ELDER TRAINING SUBJECTS
by Paul Winslow
A. The New Covenant
One of the current pastor/elders should teach the group the text of 2 Corinthians
3:6-9 in an inductive format with lots of application and insight into the
life of Paul personally. The book, "Authentic Christianity" by
Ray Stedman can be used as reference for the person doing the teaching,
but there needs to be lots of time for question and interaction. Another
helpful text is "The New Covenant in the Old Testament" by Dave
Roper which should be required reading as part of this subject.
B. Expository Teaching/The New Covenant
A clear presentation should be made of what is expository teaching and some
good general guidelines on how to exposit God's Word (without getting into
original languages) but with good explanation of some of the helps to expositing
the scriptures, i.e. how to use Waltke's Theological Word Studies in
the Old Testament book series, concordances, Robertson's Word Pictures
in the New Testament, Vine's and selected expository commentaries such
as F.F. Bruce and G. Campbell Morgan. Then each person should be assigned
a text of Scripture that features the New Covenant and be asked to teach
it to the rest of the group with a free wheeling critique following. Some
passages of scripture that might be considered would be Hebrews 4:9-13,
Galatians 2:20, Jeremiah 31:32-35, John 15:1-8. Note: See the attached statement
on expository preaching.
C. Church Government and the Concept of Servant Leadership
A thoroughgoing discussion on this subject should be made perhaps teaching
from Mark 10:35-45 (please see attached message). Additionally, a practical
discussion as to how unanimity is obtained, its basis in scripture (such
as Acts 15--the Jerusalem Counsel decision).
A very practical discussion needs to be concerned with how the Lord leads
in the area of finances. Subheads should be:
- Giving Without Coercion
- Keeping Records After the Fact Without Predicting the Future
- Procedures for Check Signing
- Procedures If There Aren't Sufficient Funds--Who Gets Paid First
- Procedures On Special Gifts From the Body to Individuals
- Reporting to the Body
- Procedures for Evaluating Salaries of Employees
- Procedures for How Staff Spends Money and How Their Expenses are Evaluated
- How Capital Expenditures are Determined
- The Issue of Corporate Debt
- How to Help Pastors Purchase Their Own Homes
- How Intern Finances Are Handled
E. Evaluation of Elders/Pastors
Utilizing the Timothy/Titus passages, a thoroughgoing exposition and study
should review the qualifications for elders and how those are utilized in
practice. Also required is a discussion of periodic evaluation by all pastors
and elders of one another. This discussion should include the procedures
F. Church Discipline
A careful examination of Matthew 18 and how the body is encouraged to function
in this area should be conducted.
A thoroughgoing discussion/interaction on the subject of shepherd mg using
such passages as John 21:15-23, I Peter 5:1-11.
A thoroughgoing discussion of discipleship using some of the materials from
Dave Roper plus the text of Acts 20:17-38.
One of the pastors should go through the procedures for premarital counseling
that he uses plus how to use a Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis Test,
and what books and/or messages he gives to counselees to read. He should
give a complete explanation of the passages that are used during premarital
counseling. Also, examples of various kinds of ceremonies which have been
used down through the years would be very helpful for an elder when he is
doing a marriage ceremony.
A discussion of burying, that is Memorial Services, Funerals, what to do
at the graveside, should be taught along with all the various passages of
scriptures that are used. Also, how best to counsel the bereaved and close
relatives is important.
K. Counseling in General
A discussion should be had on the basis of biblical counseling. Material
by Dr. John Edrington (a four part series on preparing to counsel) is excellent.
It is not necessary to do a tremendously in-depth treatment of counseling
because elders by their very qualifications are wise and godly men who are
already qualified for much of their counseling, but it is a good idea to
have available a list of books on counseling, such as Henry Brandt's "When
You're Tired of Treating the Symptoms, and You're Ready For A Cure, Give
Me a Call." for reference. Also, a list of competent professional counselors
in the area for referrals should be supplied.
L. Hospital Visitation
A discussion similar to item "K" should take place on this subject.
M. Spiritual Gifts
This is a critical subject for Elders to thoroughly understand so they can
help the Body discern their spiritual gifts and put them to work. Passages
to examine are: Ephesians 4, I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12. A very helpful
analysis of individual gifts is Brian Morgan's paper on "Spiritual
N. Body Life
Elders and pastors set the atmosphere for Body Life in a local church. An
understanding of how the Body of Jesus Christ cares for one another, bears
each other's burdens and ministers one on one or in groups is therefore
vital. Ray Stedman's book "Body Life" is well worth reading.
0. Spiritual Warfare
The apostle Paul says "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities and powers... against spiritual forces of wickedness...".
Elders must understand what we are to do and then help the Body in their
struggle. Understanding Satan and his schemes (drawn from Old and New Testament
scriptures) plus a thorough examination of Ephesians 6:10-20 is necessary.
P. The Christian Home
In our culture, this subject needs special emphasis. Elders need to
be grounded in:
- Being a father and a priest, Ephesians 6:1-4
- Being a teacher and example, Deuteronomy 6:4-9
- Being a wise parent and teaching wisdom, Proverbs 2:1-22
- Being a moral mentor and imparting:
truth about sex, Proverbs 5:1-23
truth about relationships, Proverbs 7:1-27
truth about living life wisely, Proverbs 1 through 9
Posted July 20, 1996.
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