Instructions for Leaders
– Acts 20 records Paul’s farewell message to the Elders of the Ephesian Church. This is the only recorded sermon in the book of Acts which Paul addressed to a Christian audience
– Paul’s sermon to the Church Leaders in Ephesus breaks down into two parts: 1) Paul’s Example; 2) Paul’s Exhortation
I. Paul’s Example (vv. 17-27; 33-35)
1) Serving with Humility (vv. 17-19)
- Paul’s view of himself – a slave of Christ!
- Bearing the burdens of others – with tears!
- Suffering hardship for Christ
2) Teaching without Compromise (vv. 20-21; 25-27)
- No shrinking back on the tough stuff!
- Teaching everywhere
- Teaching everyone
- Preaching the need for faith AND repentance
- No blood on Paul’s hands (cf. Ezekiel 33: 7-9)
3) Persevering in Faith (vv. 22-24)
- Confidence in God’s Providence
- Suffering with purpose
- Eyes fixed on the finish line
Application: Paul’s example helps us to know what we should expect from our Church leaders. Although these instructions are primarily for Pastors/ Elders, the principles broadly apply to all of us.
II. Paul’s Exhortation (vv. 28-32)
1) Pay Attention to Yourselves (v. 28)
- Lifestyle (cf. 1 Tim 3:1-7, 4:16)
2) Pay Attention to the Flock (vv. 29-32)
- Pattern for Church Leadership
- Plurality of Elders
- Three interchangeable terms for a single Church Office: ‘Elder’ (presbuteros) = ‘Overseer/Bishop’ (episkopos) = ‘Pastor/Shepherd’ (poimen)
- Job Description for the ‘Pastors’
- Care for the Flock (v. 28)
- Defend the Flock (vv. 29-31)
- Feed the Flock (v. 20)
Application: Pray regularly for the Pastors/ Elders of Rosedale Baptist Church we lead, feed and defend the Flock of God