7/7/19 – Lessons In Leading part III – A Polity Of Plurality – The Beauty of Hierarchy And Help

Exodus 18:21-27 ESV

21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.” 24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.

I. A BRIEF DISCUSSION ON POLITY
A. Polity is defined as the branch of ecclesiology (study of the church) that addresses the organizational structure and hierarchy of the church.
B. 3 main forms of polity are: Episcopal, Presbyterian, & Congregational.
C. NJ is a polity mutt because we are a mix of Presbyterian and Congregational polities.
D. Rule by a plurality of some kind would be the most biblical form of polity.

II. THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN THE CHURCH
A. The Pastor, while not special, plays a special role in the church:
B. He is involved intimately with the people (v18-19, 22)
C. He is an intercessor for the people (v19)
D. He instructs the people (v20)

III. THE ELECTION OF ELDERS
A. Elders are elected, usually by the people, while pastors are called exclusively by God.
B. Exodus 18 Qualifications to be an Elder:

  1. They had to be men (V21)
  2. They had to be capable (V21)
  3. They had to fear God. (21)
  4. They had to be men of character and incorruptible. (21)
  5. They needed to represent the diversity of the congregation. (v21, 25-26)

IV. ENCOURAGING YOUR ELDERS (Practical Application)
A. Elders serve both the good of the pastor and the congregation. (v18,23)
B. Elders should be empowered by pastors & encouraged by the church. (25-27)

NEXT STEP
1. Jesus became like us, even one of us, in order to chase us down and lead us to follow Him.