This morning we will begin to study God's plan for leadership within the Lord's church. The men of the congregation have asked me to teach this class during the Sunday morning Bible class hour. They felt this would be the best time to have the most members taking part in the study. They also felt this would allow most of the ladies within the congregation to also be involved in the study. In addition, the Junior High and Senior High Bible classes will also come into the auditorium for this study.
The prevailing feeling among the men is that, since we've studied this subject in some depth from the pulpit two or three times over the past several years, this should be more in the nature of a review, or refresher, course of study. My plan is to teach lessons pertaining to this subject, beginning this morning, for four weeks. We'll take a two week break during the last part of July, while I'm away on vacation, and conclude the study during the month of August.
Of course, the reason for the renewed focus on this subject is to attempt to examine ourselves as a congregation as to whether we have capable, qualified men who are ready to be appointed elders and deacons. This is not a light matter. Having such leaders is God's plan for the church. At the same time, God has laid out in His word standards to guide a congregation in the selection of such leaders.
This is an important study for our congregation. Each of us needs to be praying as we consider this matter. Please pray for me as I prepare and present the lessons. Please pray for open hearts and minds as we study together what the scriptures teach on this subject. Please pray for God's guidance for us as a congregation to examine carefully the material from scripture and to have a mind to follow His will.
This is a special congregation. Our fundamemntal goal has been to glorify God, to serve Him, to teach His word in purity, holding it up as the standard for all people everywhere. We have been aggressive in a number of ways in reaching out with the gospel to people throughout this area, across the country, and around the world. We have been involved in many mission works in various parts of the world. We have tried to be a positive example in this area of what the church should be. We don't want to ever go backward. We need to keep pressing forward in our work.
Ultimately, being able to have the leadership that God designed for His church should help us to continue to be what we should be, and continue to do even more effectively what we should do, as the church of the Bible. May God guide us in His will, and may He be glorified through our efforts...
Gary L. Hutchens