This week and next we are taking a short break from Mark’s gospel to look at the two offices of the church: elders and deacons.
Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 5:1-5.
Simple Discussion Questions for Small Groups:
To start your group, have everyone share one way they have seen God at work in their life this week.
1. As you read through the qualifications and role of elders, answer this question: Why did God give elders to the church? How does God show His grace through the giving of elders?
2. Which of the qualifications of an elder stand out to you? In what way are these qualifications to be exhibited by all Christians?
3. Why is it so important to remember that Jesus is the Chief Shepherd? Read 1 Peter 2:24-25.
4. Review the Fighter Verse- Acts 20:28. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
What is the elder/overseer called to do?
We are a congregational church that votes to choose a pastor, yet the Bible says that Good the Holy Spirit made men into overseers. How do you reconcile these two things?
What does it mean that God obtained the church with his own blood?
*Note: This statement is a great proof that Paul and Luke believed that Jesus is God. When Jesus died on the cross, God the Son shed his blood.
For Deeper Discussion:
1. Who Are Elders?
The words Pastor, Elder, and Overseer are used interchangeably throughout scripture. How does this help you understand his role in the church?
2. Qualifications of Elders.
Which of the qualifications of an elder in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 stand out to you? Which are most important to you? In what way is this list “remarkably unremarkable?”
Do you agree that every Christian should exhibit these same character traits?
3. What Elders Do.
Review 1 Peter 5:1-5.
What are some dangers/temptations for pastors?
Often pastors can use their authority to hurt others? Have you been hurt by a pastor or church leader (specific details are not necessary)? Is there a pastor in your church that you may need to seek reconciliation with?
We are called to follow pastors as we follow the chief pastor, Jesus. Are you able to see your submission to pastoral authority as part of your submission to Christ himself? What makes this hard or easy to do?
Read 1 Peter 2:24-25. Spend some time rejoicing in Christ as your Chief Shepherd and Overseer of your soul. How does this truth comfort you in the midst of an imperfect church?
Just like you would teach your children about firefighters and policemen, there are ways you can teach your children about pastors. Ask your children if they know what a pastor is. What does a pastor do? Help your children to understand that pastors are given by God to the church to help the church know Jesus and learn to love him more.
Introduce your children to the pastors at church. Make sure they know who their pastors are.
Pray for your pastors at home with your children. Ask your pastor for some specific prayer requests that you can pray with your children about.
As your sons get older encourage them to be open to seeking the role of pastor. Pastor Jamie’s testimony includes making a decision to go into ministry as an elementary student. This is a commitment that others encouraged him to follow through on and today he is a pastor.