Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 8, 1971

The Elders Work Is Too Important

Tom Wheeler

Acts 20:28 says that the elders are to feed the church over which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers. Heb. 13:17 says that the elders watch for souls as they that must give account for those souls. Both passages show that the elder's work is too important for him to waste his time in the menial tasks of the church.

The elder's work is too important for him to waste his time writing checks and keeping up with the bank account. Many men who cannot qualify for the important work of an elder can do an excellent job in financial matters as they serve under the oversight of elders.

The elder's work is too important for him to spend his time choosing materials, colors and sizes for every room and wall of a new building or the repairing of the old one. Other men who cannot at present qualify for the very important work of bishop can ably, under the elders oversight, perform these tasks that are of little importance when compared with the caring for a soul.

Elders have much work to do and ought to be doing it with love, zeal and virtue (manliness or backbone). Think about the following:

1. Elders should know the material used in each class and the ability of the teacher to use it. Many teachers pick their own material and do a good job. Other teachers use materials that teach theistic evolution, that the church is the building, that the church can operate through human societies, the observance of man-made religious days and many other errors. Elders are to oversee the feeding of the flock but many do not; they are too wrapped up in minute physical matters.

2. Elders should at least lead the way in restoring the lost. In some churches where "elders" exist in name only they seem to have very little concern for those who go astray. I have heard elders talk of disfellowshipping people who had not darkened a meetinghouse door for twenty years, and in that time (all that time) the elders had not tried to teach the person. Is that watching for someone's soul?

3. Elders should know the truth and be able to close the mouth of the gainsayer. One of the reasons digression has taken its toll is the lack of knowledgeable elders with backbone. They have allowed men to come in and subvert whole congregations. They have gone along with the promoters. They have given the social gospelers a hearing and been swayed by their smooth words and fair speech. Overseers must oversee to please God. Kick the error out, teach the weak and encourage the strong. The elder's work is too important to waste time taking care of the details of incidentals. Delegate work to those of lesser ability. Be zealous, concerned and godly or get out of the way and stop hindering the work of the Lord. Recognize the headship of Christ and that there is a work to perform and not just a position to fill.

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