You Don’t Have to Ask the Elders About Everything

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Sometimes you will hear people say “We need to ask the elders about that?”

There are times when that is true – that you need to talk with a more mature Christian to get insight and input, prayer, etc.

But in some cases we are asking for permission to do things God already said to do. Why would we need to ask the elders for permission to do what God said to do? If you ask them and they tell you not to do it, are you going to follow their lead if it contradicts scripture?

If God said it, we don’t have to ask for further permission from people to do it. If Jesus modeled it and you are following his lead, why would you have to seek additional permission to do what Jesus did?

You can reach the lost…make disciples…pray for all sorts of things…greet visitors, get together in homes for study and prayer…and so much more without ever having to ask permission.

The elders were never meant to be gatekeepers between you and obedience to God.

Sometimes elders learn to micromanage because people think they have to ask permission for everything. So really all the elders are doing is responding to what is being brought before them, who wouldn’t? It becomes self-fulfilling. You think they want a say so you take everything to them for their say then they believe that is their job. Maybe it would be better to start being discerning about what issues need a second eye, input from mature believers, etc and which things God gave you the green light on.

4 Responses

  1. My brother once commented that he often wished people would come to the elders with more weighty matters than “what color to paint the bathroom?”

  2. Absolutely! I believe we need to move away from the corporate board of directors mindset.. interestingly the passages relating to church discipline or interpersonal disagreements do not mention elders but most members want to run to the elders immediately to let them deal with any and all unpleasantness.

  3. Good article! I’ve served as an Elder and I always told the members to follow Christ and his word. If you need assistance please contact me. I was busy preparing Bible Class material and seeing to adult education. I didn’t care about what color the building needed to be.

  4. Some elderships micromanage everything aka “lord it over them.” However their meetings are often in secret and most members have no ideas of where, when, or how to get on the agenda even for the most serious of matters.

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