WHO IS IN CHARGE? by steve finnell
Who is responsible for oversight of the church of Christ?
First let us establish that Jesus Christ is head of His church.
Colossians 1:13-18.....18 He is also head of the body, the church......
Ephesians 5:23...as Christ also is the head of the church....
The question remains who are the men responsible for the oversight of the Lord's church?
Did God put a pastor, a bishop, an elder, or an overseer in charge of shepherding His church?
Pastor, bishop, elder and overseer are the same office.
Men were given the oversight of each, local, church of Christ.
Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they believed.
Elders (plural) were appointed in each church congregation.
Titus 1:5-7 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.....7 For the overseer must be above reproach....
Elders were appointed in every city where there was a church of Christ. Elders were also referred to as overseers (some translations use the word bishops).
Acts 20:17-28 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.......28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Notice: Elders (plural), and overseers (plural). Elders and overseers are used interchangeably and are told to shepherd the church.
1 Peter 5:1-2 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you exercising oversight...
Note: Elders (plural), were told to shepherd the flock of God. Peter said he was one of the elders. Peter did not say he was the Pope or the Head Elder.
Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some......as pastors.....
The word pastor means shepherd.
Elder, bishop, overseer and pastor are all the same office and they are to shepherd the local churches of Christ.
The oversight of the local church is to be a plurality of ELDERS (overseers, bishops, pastors).
There is no mention in the Bible of one pastor ruling a single church. There is no Scripture indicating one man should rule a world wide church. There is nothing in the Bible that tells us to set up a church board to oversee the local church. God never set up different denominations to be ruled by groups of men. There is no office of Pope or priest mentioned under the New Covenant church of Christ.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF HIS CHURCH! A PLURALITY OF ELDERS ARE TO HAVE OVERSIGHT OF EACH LOCAL CONGREGATION.
(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)