Take Heed to WHOM?

There are several reasons for elders taking heed to themselves.  One reason is because elders have a soul to save, viz., their own…


PAUL’S ADMONITION TO the elders of the church of Christ at Ephesus is a pertinent challenge to all elders. An analysis of this inspired advice to the Ephesian bishops shows the importance of elders taking heed to themselves…

Paul urged, “Take heed to thyself…”  The word translated “heed” literally means: “to hold to, . . .turn one’s attention to . . .”  There are several reasons for elders taking heed to themselves.  One reason is because elders have a soul to save, viz., their own (Mat. 16:26).  Elders, like preachers, may become preoccupied with the spiritual needs of others to the degree that they lose sight of their own spiritual liabilities and personal needs.

As surely as elders must be men of great spiritual stature they must “take time to be holy.”  Spiritual development and maturity is a process which involves prayer, devotional Bible reading, and meditation on things of God (Psa. 1; 119; 2 Tim. 2:15; Phil. 4:8).

Elders are not immune to temptation.  They may give in to sin, succumb to subtle solicitations to violate or neglect the will of God, and they may become discouraged with their own efforts to live the Christian life and/or the efforts of others.

There is another reason elders must “turn attention” to themselves: elders lead in spiritual matters by example.  They must be diligent in developing and maintaining a godly character.  Can a spiritual pygmy successfully lead the saints of God?  Elders must spiritually “stand head and shoulders” over the crowd.  The concept of church edification means that God’s people grow and develop spiritually.  They develop Christlike characters.  But Christlike leaders must show the spirituality and demonstrate the possibility of accomplishment in this vital area of Christian living.  (Tom Holland, “ELDERS – THEIR DUTY OF SELF-EXAMINATION,” The Spiritual Sword, Vol. 9, Ap., 1978, Num. 3, 8).

“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!” – Mike


How Does A Congregation Pick Its Preacher?


Calvin Miller’s book, “The Empowered Leader” addresses ten keys to what he calls “servant leadership.”  In chapter one (pp. 11-12), he addresses our general propensity to select men (i.e., preachers) based upon faulty, yes – even worldly, structures.

I’ve taken the liberty of amending a few paragraphs in his book to help us see how many times congregations in the Lord’s church tend to pick their preacher(s) by superficial first impressions and appearances.

You might not agree with everything he says, but there are a few helpful mustard seeds to be gleaned here.  Give Miller’s work a few minutes of your prayerful thought and consideration:

“WE OFTEN ARRIVE at preacher selection by imitating the actions of the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 16).

Samuel went to Bethlehem to look for an evangelist.  Jesse of Bethlehem presented Samuel an all-star line up of preacher candidates.  His applicants appeared to be rugged, minister types.

But in the process of sorting though their appearances, Samuel saw a need to read their resumes more closely.

How unlike Samuel we are when we choose.  All too often we “line up” our potential perspective preachers, eyeball their credentials, and vote them in or out on their appearance after a Bible class and a couple of sermons.

The mistake of Jesse is a universal fault.  He called Samuel in to begin his search with Abinadab.  Jesse’s most impressive preacher candidate seemed the place to begin.

But the Bible holds a vital lesson on preacher selection.

Each time a congregation plays this image roulette, they opt for leadership by relativismRelativism is the way a congregation and eldership compares resumes to arrive at the most ideal.

Every congregation has its pecking order.  But selecting a preacher of God’s Word is not simply a matter of comparing the best virtues of all the assembled contenders.

The old prophet discovered a faulty system.  The right candidate was not even present – the contest was not inclusive enough.

God’s chosen man is sometimes not even in the line-up.  In this case, David was out tending sheep and serving in another capacity in another location.

It’s often that way.

We’re not altogether sure when leadership is present, but we are always sure when it is absent.

When England needed a king, there was a sword in a stone.  Excalibur was the magic sword that belonged to the leader in that day.

We often ballot our choices for preachers, picking and choosing in our relativistic way.  But history repeatedly teaches us that running through stack of resumes is often a faulty way to look for a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Only the real king can wrest the sword from the stone.

The holder of the title preacher sometimes comes from the shadows of obscurity.

On such unsuspected persons the mantle falls.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!”–Mike