Paul gave inspired charges to both elders and preachers. To elders: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). To preachers: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16).
Both charges start the same way. “Look to yourselves.” Whether elders or preachers, we are nothing if we are not good examples. To elders, the flock is your charge. Watch for their souls, for you must give an account for them (Heb. 13:17).
To preachers, your teaching is your charge. Christ and his resurrection is at its center, the whole counsel of God is its content. Justice, mercy and faith, how we treat others are the weightier matters, but the details of worship are important too. “These you ought to have done, Without neglecting the others” (Matt. 23:23).
Cecil May Jr.
Trenton church of Christ