In his post, Ross is investigating the user of the term “elder” in the New Testament, in the early church, and throughout church history. His goal is to examine the importance of elders in simple/organic churches today.
(Interesting, isn’t it? Since so many people say that simple/organic churches are not interested in elders…)
Ross begins his post with this:
The role of elders is crucial in organic church. However, the idea of what the word â€œelderâ€ means has been so distorted by history that we need to clear up some misconceptions before we can even talk about what elders do and how they play an essential role in the Church. So this will be a brief, two part series. In this post, Iâ€™ll talk about how the word â€œelderâ€ was used in the Early Church. In the next post, Iâ€™ll discuss the important role elders played and how they reproduced themselves organically.
Then, he concludes with this definition of “elder”:
An elder, then, is a more mature Christian. And such a mature Christian would use their maturity to serve others, coming from a position of humility and weakness, not from any position of apparent strength, title, power or positional authority. To do otherwise would be to set aside Jesus strict instructions about how â€œgreaterâ€ (i.e. more mature) people were to behave.
What do you think about Ross’ definition?