A Scriptural View of the Role of the Bishop

In 1890, John F. Funk published the first minister’s manual for the Mennonite church. He defined the office of bishop with the following paragraph: “The bishop or elder in the Mennonite church is simply the minister who has been ordained to the special charge of caring for, and officiating in the church of a certain prescribed district. This district may contain but one place of worship or a number of places which are at a considerable distance from each other.

The Parable of Colors

The presence of color in the universe truly is a testimony of the greatness of the Creator. God created the light that we receive from the sun to be a mixture of all the primary colors. The prismatic effect of water droplets separates these colors so that they can be seen individually in a rainbow.

The Separation Imperative

Separation is often viewed in the negative! The purpose of this article is not to soften this subject or somehow present it as something it is not. Rather, the intent is to encourage the reader to consider the basis for this Bible doctrine. May we be strengthened where needed, encouraged to greater faithfulness, and sharpened in our understanding of why God requires His children be separated from a sinful world.

The Church Benefiting from Revival Meetings

The benefits of revival meetings are realized now, and will extend into eternity. Some of the special benefits that are derived from such meetings are due to the concentration of group efforts, such as special prayer times, invitations being given to neighbors and friends to attend, and a group concern for all of the church to be revived. The night after night use of the Gospel Hammer that breaks the stony hearts as Jeremiah tells us, will be effective, along with the use of the Word through which the Holy Ghost comforts and strengthens the believers.

The End of Normal

We indisputably live in the last days. In fact, as you read these lines, you are living on the oldest day in the history of this earth; for you see, today is older than any other day.

For generations the church of Jesus Christ has awaited the consummation of the church age. No human being knows when the last day of this age will occur; however, with each succeeding day that comes and then goes, we can confidently state, “Today we are one day nearer to the end than we were yesterday!”

Biblical Authority

Many questions are raised in relation to the subject of authority, such as, who has the final authority? How much of church life do leaders decide? Does the membership have anything to say? How binding are the Decrees for to Keep? Is there more than one standard? and many more. The Bible has the answers to these questions and shows us the basis for all aspects of authority.

Following are a number of steps of authority outlined in the Bible.

Building Healthy School Morale

Johnny pulls his shoes on reluctantly as mother encourages him to hurry or the school van will have to wait on him. “I can’t stand school this year,” he offers with a sigh.

“Oh Johnny, next year you will have Brother Mast for a teacher and then you will enjoy it a lot more.”

“But Mom, he’s just as bad. The boys say he’s stricter than Sister Ellen. They got in trouble yesterday just for sliding on the wet hall floor.”

Dirk Willems

No other story of Anabaptist martyrs seems to capture more notice in Mennonite minds than the account of Dirk Willems. Dirk was born at Asperen, Rotterdam, (The Netherlands). Historians record that Dirk was re-baptized upon confession of faith at the age of fifteen at the house of Peter Willems.

Many Members, One Body

The Church of Jesus is a living organism with many parts contributing to the whole body. 1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” This very truth makes church life a wonderful experience when we each find our place in God’s plan. The health and vitality of the whole body is dependent on the well being of each member. Likewise, the overall good health of the body will affect each member and empower them for greater service to the larger body.


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