +ecause of
other in!l,ential !,n+tions and digni!)ing 1,alities such as (58d
#8:2#" 0eut #:#3#%" Acts .:3&:
#' at,rit) (i'e' wisdo* and understanding, prudence and discretion,
discern*ent and awareness&
THE ROLE OF CHRISTIAN ELDERS IN THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY by Ven Dr I.
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2' rep,ta-ilit) (e'g' people of honour, integrity and courtesy,
intellectuals, s4illed e8perts, successful entrepreneurs, activists for good
causes, patriotic warlords, cha*pions, achievers, etc&"
3' responsi-ilit) (e'g' officers, 9udges, rulers, spo4es*en, popularly
elected6acclai*ed leaders, etc&" and
!' spirit,alit) (e'g' priests, prophets, ordained6consecrated spiritual
*inisters, spiritually vast adepts, etc&'
Elders are therefore people of spiritual and6or te*poral influence,
*aturity, dignity and authority in any social or religious co**unity'
Elders are ,s,all) vast in and +,stodians o! the histor)2 -elie!s2
tenets and val,es o! their respe+tive +o,nities. They readily give
+o,nsel and intervene for co**on good of their co**unity whether in
the Church or in the society'
<<BACK TO TOP>>
WHO IS A CHRISTIAN ELDER?
:e are now clear a+out who* a Christian or an 5lder is' A Christian
Elder is therefore one who *eets +oth criteria as *entioned a+ove as it
concerns +eing a Christian and an 5lder'
The Christian .lder is a dedicated and participating Christian
who is e/perienced and e/posed in life, doing e/ploits for
Christ, e/uding dignity in all wisdom and e/erting influence by
virtue of his0her longevity, maturity, reputability,
responsibility and spirituality-
A Christian Elder 3teporal or spirit,al4 ,st have a reasona-le
grasp o! the S+ript,re and the eaning and pattern o! things done
in the Ch,r+h. ;t was the need to ensure this, that *otivated (u4e to
write the Gospel According to St Luke and the Acts of the Apostles for <is
58cellency, Theophilus ((u4 #:#!" Act #:#&' Apostle $ohn also wrote his
Third 5pistle to 2aius (3$ohn #&' )t =aul wrote >The =astoral 5pistles? to
Ti*othy and Titus, who were ordained as oracular =res+yters (#Ti* !:#!"
2Ti* #:." Tit #:@&' ;n this age of individualis* and radicalis*, secularity
and carnality, the Christian 5lder should wor4 for the unity, sanctity and
security of Christendo* at large' ;t is i*portant to re*e*+er that #od$s
reason !or the Ch,r+h is to have a pe+,liar people p,ri!ied !or
5isel! to please 5i and sho6 !orth 5is praise in the 6orld2
thro,gh godl) 6itness and good76or0s 3=hp 2:#@8 Col #:#/8 Tit 2:#!8
#=e 2:-4.
A Christian Elder 3teporal or spirit,al4 ,st have a +lear grasp o!
the sa+erdotal pattern o! +ovenant e++lesiasti+al spirit,al
leadership in distin+tion !ro the issiologi+al rai!i+ations o!
pl,ralisti+ se+,lar statesan leadership. :hether in the Ald or New
Testa*ent, Spirit,al "eadership is a +ovenant leadership o! a
+ovenant people o! a +ovenant #od' Therefore, )piritual (eaders *ust
+e conversant with the tenets of the Covenant to which they +elong' An
the other hand )tates*an (eadership is a pluralist social leadership in the
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New Testa*ent" though in the Ald Testa*ent, it was a covenant
leadership in covenant ;srael' Anly outside ;srael was it pluralistic as was
the case with $oseph in 5gypt, or with 0aniel, 3ordecai, 5sther, etc in
Ba+ylon and =ersia' ;n the Ald Testa*ent ,nder the EA(T5"9 Aaroni+
%riesthood and :shado67+op); Ta-erna+le 35e- <=&4, there were
the ora+,lar inisters o! the Word o! #od and inter+essor)
inisters (=riests, =rophets, (evites, and the )anhedrin Council&' There
were also the se+,lar statesan inisters o! .,sti+e and the s6ord2
pea+e and developent ($udges, 2enerals, =rinces and ,ings&'
;n the New Testa*ent the se+,lar statesan inistr), for pu+lic
services of 9ustice and the sword, peace and develop*ent (Bo* #3:#%"
#Ti* 2:#3&, is left o,tside the Ch,r+h to -e pl,ralisti+all) shared in
righteousness and eCuity with nonChristian in the )tate' )tates*an
(eadership is attaina+le +y *en of influence and valour, *en of
negotiation and toleration, *en of strategy and prodigy, *en of integrity
and authority' :o*en were states*an leaders too (0e+orah $udg !:!."
