Home      Sc Sess notes: Chf Eldr 1

Chief elder - general




1.        Review the Scriptures referring to Chief Elder below (Eccl. 12:9-13):


·         (vs 9) – And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.

·         (vs 10) – The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright – words of truth.

·         (vs 11) – The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.

·         (vs 12) – And further, my son, be admonished by these.  Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

·         (vs 13) – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.

·         Contextual Issues:  Eccl. 12:9-13 – The text was written by Solomon who would have considered the Shepherd of Israel to be Yahweh, and himself as the King of Israel to be an appointed under-shepherd (Ps. 78:70-72).

·         At the time of the writing of this book, there was no comprehension of the NT concept of pastor and cannot be directly related to this person.  The text can’t mean what it didn’t mean to its recipients unless it is prophetic.

·         We should not esteem a spiritualized interpretation of the text above the literal meaning of the text (for example:  the one pastor is a NT pastor that we are to be under for life.)

·         If there is to be a correlation between the OT and NT concept of shepherd, it is the thought that Yahweh is the one shepherd of Israel and has appointed many under shepherds (Ps. 78:70-72; Jer. 3:15, etc.).  These men were to be faithful to God regarding the flock He had entrusted to them (Jer. 23:1-6; Eze. 34:1-10).  In the NT, Christ is the chief shepherd (1 Pet. 2:25; 5:4; Jn. 10:11, 14), pastors are the under shepherds who are to be faithful to shepherd the flock of God (Jn. 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Pet. 5:1-5).


Do you agree or disagree with the statements above?  If not, please explain.


·         Yes.



2.        Based on Eccl. 12:11, can we say that a person is under one pastor for life (please give additional Scriptural support)?  Must we say that this is a permanent relationship?

Answer: Unanimously, No.



·         Local pastor is your pastor at that time; there is no time in a believer’s life when he is not under a Pastor/Teacher.  A person has a free will and it must be honored.

·          Corinthian Church had at least 3 pastors over a period of time.  It was not a permanent relationship.

·         If yes, for a visitor we would have to determine who his pastor was.  Possibility of developing a code of ethics if someone comes to our church – why did they leave the Pastor/Teaher they were with, maybe there was a problem (1 Cor.l 6:20,. 4:21).

·         Pastor/Teacher is a gift to the church (Eph. 4:11).  Role of Pastor/Teacher changes as God leads and moves people.






3.        Can the relationship between any person and a pastor be imposed or is it up to the Holy Spirit to decide?  Is this a relationship that we are capable of judging as pastors, or should it be left to the supreme judge?  If yes, how does this relate to a local pastor who sends a student or person to “Home Base”?

Answer: Unanimously, No.  The relationship between a body member and the Pastor can never be imposed.



·         Holy Spirit decides but that does not preclude teaching and guiding a new believer who does not understand this concept.  (2)  Technically, no, but if someone is attending a church where doctrine is not sound or they are not growing or are not happy there, someone could enlighten them.  Yes, leave it to the Supreme Judge but God uses people.  (3) No pastor really sends anyone to homebase – it is their own decision to go.  People who go to Baltimore have that as their spiritual pastor, while they have their own pastor.

·         Holy Spirit’s prerogative.  (2)  It should be left to Supreme Judge.  (3)  Local pastor should only send a student if that person is LED to Baltimore.  Homebase should never manipulate or intimidate that student into staying but to encourage them to follow the leading of the H.S.

·         Up to the Holy Spirit, Word of God and prayer.  (2)  A person’s true maturity comes from commitment (PS. 92:13-14).  (3)  A Pastor has no right to possess (1 Pet. 5:1-4) or lord it over the person but only to encourage them to make godly decisions.  A Pastor,  nor homebase, have a right to hold onto people.

·         Yes, up to Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 2:9).  (2) – up to Supreme Judge (2 Cor. 5:10).  (3) – By reason of that decision being established in a believer’s life, there should be an agreement between the student and Pastor.  Point of contact is the College.  Affiliate Pastor should understand that there is a liberty for that student to return to their local assembly to serve.  There should not be a relinquishing of relationships with anyone sent to Baltimore.

·         Up to Holy Spirit to decide.  Individual responds to leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14).  (2) Left to Supreme Judge.  (3) No one can dictate, but they should submit to the spiritual authority of the church they are in now.

·         Holy Spirit decides.  (2) We can get counsel but decision is ultimately from God. (3) An individual may choose to submit to Pastor at homebase but the relationship cannot be imposed.

·         We may have discernment of those under us, but must honor their personal choice.  (3)  Trust the individual to the leadership of homebase.  Homebase must honor sending Pastor’s influence, encourage interaction, and honor their investment.  Individual is led by God.

·         (Roms. 14:4)  Holy Spirit only.  (3)  Pastor of church where I am living or studying becomes my local Pastor.  We support their call from God for their future.

·         Holy Spirit will bear witness to a person and they will be led and their decision must be honored.  (2) Honor their free will and point them to Christ.  (3) Principle of honor should be applied to all those relationships – Phil. 2:3-4- honor local Pastor, the Pastor who sent you, and sending Pastor should have no strings attached and receiving Pasor should honor the sending Pastor.  Is the Pastor a function or an office?  Sometimes it is more of an office and not a function; it must first be the function.



4.        Should we clarify the teaching on this particular subject?

Answer: Unanimously, Yes.



  • Clarify Pastor’s relationship to the church; why there cannot be multiple leadership.
  • Pastor GGWO teaching – clarification is necessary.
  • Yes, i.e., individual going to a cult – we have obligation to warn; love & bless them going to another church.
  • Clarification in involvement in any parachurch organization needs to be clarified.  It should be provided by the local pastor.
  • Proper investment builds a lifelong relationship.  Guard against close friendships based on sentimentality.