The Southside Elders believe in the following description of our roles and responsibilities presented in the Bible.
THE WORK OF ELDERS
The New Testament is quite specific concerning the work of elders. They are:
to teach (1 Timothy 3:2; 5:17; Acts 20:28);
to guard (Acts 20:28-29; Titus 1:9-14; Heb 13:17; I Peter 5:2);
to oversee (1 Peter 5:3; Hebrews 13:7, 17);
to give counsel (Acts 21:23);
to handle disputes (Acts 15:2ff);
to visit and pray for the sick (James 5:14);
to be examples and encourage (I Pet 5:3: Titus 1:9; Heb 13:7)
If the “presbuteros” (elders) are to do the work of overseeing (episkopos) in an optimal way, then they need to be freed up as much as possible of the more menial or physical aspects of ministry by “diokonos” (Ministry Servants) as was done in Acts 6.
Acts 6:1-7 provides the example of making sure food was distributed to widows. The twelve leaders said “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” They told the church members to choose seven men among them and said “We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Though these seven men were not called deacons, they did a work that freed up the apostles to better shepherd the flock.
If elders are to properly shepherd the flock, they need to let go of some of their control over the administrative and every day decisions of the church. They must delegate tasks to wise and faithful people and allow them to make decisions that affect their areas of responsibility.
We are told to “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers –not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Pet. 5:2-3)
The Southside Elders will constantly seek to be the Spiritual leaders of the Body of believers that gather at the Southside Church of Christ. We will strive to becoming the type of leaders as described above. Therefore, as shepherds we will strive to the following actions:
Love the sheep
Serve the sheep
Pray for the sheep
Feed the sheep with biblical truths
Provide Spiritual Oversight
Be an example to the sheep
Lead the sheep gently
Protect the body from error
Promote a Christ-centered environment
Equip and encourage the sheep
Delegate administrative and other tasks to responsible members
I agree to commit to a covenant with the other Southside elders to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of Shepherds of the Body of Christ at Southside; Signed:
Ken Kock, Wayne Alexander, Al Gray, Troy Jensen, John Giemza
Date August 27, 2015