$udg @:.-" Dueen of )he+a 2,in #/" 2Chr -" 3att #2:!2" Athaliah 2,in
##" 2Chr 2223" Dueen 5sther of =ersia 5sth @:#8" 8:#8" and 5thiopian
Dueen Candache Act 8:2%&' =articipation of Christians in secular
)tates*an (eadership is therefore not for+idden +ut is godly (Bo* #3:8
#!" (u4 #:#!" Act #:#3" and #/:#8" =hp #:#3 and !:22&' 58a*ples of
successful godly states*anship within a pluralistic nonChristian
govern*ent include firstclass scholars li4e 0aniel, )hadrach, 3eshach
and A+ednego in Ba+ylon (0an 2:!%!-&" pageant cele+rities and
strategists li4e 5sther in =ersia (5sth !:#@#%" 5sth %:##/&" +usiness and
agroengineering geniuses li4e $oseph in 5gypt (2en !#:3%!-&"
strategists, cri*e+usters and activists li4e 3ordecai in =ersia (5sth 2:#-
23" !:#2" 8:##%&" Bo*an aristocrats li4e Theophilus ((u4 #:3&" and
Bo*an *ilitary co**anders li4e Cornelius E the li4e ((u4 %:##/" Act
#/:#8ff&' 3ore recent e8a*ples a+ound on every continent of the world'
This leaves the ora+,lar and inter+essor) inistr) within the New
Covenant Church 3,nder the :real7spirit,al; Ta-erna+le o! Christ$s
5EA'EN"9 %riesthood 5e- <=17138 5e- 12=227244 in the two
categories of 5cclesiastical offices: first Apostles2 *ishops and
%res-)ters>%riests ordained as sacerdotal overseers to *inister oracular
instruction and lead intercession in the congregation" and second
Dea+ons and Dea+onesses elected as lay councils to ad*inister the
local congregation?s te*poral treasuries and serve ta+les (Act .:2!&'
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ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF ELDERSHIP AND
LEADERSHIP AMONG GOD’S PEOPLE
;n the )criptures we read of 5lders a*ong the Eg)ptians acco*panying
$oseph to +ury his father, $aco+ (2en @/:%&' There were 5lders *entioned
a*ong the ?idianites and the ?oa-ites who consented to *eet Balaa*
the diviner on +ehalf of ,ing Bala4 of 3oa+ to invo4e curses on ;srael
(Nu* 22:! E %&' After the death of $aco+, there were 5lders a*ong the
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Israelites while still in 5gypt: these were consulted +y 3oses as 2od
directed, for consent after 2od called hi* to lead ;srael out of 5gyptian
+ondage (58d 3:#.#8" !:2-3#&'
;n the wilderness, under the divine rule of 2od through 3oses, these
5lders see*ed to +e ignorant of the divine progra**e and so lost
significance and confidence a*ong the people' The result was that only
3oses was +eing approached +y the people for spiritual counsel and
9ustice (58d #8:#@#.&' This was the situation when $ethro (the 3idianite
=riest and fatherinlaw of 3oses& visited'
$ethro suggested to 3oses (su+9ect to 2od?s approval&, to +e the national
ediator +efore 2od and the instr,+tor of 2od?s (aw to the ;sraelite,
+ut that he should appoint tri+al chiefs and local hierarchy of captains or
co**anders or 9udges who shall +e adinistrators and ad.,di+ators in
their various capacities' 0ifficult or unresolved cases were to +e referred
to higher levels till ulti*ately to 2od through 3oses (58d #8:#%2.&' After
presenting the suggestion to the people (0eut #:-#3&, 3oses undertoo4
this structural organisation of the nation with the parti+ipation of the
people since he got their +onsent as well as involved the* in ele+ting
those leaders (0eut #:#!#%&'
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;n addition to H.*.12T)*3 tri+al +,stodian Elders2 and these varieties
of .L.CT.1 local teporal .,di+ial Elders and ilitar) Captains, who
were the grassroots ad*inistrators (0eut #.:#8&, there were also
seventy(two& 4*1)25.1 national spirit,al inter+essor) +o,n+il
Elders, chosen fro* a*ong the tri+al and local te*poral 5lders, ordained
at the -ehest o! #od (Nu* ##:#.#%" 2!3/&' These national
intercessors helped 3oses in appearing +efore 2od to intercede for the
