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Paul in Ephesians 4 defends the church inclusively and exclusively. The elders have violated all of those instructions.1 Peter 5:1-5 examines the scriptural relationship between the "flock of God" and those who "exercise oversight", who are called "elders" and also "shepherds." Elders should be eager and willing to "shepherd" not for raw duty or for monetary gain, nor are they to domineering. Leadership is to be achieved primarily through "example", and this is the soft leadership of leading the way not through regal and compulsive power. Should this perfect leadership be achieved, then "when the chief Shepherd appears, [Christians] will receive the unfading crown of glory." Futhermore, younger are to respect the older, all should have humility toward one another, because "GOD OPPOSES THE PROUD BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." We are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, who is the real power and authority.
A proper examination of leadership of the Shepherd is a great need in today's church. The shepherd precedes the flock and does not drive them from behind. Coercion is much more unpredictable than example. Honey draws more flies than vinegar. The elders are not our Board of Directors but those with insight about the teachings of Jesus Christ. With all respect, if the pulpit speaker on Sunday morning does not have a vision for the church but simply adopts the directives of the Board, it is a sign of some lack.
Disenfranchisement of church members is a sure way to get a dwindling congregation. Those with experience in church growth know that when church members are "empowered" with duties and obligations, there is likely to be church growth. But if the members feel that they are just the objects of decisions made in a closet, they will have little motivation. Especially, in regard to children, if the mothers feel that their children are the objects of propaganda from the highest levels of the church, there cannot be any spiritual growth.
Misanalysis of the causes of church decline can be fatal to the church. Remedies can turn into disasters. Situations where "shepherds" seem to be fleeing from church members is not a situation that is conducive to productive dialog. When elders feel that they need to flee from the church members, it is time for them to resign. Good churches set up committees to gather consensus, so organization is a great need. Every church member should be honored and listened to.
Yes, consensus is a great need. The Bible calls it "unity.""Good churches set up committees to gather consensus, so organization is a great need."
Is that Biblical?