GROWING IN THE GRACE OF THE LORD

(A study for new converts)

"ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH"

LESSON 3

INTRODUCTION:
  A. Lesson one deals with the two covenants and that we are under the New Covenant.
  B. Lesson two deals with some of the basic teachings about the church.
  C. This lesson deals with the Bible teaching concerning church Organization.
 
DISCUSSION:
 
I. JESUS IS THE HEAD (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; Colossians 1:18)
  A. Jesus has "all" authority (Matthew 28:18-20; John 17:2).
  B. Jesus is our prophet, priest, and king.
    1. Prophet — Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22-23.
    2. Priest — Hebrews 7:17, 21, 28.
    3. King — Revelation 17:14.
 
II. ELDERS FEED, TEND, AND OVERSEE THE CHURCH, KEEPING THE WORK GOING PROPERLY
  A. Number of elders.
    1. Plurality, i.e., more than one. Acts 14:23; 15:2, 4-6; Titus 1:5.
    2. Governs only one congregation, i.e. "the flock." I Peter 5:2; Acts 20:28.
    3. The elders outreach to govern. Acts 20:17, 28.
  B. Their work.
    1. Watch. Hebrews 13:17, as Ezekiel 3:16-21.
    2. Cause Christians to mature and the church to grow. Ephesians 4:11-16.
    3. Discipline the congregation. I Thessalonians 5:12-14.
    4. Shepherd the church, as a shepherd tends a flock (I Peter 5:1-3; Acts 20:28). The word "feed" is from the Greek word for shepherd.
    5. Pray for the sick and those in need of forgiveness (James 5:13-18).
  C. The members responsibility to the elders.
    1. Esteem them (I Thessalonians 5:12-14).
    2. Be subject to them (Hebrews 13:17).
 
III. DEACONS (SERVANTS LEADING OTHERS IN THE WORK OF THE CHURCH)
  A. They are appointed (Acts 6:3).
  B. Must have certain qualities (Acts 6:3, 5; I Timothy 3:8-13).
  C. They are to be busy at their task and have a record of working (I Timothy 3:10).
 
IV. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS
  A. Responsible to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
  B. Be united in the work of the Lord (Acts 2:44).
  C. Obey them that have the rule over you (Hebrews 13:17).
  D. Not forsake the assembling of the saints (Hebrews 10:25).
  E. Live a faithful life and be an example for Christ.
 
V. CONCLUSION
  A. The church is not a democracy — that is, the people do not vote on and thereby select what they want to believe. The church is a monarchy — Christ is the ONE KING.
  B. The church is as a flock of sheep. Christ is the Chief Shepherd with local elders as under-shepherds overseeing and leading by example in doing His work (I Peter 5:4).
  C. The church recognizes and exists according to these organizational principles, NOT:
    1. latter day revelations as the Mormons do.
    2. under one man's edicts as the Catholics do.
    3. according to what pleases man as all denominations do.
 
 
QUESTIONS FROM LESSON THREE
 
    1. Who is the head of the church?
    2. What does being the head of the church mean to you?
    3. Who are elders?
    4. What is the work of the elders?
    5. Which congregation is to be overseen by the eldership?
    6. What does democracy mean? Is the church a democracy?
      1) Why?
      2) What problems would there be if the church were a democracy?