people (58d 2!:###&' Their appoint*ent arose in response to ?oses$
petition to 2od for intercessory assistants (Nu* ##:###@& apart fro*
the local and tri+al administrative hierarchy and the national sacerdotal
priestly order already functional'
7or the special ordinance *inistry in the national Ta+ernacle, 2od
C456.C*)T.1 Aaron and the (evites for such sa+erdotal (priestly
ordinance& function' These were ta4en in place of the first+orn of ;srael
who were clai*ed +y 2od as consecrated to <i*, fro* the ti*e of the first
=assover in 5gypt (58d #3:2" Nu* 3:#2#3&'
So in 6ilderness Israel2 there 6ere these leaders and Elders=
1. #od as the ,ltiate @,dge and Deliverer8
2. ?oses as #od$s %rie ?inister and "egislator2 ediating
-et6een the Nation and #od as 6ell as leading the Nation on
eAternal atters s,+h as 6ars and diploa+)8
3. Aaron2 the %riests and the "evites +onse+rated as the inisters
!or the Ta-erna+le 6orship servi+es2 +ons,lting #od 6ith the Bri
and Th,i8
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4. The Co,n+il o! Sevent) spirit,al inter+essor) Elders ordained to
.oin ?oses to appear -e!ore #od on -ehal! o! the nation8
@' The Twelve hereditary Tri+al Chiefs6Custodians, (=rinces or <eads or
$udges&"
.' The elected Captains6$udges over thousands (Chiliarchs or 3illenaries&"
%' The elected Captains6$udges over hundreds (<ecatontarchs or
Centurions&"
8' The elected Captains6$udges over fifties (=entecontarchs or
DuinCuagenaries&"
-' The elected Captains6$udges over tens (0ecarchs or 0ecurions&"
#/' The Afficers appointed as civil service assistants for several particular
assign*ents +y any of the leaders65lders" these were groo*ed to +eco*e
5lders (0eu #.:#8&'
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Apart fro* 3oses, Aaron, the (evites and the civil service Afficers, the
rest of the leaders (as listed in ! to - a+ove& *a4e up the 5lders or
$udges of the nation' These *ay have nu*+ered up to @/,/// leaders in
the wilderness' ;srael in the wilderness nu*+ered a+out .//,/// adult
*ales or soldiers (Nu* #:!." ##:2#" 2.:@#& and 22,/// (evite *ales
(Nu* 3:3-&, with a conservative esti*ate of a+out 2'@ *illion if we
include wo*en and children'
An settling in the =ro*ised (and they were to constitute Cit)7#ate
Co,rts (0eut #.:#8" #-:#2" Buth !:-##&, *ade up of the Council 5lders
and Captains living in that city' (ater, during the e8ile period, especially
under 51ra?s leadership, the citygate courts developed into the
co**unity S)nagog,es2 which also served as the place of )a++ath
prayer and regular teaching of the )criptures' The poste8ile $ews also
had their Sept,agint 2ree4 Bi+le translated +y seventy(two& Ba++is in
Ale8andria (2./BC&' 0uring the ti*e of Christ, there was the Sanhedrin
Council of seventy(two& 5lders in $erusale* assisting the <igh =riest
(3att 2.:@%@-&'
0uring <is earthly *inistry, Christ appointed the twelve Apostles as
oracular *inisters and *issioners in place of the twelve tri+al 9udges
(3ar4 3:#!" 3att #-:28&" <e also appointed seventy(two& Evangelists in
place of the )anhedrin ((u4 #/:#2/&' The Apostles seeing their *ain role
as sa+erdotal or oracular (i'e' *inistry of the :ord, prayers and
ordinances&, as4ed the congregation to elect their 0eacons as lay treasury
*anagers or adinistrators F serving of ta+les F in the nascent
$erusale* Church (Acts 2:!2!%" .:#%&' ;n faraway Churches, soe of
the worthy elders (2Ti* 2:2& were ordained (chosen, trained and
ordered& into the sacerdotal %res-)ter) (as Teaching=residing =riests&
and6or Epis+opa+) (as )uperintendents& to minister in the :ord,
prayers and ordinances, and oversee the overall order of the Churches
(Acts #!:23" #@:!" 2/:#%, 28" #=et @:#!&'
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Notice that not all elders or *en of dignity in the Church were ordained
