It has been a little while since I posted an article here and I am disappointed in myself for allowing the events leading up to the return to school distract me from one of the things I enjoy doing. That is the challenge of being a parent, though, we have to juggle many things sometimes and we fail in certain areas.
I was talking to a friend of mine last week, trying to encourage him in his work as a minister, and as we visited we came to a similar conclusion about the “business” side of “running a church”. Throughout this country there are a growing number of congregations of the Lord’s body that do not have elders and deacons in them. I have come to be alarmed at this as I see more and more local churches struggling to find men who are qualified to do so. This amazing considering that when the apostles first started teaching and preaching the gospel there were very few congregations outside of Jerusalem. In Acts 8 we see Saul begin his persecution against the church and then those who were followers of Christ were spread all throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1). In Acts 9 there were followers of Christ in Damascus that Saul was going to throw in prison until he met Christ on the road to Damascus. My point in referencing this is that we don’t see elders referred to here either. The apostles were taking a leading role in the church at this point in time. We do see, though, as Paul and Barnabas went on their first missionary journey they “appointed elders in every church” (Acts 14:23). They recognized the need for leadership in the local church and this comes from God as He, through His Spirit, inspired Paul to give Timothy and Titus the qualifications for elders. (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1) Our generation apparently does not see the need as much because we are having problems in many local works throughout this world we live in. God wants leadership in His local churches and we are failing in this area and because if that there are groups that lack direction. These groups lack direction for the simple fact that the men have to make decisions as a group and sometimes that can take some time to do. I don’t think I have ever feared the disappearance of the church, rather one thing I do fear is that groups will become less and less active due to a lack of leadership than anything else and tomorrow’s article will address the other direction that the church is going.
Have a wonderful day in service to our Creator and encourage those around you as you can to shine their lights bright so that Christ can be seen everywhere possible.