Elders Who Are Good Leaders

Good Leaders
Oxen treading out grain. Photo:

“The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17 CSB).

There is a lot of information contained in this verse. For example, it necessarily implies that not all elders are good leaders. If the ones who are good leaders are worthy of double honor, this means there are some who are not worthy because they aren’t good leaders. In addition, double honor, as v. 18 reveals, means that the elders who are good leaders deserve financial compensation for their work. Further, there are some elders who teach and preach. This suggests that there are some elders who do not preach.

What is meant by elder? As I have pointed out elsewhere, elder is a term the New Testament uses interchangeably with the descriptions overseer, shepherd, pastor, and steward. In short, an elder is a pastor. 

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Church Leadership, Money

Are Christians Required To Tithe?


I’ve heard people ask, “Why do we tithe ten percent?” This question reveals that the person thinks tithing is a word synonymous with giving. The way many Christians conflate “tithing” and “giving” suggests that they don’t know what the word tithe means. 

Tithe is a word which means one tenth; ten percent. Tithing is the practice of giving ten percent of one’s income to the church. If I give nine percent (or less) of my income I am not tithing. If I give eleven percent (or more) of my income, that is not tithing either. To tithe is to give ten percent.

Some pastors and teachers tell us that giving ten percent is mandatory. On top of that, if we are willing and able we should give “offerings” that are above and beyond the tithe. Conventional Christian wisdom says this is the way it is and the way it has always been. Does the New Testament require Christians to tithe?

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Misconceptions, Money