into the oracular :ord6prayer inisterial order li4e the Apostles (Act
.:2&, yet they contri+uted to the good and growth of the Church as people
of repute in other capacities' Nevertheless, even the adinistrative ta+le
servers li4e )tephen and =hilip needed to +e *en filled with the <oly
)pirit, wisdo* and faith (Act .:3.& and eventually proved to +e full of
power of the <oly )pirit and vast in the :ord (Act .:8#/" %:#@3" 8:!8&'
(ater, the Apostles authorised so*e already ordained pres+yters to +e
their Apostolic 0elegates who were to, in turn, ordain others to the
sa+erdotal (ordinance& =res+yteryBishopric for oracular spiritual
*inistration (#Ti* 3:#ff" #Ti* !:#!" 2Ti* 2:2" Tit #:@ff&' Aracular 5lders
were dou+ly honoured (#Ti* @:#%&' The Churches were also directed to
sele+t (elect and induct& their trusted adinistrative
0eacons60eaconesses or Treasurers who *anaged the co**on resources
of their local Churches (Acts .:3." Bo* #.:#2" #Cor #.:3!" 2Cor 8:#-,
23+&' The ancient Church also had volunteer !inan+iers (e'g' Theophilus
(u4 #:3& and patron hosts>patroness hostesses (e'g' 2aius Bo* #.:2,
23, ACuila and =riscilla #Cor #.:#-, (ydia Act #.:#!#@, Ny*pha Col !:#@,
=hile*on =h* #2& for the Churches' These together with charis*atic
itinerant =rophets, =rophetesses and 5vangelists (Act 2#:8#/& had
significance and influence in the Church due to their *aterial resources,
position in the society or spiritual gifts and devotion'
Notice that in the New Testa*ent Church la) Eldership was attained +y
longevity and dignity as in the Ald Testa*ent" while +lerg) Elders
3%res-)ter)4 were ordained +y the older =res+yters" the Dea+ons
however, were ele+ted +y the congregation' )o in the old Church, apart
fro* the diaconate ad*inistrators ele+ted for their integrit) and a-ilit),
they had
♣ aged 5lders (and aged wo*en #Ti @:#2" Tit 2:#@& respected for
their longevit),
♣ influential 5lders (and influential wo*en Act #.:#3#@" #.:!/" #%:!,
#2" Bo* #.:.%& recogni7ed or even ni+0naed (e'g' Boanerges
3ar 3:#%, Barna+as Act !:3., =etros 3at #.:#%#8, Chrysosto*& for
their eAploits, dignit) and li-eralit), and
♣ oracular 5lders ordained into the oversight =res+ytery for their
spirit,alit) and adeptness in the )criptures'
After the death of the Apostles, what eventually e*erged was the Church
+eing led +y sacerdotal apostolic *ishops supervising sacerdotal oracular
%res-)ters who were in turn assisted +y ad*inistrative lay Dea+ons,
so*e of who* were prepared for later ad*ission into the sacerdotal
*inistry'
Today several Church deno*inations have adapted all these and other
offices to +est suit their needs for effective leadership e'g'
• ordained sacerdotal *inisters or clergy,
• ele+ted ad*inistrative council, and
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• lay *inisterial assistants (appointed or licensed to assist the ordained
*inisters&, these are called either GeldersG or Gdeacons and deaconessesG
or even >pastors? in the Church today,
• lay ad*inistrative assistants (appointed to assist the council& these
are either staff or co**ittees in the Church today,
• lay influential *e*+ers re+ogniCed with honorary awards and
confer*ents for co**it*ent, faithful longevity, learning, dignity,
li+erality and other e8ploits (e'g' Chancellors and Trustees, 58cellencies
and (ords, =atrons and 3atrons, 0a*es and )irs, =residents and
7ounders, etc&'
)cripturally and historically in apostolic antiCuity, apart fro* the ordained
presiding clergy, wo*en have held all the other offices, appoint*ents and
honours in the Church'
Noti+e that in pla+e o! -ishops2 dea+ons and saints 3=hpH#:#4
6hi+h 6ere the ,sages in the apostoli+ ties2 an) Ch,r+hes no6
,se the ters= +lerg)2 +o,n+il and +ongregation.
