NEW RELEASE: Church Leadership

We would like to announce our newest title – Church Leadership by Donald Townsley – is now available.

Church Leadership (cover)By the Lord’s design, local churches are to be overseen by elders – mature, faithful men who would shepherd the flock in that place. This is a vital work. Sadly, though, many churches are lacking qualified men who are able to fill this role.

Donald Townsley (1931-2013) labored as a preacher of the gospel of Christ for over fifty years. Recognizing the lack of qualified, godly leadership in churches and the problems that come from that deficiency, he put together this material on the work of elders. His simple and straightforward outline of the topic will help men prepare themselves for this work and help congregations identify and develop elders among them.

There are questions at the end of each lesson to aid in personal and group studies of this material.

Download a sample of the book!

Read more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Some Things the Whole Church Needs to Remember

To Sum the Whole Thing Up: A Collection of Writings by J. C. Roady

We, as a body of people under the leadership of Christ the Son of God, need to remember that Christ is the head of this body, Col. 1:18, and that we are just members of it; that the Church does not belong to us but that we are members of the Church; that Christ is the Lawgiver over that body of people known as Christians and that there is not one thing we can bring into that body; that everything that is in that body must be placed there by the authority of that Lawgiver which is Christ (James 4:12). In Matt. 17:5, the voice from heaven said, This is my beloved Son hear ye him. That voice still says for us to hear Him. Paul said in Heb. 1:2: …hath spoken unto us by his Son. We need to keep in mind that it is the way He still speaks to the church. He doesn’t reveal something to me one way and to you, another. Our instructions come through that voice which speaks from heaven and which is recorded in the Bible. Christ has never set up any person or institution or body of men to speak for Him.

It is our duty to find out what He has already spoken and then for us to reproclaim it to those with whom we come in contact. We need to remember that when Christ built the church, He was able to see the wisdom of placing things in the Church that would meet the need of all future generations. Therefore He told the Church at Ephesus what He did in Eph. 3:21: Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.

The Lord does what He wants to do, He says what He knows to be right, and there is no way to add to it. Solomon said in Ecc. 3:14: What so ever God doeth it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it. We need to keep in mind that the Church has no right to follow and endorse things just because others have them. We must speak as by the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).

We need to know that institutions started and governed by man have no place in the Church of the New Testament. We should have it impressed on our mind daily, that the best defense man can put up is the one that the Saviour used in Matt. 4:4, when he met the devil and defeated him. His defense was, It is written…, and there He stood to the last and showed that no man need to be afraid of the wicked as long as he has what is written with which to defend his position. We need to know that in the Church alone we move. Personally owned enterprises have no place in the Church. They are fine in their place and it is possible to accomplish good with them, but they are not a part of the Church of the New Testament.

We need to know that Christ prayed for unity in John 17:21, that Paul taught and commanded it in 1 Cor. 1:10: Be perfectly joined together. We need to know that it is our duty to work for what Christ prayed for and what Paul commanded (Phil. 2:1-2).

At the same time we need to know what an awful sin it is to cause division in the Body among God’s people and when we do, we come under the condemnation the Lord has pronounced upon us and also are marked by the people of the Lord (Rom. 16:17-18). The body of Christ is divided into many different congregations and each congregation is a unit in itself. We should know that it is our duty to place over each one of these congregations the proper kind of an eldership—men who are able to lead the flock in the right way; men who are really examples to the flock. But we must keep in mind that the elder’s authority ends where it begins which is with the flock over which he has been appointed. As Peter explains in 1 Peter 5:1-2-3-4-5: Feed the flock of God which is among you. He has no authority over any other.

The eldership is the highest office there is in the church here on earth and the men who are appointed to that office should be respected by the members and should also show his respect to the church over which he is appointed. He is to feed the flock over which he is appointed, but none other. There are times when a man unworthy of that office has been appointed, but while we are opposed to the man who is guilty of wrong doing, yet we must respect the office and do every thing we can for it. The Lord placed that office in His Church and to reject the office is to reject the Lord.

We, as members of the Church need to know that it must be a divine institution. To be divine it must be fashioned after the model that is found in the New Testament. It must have a divine head, it must be governed by divine authority, and it must wear a divine name. To do that it must acknowledge the name that was placed upon it by divine authority (Rom. 16:16 and 1 Tim. 3:15). All names that God gave to His people and to His Church were not placed there by accident, but they had a meaning.

In closing this lesson may we remind you that the Church needs to know that it must have converted members (Matt. 13:15, John 12:40, Acts 3:19); faithful members (Rev. 2:10, 1 Cor 15:58); lively members (1 Peter 2:5); Bible readers (John 5:39, Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 2:15); Church goers (Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7, Heb. 10:25); workers (1 Cor. 3:9, James 2:14, Phil. 2:12); humility (Matt. 23:12, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:6); thankfulness (Col. 3:15; 1 Cor. 15:57, Eph. 5:20); forgiveness (Matt. 18:35; Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:32); watchful overseers (1 Peter 5:1-3); preachers of the word (2 Tim. 4:1-4; 2 Tim. 2:2-15); competent teachers (Titus 2:3, Heb. 5:12, Titus 2:1-5).

Israel perished because the Israelites did not have the knowledge they should have (Hosea 4:6). We face the same danger. Israel became a byword among the other nations, because they would not obey what the Lord commanded them to do. Don’t forget that we need to profit by their mistake and that the Church can ruin her influence by not doing the Lord’s will just as easily as Israel did under the old law.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, To Sum the Whole Thing Up: A Collection of Writings by J. C. Roady. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!