NextLevel Online: Healthy Elders & Deacons

Session 1: Defining Terms

How should we define leadership roles in the church according to the Bible?


Classroom Instructions

Materials: Lesson Outline

Read: 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17-28

  • Leadership in the Church is Jesus-Shaped and Jesus-Centered.

  • The master metaphor for the church in 1 Timothy is the household.

  • Responsibilities not titles or offices

    • Elders



    • Deacons



Notice: We often transliterate the word deacon (from diakonos) in places such as 1 Timothy 3 rather than translating it to a meaning such as servant or minister. Can this translation decision lead to inherent confusion with how the average person understands the role?

Discussion Questions:

  • What terminology do you use in your church? What are the implications?

  • What model does your current church leadership structure reflect?

    • American Political Model
    • Corporate Boardroom Model
    • Social Club Model
    • Household Model
  • What are some current concerns you have about how elders and deacons function in your church? What aspects are healthy?

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.