In s,ar)2 the hierar+h)>+ategories o! Ch,r+h ?inisters and
their O!!i+es in the O(DE(ED C5B(C5 3not in ever) gathered
Ch,r+h4 d,ring the tie o! the Apostles 3+alled *ishopri+s4 6ent
th,s=
1. Christ the 5ead o! the Ch,r+h 3+alled *ishop in 1%et 2=2&4.
2. The Apostles sent -) Christ 3+alled *ishopri+ in A+t 1=2D72&4.
3. The Apostoli+ Delegates2 6ho 6ere spe+ial %res-)ters sent -)
the Apostles to ordain other lo+al %res-)ters.
4. The %res-)ters 3+alled *ishops in %hp 1=18 1Ti 3=1728 Tit 1=E4
ordained -) the Apostles and their Delegates to lead the Ch,r+h o!
#od in the Word2 pra)er and ordinan+es.
&. The Dea+ons 3Treas,rers or Ta-le Servers4 o! the lo+al +h,r+hes
ele+ted -) the lo+al +ongregations and ind,+ted -) the lo+al
%res-)ter) or i! present2 Apostoli+ Delegates or Apostles.
NOTE= *ishopri+ (Act #:2/& is sa*e as O!!i+e or Charge (=sa
#/-:8&' ;n the ancient 2ree4 society, the title *ishop referred to the
o!!i+er7in7+harge or s,perintendent, whether in the Church or
society'
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VITAL ROLES PLAYED Y ELDERS IN THE SCRIPTURE AS
O!ECT LESSONS FOR CHRISTIAN ELDERS TODAY
;n the )criptures, 5lders were al6a)s invited and present at ever)
legitiate2 general and spe+ial s,on -) the leaders o! the
+o,nit), whether social or spiritual' A+senteeis* or e8clusion is
incongruous with the i*portance attached to godly 5lders, +ecause they
need to have firsthand infor*ation and their wise input is always ti*ely to
avert disaster, ensure progress and give validity and utility to the
*eetings and occasions' 5ven in heaven 2od has the 2! 5lders ever
present (Bev @:8#/" ##:#@#%& signifying the i*portance of 5lders'
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;n ti*es of spiritual +lindness and insincerity, 5lders could give evil
+o,nsel and -ring +alait) and divine .,dgeent on the people.
The voice of the 5lders, since they are hu*an, *ust +e su+9ected to the
scrutiny of 2od?s :ord'
5lders played a great role on various occasions in the )cripture:
#' At the grand occasion organised +y $oseph for the +urial of his
father $aco+, all the 5lders of 5gypt and ;srael were present' (2en @/:%&'
2' At the inauguration of 3oses? *inistry in 5gypt and at the institution
of the =assover, 3oses needed the 5lders to +e invited2 +ons,lted2
-rie!ed and +arried along (58d !:2-" #2:2#&' ;t was the 5lders who
helped 3oses 4eep the hearts of the ;sraelites together and su+*issive to
2od?s directives, as they e8ited fro* 5gypt under 3oses' When the
hearts and inds o! the Elders are together on an) atter2 the
hearts o! the rest o! the people are p,t together and the leaders
+an ove the people to a++oplish desired p,rpose.
3' At the s*iting of the <ore+ (*essianic& Boc4 (at 3assah and
3eri+ah& to +ring forth running water for the ;sraelites in the wilderness,
the 5lders were all *ade to +e present (58d #%:@%&' Their presen+e and
,naniit) were +oth for 6itness and for po6er'
!' At the sacrifice and feast *ar4ing the conversion to Iahweh, of
$ethro the fatherinlaw of 3oses, all the 5lders of ;srael were in
attendance (58d #8:#/#2&'
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@' :hen 2od sent 3oses to *a4e <is covenant proposition to the
;sraelites, it was to the 5lders of ;srael that 3oses presented the proposal'
The 5lders accepted the +ovenant on -ehal! o! the people !irst, +efore
the whole populace was involved (58d #-:.8&'
.' After enacting the covenant at )inai, 2od wanted to show hi*self to
the ;sraelites, and give the written ta+lets of the Ten Co**and*ents to
3oses' ;t was to 3oses, Aaron and his sons, and the seventy(two& 5lders
of ;srael that 2od showed <i*self closely (58d 2!:8#!&'
%' ;f 2od?s people as a whole sinned or are suspected to have sinned, it
is the 5lders that 2od has appointed to a0e valid pra)er and
atoneent !or the people +efore 2od ((ev !:#3#@" 0eu 2#:#-" $a*es
@:#!#@&' But if a ruler sinned he will do atone*ent +y hi*self ((ev !:22
2!&'
8' :hen 2od first poured out <is )pirit upon <is people in the
wilderness, it was upon the %2 5lders of ;srael that <e did so (Nu* ##:2!
