About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


I was asked last week about the position of church elder. What specific responsibility do you see your roll to be. I have never been a lay church elder. Having been senior pastor and associate pastor, and youth pastor. Presently I do not have any position in a church. Baptist generally do not use the term Elder, but it’s a biblical position. But the church I attend now is not a Baptist church but does have elders.

These points below are how I understand the role of a lay elder and that of the paid elders. (Pastor, Associate Pastors)

While I believe elders are part of a whole working together to accomplish the objectives of the church, yet I would say each has a specific role in the body of Christ. Like the role of the deacons, each having a specific responsibility.

If any elder or deacon is going to accomplish the objectives they wish to see fulfilled, it’s going to be built upon their influence and ability.. We can sit in a eldership meeting and plan all these objectives, but the ability to accomplish them will be by our competence and our capability to stimulate the membership to do the work of the ministry. If you don’t have that, the plans will stay on the paper never getting done. It’s called ‘leadership influence."

What I would hope I could bring to the leadership and the members of the church is an energetic approach ( the method used or steps taken in setting about a task) in doing and to stimulate the church body to the work of the ministry.

Over the years I would say, I have been better at stimulating people to do the work of the ministry rather than doing it myself. If you can’t get the membership to believe they need to be a part of the work of the ministry, all the plans you put on paper will stay there. So you need a fresh approach with this task, which I would like to try as well.

I have had some success in stimulating those who are in positions of leadership, like teachers and deacons, and workers in the church.

1A Respect. I know you have to earn the position. I believe an elder needs the respect of the membership and leadership. If they don’t see that I would be a good elder then I shouldn’t be one. The church body needs to see that I would be the kind of person that would bring something to the church that would be helpful.

2A An elder has the spiritual welfare of the church as his responsibility. That is an elder’s role in the church, (1) a lay elder has the responsibility to see that all ministries of the church are fulfilling the objectives of the church. (2) a pastoral elder is to fulfill his specific position. As a youth pastor, or music pastor, etc. (3) the Pastor of the church, one who is teaching and preaching has the responsibility to preach and teach the Word of God, in a way that will build up the believer, and to preach the whole gospel of Jesus Christ.

3A An elder is one who is able to view the ministries of the church in a way that he is able to give insight, discernment, wisdom, intelligence, understanding, awareness, apprehension for the work of the Lord.

4A An elder should be one who is viewed as a person who has spiritual understanding, one who can interpret Biblical principles into application for the welfare of the church.

5A An elder should be known for his love for the membership and their spiritual welfare.

6A An elder is an elder not necessarily for his intellectual education, but for his acute ability to know the spirit of the Lord. Also for his ability to lead others to know the spirit and will of the Lord.

7A An elder is not only to be a good teacher in the class room or podium but a good teacher of men as well.

8A An elder should be a person whom the church body respects enough to believe he has walked with the Lord, has a spirit that is genuine, and has love for the Lord and the church body.

9A An elder should be able to make determinations for the good of the whole church, without the influence of any one member of the church itself.

10A An elder should realize he is a servant.
11A An elder is willing to risk doing the best for the church, rather then worrying about what might happen if he does act in the best interest of the church.

12A An elder has the God-given ability to lead and direct and guide the church into doing the work of the ministry.

Footnote: All this with the understanding of the Biblical qualification:

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant @ 7:00 p.m. Proof read by Charity
Posted Monday October 02, 2006