Local Church Goverment — Lesson # 20

PRINCIPLES OF KINGDOM LIVING

LESSON 20

LOCAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT

There are three areas of government that are clearly defined in the Word of God. They are the home, civil government, and Church government. Within the framework of this lesson, we will consider the government of the local church.

(1)    WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR CHURCH GOVERNMENT?

A.  Church government is necessary to provide order and maintain peace among                                   brethren and to instill obedience to God’s will (I Corinthians 12:38); (Hebrews 13:17).

B.  Christ is the head of the Church, both universal and local (Ephesians 5:23); (Colossians 1:18); (2:19).

C.  Under Christ there are various ministries (I Corinthians 12:28); (Ephesians 4:11-12)               that serve to perfect the body of Christ. But, there are only two ecclesiastical offices               or authorities outlined in     the New Testament: bishops and deacons.

Û        HEAD

¯

Û        OVERSEERS

¯

Û        SERVANTS

1.   Bishops and deacons are the ruling authorities in the local  church                                                             (I Timothy 3:1-7) – bishops; (II Timothy 3:8-11) – deacons;                                                                              (Philippians 1:1) – bishops and deacons).

2.  These offices do not describe the operation of a ministry; they are positions of                               incumbency.

(2) WHAT IS THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP?

A.   The qualifications to meet the office of bishop are outlined in (I Timothy 3:1-7);                                  (Titus 1:5-7).

B.   A bishop must meet high standards of moral, civil, and spiritual qualities.

C.   There are various terms synonymous with the word “bishop” in the New Testament:

1.   Bishop – taken from the Greek “Episcopals”, means “overseer”.  This is the                            actual office, the ruling position (Acts 20:17-38).

2.   Elder – taken from the Greek “Presbyturos”, means “senior”. This refers to                  the personal status of the bishop (I Peter 5:1,5).

a.     The elder’s function is to rule (I Timothy 5:1,17-21).

b.   They have responsibility and accountability for the flock (Hebrews 13:17).

3.   Pastor – taken from the Greek “Poimen”, means “shepherd”. This is one who                          feeds and protects and instructs (Ephesians 4:11).

(3)    WHAT IS THE OFFICE OF A DEACON?

A.  The qualifications to meet the office of deacon are outlined in (Acts 6:3) and                               (I Timothy 3:8-11).

B.  The deacon, like the bishop, must meet the high standards of moral, civil, and                       spiritual qualities.

C.  The word “deacon” is taken from the Greek “diakonos”, meaning “servant” or “helper”.

D.   A deacon is one who serves in church government as an official to carry out                                      various dutiful obligations. He is directly under the authority of the bishop (Acts 6:3).

(4)    WHAT ABOUT LOCAL CHURCH DISCIPLESHIP?

A.  There, must be attendance and participation in the local church assembly in order                   to aid in spiritual growth, both individually and corporately.

1.  No person is a spiritual “loner” (Romans 14:7).

2.  One must not forsake attending, in full participation, the local church assembly                      (Hebrews 10:25).

3.   Christ often went to the synagogue (Mark 1:21); (Luke 4:16); (John 6:59).

B.  All members of the body of Christ are required to be disciples of the Lord Jesus                    Christ. However, not all are spiritual leaders in the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:14-31). Therefore, there must be obedience to God’s ordained leadership.

1.  As a member or disciple of Christ, one must be willing to express one’s loyalty                              to Christ by demonstrating submission to God’s chosen ruling authorities in                                             the local church (I Corinthians 16:16); (Hebrews 13:17); (I Timothy 5:17).

2.  Lack of submission to ruling authorities in the local church is detrimental for individual spiritual growth (Hebrews 13:17).

3.  The local church has the authority to excommunicate and to exhort (Matthew 18:15-17).

CHURCH GOVERNMENT: THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRIES

In the previous lessons, we have seen that God has established a pattern for government within the Church. God gave Christ to the Church to be its head, and in turn, Christ has given five ministries to the Church, as a gift, to foster its corporate life (Ephesians 4:11-13).

(1)    WHAT ARE THE FIVE MINISTRIES?

A.  Apostles

B.  Prophets

C.  Evangelists

D.  Pastors

E.  Teachers

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists,         some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11 – RSV).

(2)   WHAT IS AN APOSTLE?

A.  Comes from the Greek word “APOSTOLOS” meaning “one sent forth”

B.  They are chosen by God, not man (Galatians 1:1); (Romans 1:5-6).

C.  Preaches the Gospel (Acts 2:38);(Romans 1:1).

D.  Testify and exhort (Acts 2:40).

E.  Establish doctrines (Acts 2:42).

F.  Establish churches (Acts 14:22-23).

G.   Bring forth and develop those called to the ministry, giving guidance and           instruction until confirmed into their calling (Acts 14:23).

H.   Establish believers in foundational truths (I Corinthians 3:10).

I.  Seal of apostleship is the fruit he has brought forth (Corinthians 9:2I).

J.   Has the ministry of “beginnings”

(3)    WHAT IS A PROPHET?

A.  Comes from the Greek “PROPHETES” meaning “one who speaks forth or openly        a proclaimer of a divine message”.

B.  Speaks the Word of the Lord (I Corinthians 14:29).

C.  Brings forth revelation of the Scriptures (I Corinthians 14:30).

D.  Predicts and warns of future events (Acts 11:27-28).

E.  Provides direction in ministry, doctrine, and worship (Acts 13:12).

F.  Confirm and impart spiritual gifts and blessings (Acts 15:32).

G.  Has the ministry of confirming God’s motives and will.

(4)    WHAT IS AN EVANGELIST?