2.&' The ne8t ti*e 2od did such a thing in the New Testa*ent, it was on
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the =entecost 0ay which coincidentally held a+out the sa*e ti*e of the
year ($une& as the appearance of 2od to 3oses and the %2 5lders at )inai
(Acts 2:#!&'
-' The 5lders of ;srael were those who organised the*selves to
approach the aged )a*uel for a ,ing in ;srael leading to the institution of
the 3onarchy (#)a* 8:!@&' Iportant de+isions and negotiations
are -est done -) the Elders o! the people.
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#/' At the coronation of 0avid as ,ing over all ;srael, it was the 5lders
that conferred and ca*e to <e+ron to anoint hi* into royalty and to *a4e
covenant with 0avid to +e loyal to hi* as their ,ing (2)a* @:3" #Chro
##:3&'
##' The foolish disregard of the wisdo* of the 5lders led to the collapse
of the united 4ingdo* of ;srael at the ti*e of Beho+oa* the son of
)olo*on (#,in #2:#2/&'
#2' ;n ti*es of spiritual and *oral declension, 5lders connived with evil
Dueen $e1e+el to arrange the fra*ingup and 4illing of Na+oth, so that
,ing Aha+ would possess Na+oth?s choice vineyard (#,in 2#:8#!&'
#3' )o also, spiritually +lind 5lders conspired to arrange the +etrayal and
fra*ingup of $esus for crucifi8ion (3att 2.:#@" 3ar4 #@:#&' This
ulti*ately led to the desolation of $erusale* !/yrs later' )ince then,
$erusale* has re*ained trodden underfoot till this day' Bngodl) and
isg,ided Elders are a disgra+e to h,an dignit) and a disaster to
the people.
#!' Consensus of 5lders has *uch power' 2ood counsel of godly 5lders
has great power to wor4 for the good and healing of the people, since
they are always +ac4ed +y 2od (Neh 2:#8" <ag #:#3#!" $as @:#!#@&'
)i*ilarly, evil consensus or counsel of ungodly 5lders, if not countered +y
2od, has power to cause *uch har* (2en ##:#-" 0an .:.#." $ohn
##:!%@3&'
#@' At the dedication of the Ta+ernacle in the wilderness, and when
0avid held the launching to raise funds for the +uilding of the $erusale*
Te*ple, the 5lders were the Chief (aunchers +efore others (Nu* %"
(#Chron 2-:.-&'
#.' Jows *ade to 2od +y 5lders, are not su+9ect to ratification, +ut
vows *ade to 2od +y the nuclear fa*ily *e*+ers (e8cept :idows and
0ivorcees& are su+9ect to validation or nullification +y the 7athers, who are
the household 5lders (Nu* 3/&' Also faith, wor4s and covenants of
7athers have defiling or sanctifying power over their households (58o
2/:!." 0eu 3/:." $osh 2!:#@" Act 2:3-" #Cor %:#!" 2Ti* #:#.&'
THE ROLE OF CHRISTIAN ELDERS IN THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY by Ven Dr I.
U. Ibeme
9
#%' ;n controversies, contentions and constraints, inspired and
deli+erated resolutions of godly 5lders possess *uch authority in the
Church and the society (2Chron 3/:2." Act #@:!3#&'
<eathen 5lders *ay even ta4e counsels and for* strategic alliances to
oppose 2od, to their own detri*ent (2en ##:#-" =sa 2:##2" =sa 83:#
#8" Act @:2#&' Nevertheless, the truly Christian 5lder, grounded in the
:ord and rooted in Christ (5ph 3:#%" Col 2:%&, is dependa+le" since such
5lders are guided +y the tenets of the )cripture, they can never afford to
+e ungodly nor give counsel that is not well pleasing to 2od' 2odly 5lders
are a +lessing to their people and need to +e honoured (5sth !:#!" #Thes
@:#2#3" #Ti* @:#%" <e+ #3:%, #%, 2!&'
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THE ROLE OF CHRISTIAN ELDERS IN THE CHURCH AND COMMUNITY by Ven Dr I.
U. Ibeme
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