Elders- Alfie Orr Induction

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Today we have had the privilege of inducting Alfie into the eldership.  This is a solemn occasion and has been done publicly with the exchanging of promises for that very reason.  It has been done with the laying on of hands as the bible commands as a symbolic act conferring the authority of office, and we trust is also a means of grace where God will supply Alfie with the grace needed for his task.  Given the fact that many churches are embarrassed about technical issues that relate to authority structure, the difference of opinions between Christians, and a general disinterest in deeper questions of ecclesiology you will not often hear a sermon of this nature being preached.  I however am delighted to preach on this topic this morning because eldership is a gift of God and the bible outlines how it is to function.  Elders are a gift to the church, a gift of leadership, a gift of authority, a gift of discernment, a gift of teaching, a gift of care, a gift of prayer, a gift of protection from wolves and the church that does not have this gift will be the poorer for it.  This notion of eldership as a gift comes from Eph. 4:11 where we see Christ gives to the church shepherd-teachers in order that the truth might be spoken in love, each member protected from false doctrine and equipped to serve, and thereby cause the whole church to grow (4:15-16).  A healthy church begins with its officers being faithful to their given roles and responsibilities.