A.  Comes from the Greek “EVANGELISTES” meaning “a messenger of good”.

B.   Exhorts men to repent, believe and obey the Gospel (II Timothy 4:2,5).

C.     Extends the message of the Gospel to unreached areas (Acts 8:4);

(Acts 11:19-21).

D.   Has the ministry of stirring.

(5)    WHAT IS A PASTOR?

A.  Comes from the Greek “POIMEN” meaning “a shepherd, one who tends herds or                     flocks (not merely one who feeds them)”.

B.  Feeds the flock (I Peter 5:2-4); (John 21:16).

C.  Protects the flock (Acts 20:28-31).

D.  Guides the flock (John 10:3-4).

E.   Watches for the souls of those in his flock (Hebrews 13:17).

F.   Must be willing to lay down his life for his sheep (John 10:11-13).

G.   Has the ministry of feeding.

(6)    WHAT IS A TEACHER?

A.  Comes from the Greek “DIDASKALOS” meaning “a master”.

B.  Clarifies the application of truth in our lives to enable us to be obedient to the                        Word of God.

C.  Builds on the foundations laid by the apostle and prophets to establish the saints (I Corinthians 3).

D.  Must provide motivation for studying the Scriptures.

E.  Communicates revealed truth to bring unity of the faith through understanding                  (I Corinthians 1:10).

F.  Has the ministry of stabilizing and strengthening.

(7)    WHY WERE THESE MINISTRIES GIVEN TO THE CHURCH?

A.  For the perfecting of the saints (Ephesians 4:12).

B.  For the equipping of the saints for the work of service (Ephesians 4:12).

C.  For the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).

(8)    HOW LONG WILL THESE MINISTRIES EXIST?

Until WE ALL come into:

A.  The unity of the faith.

B.  The knowledge of the Son of God.

C.  Maturity (“perfect” man).

D.  The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

PRINCIPLES OF KINGDOM LIVING

LESSON 18—STUDY SHEET

LOCAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT

Answer these questions and be prepared to discuss this chapter in the next class.

1. Hebrews 13:17 ________________________________ them that have the rule over    you, and submit yourselves: for they _________________________________, as            they that must give _______________________________ that they may do it with      joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

2.      _____________________is the head of the church, both universal and local.

3.     _____________________________ and ___________________________ are the      ruling authorities in the local church.

4.     A bishop must meet high standards of moral, civil, and spiritual qualities. List some of       the standards that are listed in I Timothy 3:1-7. ____________________ __________________________________________________________________              __________________________________________________________________              __________________________________________________________________              __________________________________________________________________              __________________________________________________________________

5.    There are various terms synonymous with the word “bishop” in the New Testament.                    What are three of them? _______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________              __________________________________________________________________

6.         A ____________________________________ is one who serves in church        government as an official to carry our various dutiful obligations.  He is          _______________ the authority of the ________________________________.

7.    What scripture reference is used here to teach us we are not to be “loners” in the   Body of Christ? ______________________________________________

8.     Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to do what? ____________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________         __________ _

9.    As a member of disciples of Christ, one must be willing to express one’s loyalty  to             Christ by demonstration ________________________________ to God’s chosen                        ruling authorities in the local church.

10.   What does the word “apostle” mean?  ____________________________________     

11.   All of the five fold ministry is chosen by ________________________ not man.

12.   List characteristics of an apostle. ________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________

13.   List some characteristics of an prophet. ___________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________

14.   What does the Greek word “evangelists” mean? _ ___ _ _________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________

15.   What does a pastor do? _______________________________________________          ___________________________________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________

16.   Who clarifies the application of truth in our lives and builds on the foundations laid by       the apostles and prophets? ______________________________ _ ___________________________________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________

17.   Ephesians 4:12 tells us why the five-fold is given to the Body of Christ. Why?

___________________________________________________________________         ___________________________________________________________________         __________ ______

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About drgeorgewatkins

"That the Kingdom of God will rule ,with power, on earth as it rules in Heaven." My life time quest. G.W. BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION Rev. George Watkins pastored Christian Life World Outreach and Training Center in Mount Vernon, Washington for 29 years. He is director of George Watkins Ministries a.k.a. WORLDNet Ministries and has ministered through radio broadcasting, audio tape ministry, and a correspondence Bible course reaching into many countries of the world. Ministry teams have traveled with him to over twenty nations, working with local missionaries to establish churches, and conduct crusades and pastors’ seminars. George Watkins has authored several books: Women in Today’s Church, a scriptural insight into God’s intentions for both men and women to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Five Key Secrets to Long Life and Divine Health concerning God’s supernatural protection and promises to those who obey Him; and Staying Free, a mini-book used as a guide to maintaining freedom once delivered from the bondages of satan; Ask The Boy: stories through the eyes of those who were healed by the hands of Jesus. The Wisest Man I Have Ever Known: stories and parables teaching the truths of God’s word, as well as other teaching manuals. George Watkins has been active in the ministry for many years. He has a strong ministry to the local church as a seasoned veteran with his rich background as a pastor and evangelist. Many churches draw from his experience and consider him to be an integral part of their own ministries. His ministry is a blend of humor and straight forward teaching based on the belief that God means what He says, that His Word applies to our everyday, practical lives, and that it has power to make us whole in mind, body and soul. Rev. Watkins believes that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be used by every believer. He believes that using these spiritual tools will bring freedom to those in bondage. Rev. Watkins believes this is the age of the supernatural and will prove to be the Church’s finest hour. His vision is to equip the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission, making disciples of all nations. He has a unique ability to challenge the hearer to “sell out” to God, by faith, to fulfill God’s personal plan for your destiny. George and Arlis live in Mount Vernon, WA and are the parents of three adult children: Tony, Tiffany and Corbin.
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