In the Bible, what is prescriptive
about the church people and their leaders
Obviously you can’t pull every command out of the New Testament and make it apply to situation today. You can about character and about following Christ and what we believe. But not about systems of organization in the church.
Otherwise all women would be wearing head coverings and also be quiet in the church services, and all leaders must be older or elder!
There are cultural things. There are different sizes of churches. There are things that the elders did in the early church which was probably similar to our home groups. That are not the exact same today.
One great helpful verse for an overview—Philippians 1:1:
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons.
There it is! Every position in the local church! :-). Direct application for today!
“Christ Jesus”—the Head of the church, the one whom we are all to serve, worship
“Paul and Timothy” — apostles and founders, whom we have today as writers
“To all the saints” — all believers, set aside to be the saints, the priest-believers
“The overseers” — used interchangeable with pastors (shepherds), elders, bishops
“And deacons” —just means servants…help with tables, widows, youth group, etc.
WHY SHOULD NOT EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH SEE HIMSELF OR HERSELF AS ONE OF THESE? WELL LET’S ELIMINATE THE FIRST TWO – SHE’S NOT THE LORD CHRIST OR AN APOSTLE. (THOUGH WE ALL HAVE THEIR WRITINGS.)
But each person truly in Christ is a saint, set apart, and then among all the saints in the local church are some asked to be
overseers — including full-time pastor-overseers who teach and shepherd; but also volunteer overseer elders who form a team or board to help oversee the boundaries and principles and goals of the church;
and also the deacons, men and women asked to serve by waiting on widows or teaching seventh grade boys on counting the money or visiting the needy!