The Function of Elders

I really enjoyed sharing the stage this morning with two of our congregational shepherds. I think it worked out better to hear them speak from their experience of serving in that role rather than to hear me talk about the function of elders in theory.

A lot of people worked behind the scenes to help make our worship service successful this morning. Transitioning our assemblies into the gym is no small task. Since I was gone all last week to take a course in Spiritual Formation at ACU, I really don’t know exactly who was involved in the transition. However, I know Alan Richards, Boyce Tate, Scott Shaffer, and David Layman spent many hours setting up. I appreciate their service (and others who I have failed to mention.)

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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3 Responses to “The Function of Elders”

  1. avatar Adam says:

    I know this is unrelated Byron, but I was wondering what your thoughts on George Muller were. Specifically, I've been pondering whether or not we should model his practices of only asking our Father God for things, usually needs. Or, would it be right to ask some person, such as a friend or family member, for help in times of need. Should we ask them, perhaps the holy spirit in them? Who can we ask, anyone? Family, friends, strangers? Giving is constantly talked about, in and out of church, but it doesn't seem to be socially acceptable to ask for things, especially things like money; consider a homeless person with his hand out, or a distant son who only calls when he needs something, like a couple hundred dollars. And so, I am wondering what the bible has to say about asking. Let me know any thoughts you have. Thanks.

  2. avatar Byron says:

    George Muller said that his approach to “non-fund raising” was a specific call of God for him personally. He said that his not asking anyone for financial help except God alone, would be a testimony to the world that God answers the prayers of people who put their faith in him, live in obedience to his teachings, and follow his direction for their lives.

    Biblically, one can find examples of people of God:
    – Asking and trusting God alone to supply their needs as Muller did
    – Working to supply their own needs
    – Asking others to help provide financial support

    There are several broad principles that I think might apply when it comes to money.
    1. It is wrong to take advantage of people's generosity and right to work to supply one's own needs. See 1 Thess. 3:7-10

    2. It is proper to support those who work full time in ministry. See 1 Cor. 9:7-12a

    3. Just because one has a right to expect support for work in ministry, it is not always best to exercise that right. See 1 Cor. 9:12b

    4. It is proper to have collections raising money for the Lord's work. See 1 Cor. 16:1-3

    There are probably several more but those are the ones that come to mind.

  3. avatar Adam says:

    Thanks Byron! I think I need to look a little deeper into 1 Thessalonians for the context and what all was going on at the time between the parties involved. For whatever opinion someone holds on the matter, most important is the biblical support for sure.

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