We take Eldership very seriously – because the Bible takes it very seriously.
Following the example we see in scripture, our church is led by a group of qualified men. Together they make decisions for the body that will honor the Lord and look out for the betterment of all the individuals involved. The plurality of leaders insures the highest level of accountability amongst the leadership.
Character and godliness is of highest importance.
The role of an elder is not to be taken lightly as it is a calling from God (Acts 20:28) to serve the bride of Christ – the Church. As you consider nominating someone to be an elder, please keep in mind that the Bible is clear about what kind of man is to serve in this role. These verses lay out the type of man that is to serve as an Elder:
- One who desires to be an overseer – A man must first have a great desire to serve the church as shepherd and Elder (1 Tim. 3:1)
- Blameless; above reproach – Accusations against him are baseless and there are no hidden ongoing sins (1 Tim. 3:2)
- The husband of one wife; a one-woman man – He has single-minded dedication to his wife. (1 Tim. 3:2)
- Self-controlled, temperate – He has mastered his appetites and desires, and does not allow his desires to master him (1 Tim. 3:2)
- Sensible, sane, of sober-minded – He is in his right mind and is not easily swayed (1 Tim. 3:2 & Titus 1:8)
- Well behaved, orderly, decent, self-controlled – He is known for his good behavior and orderly lifestyle (1 Tim. 3:2)
- Able teacher – He is teachable and able to teach, exhort and persuade believers and to refute false teaching (1Tim. 3:2 & Titus 1:9)
- Hospitable – He is hospitable to friends and strangers alike by having a servant attitude (1 Tim. 3:2 & Titus 1:8)
- Forbearing, considerate, moderate, gentle – He is attentive and understanding with others (1 Tim. 3:3)
- Peaceable; not quick-tempered, inclined to anger, pugnacious nor violent – He seeks peace and is not easily provoked (1 Tim. 3:3 & Titus 1:7)
- Not a drunkard or given to drink – He is not an excessive drinker of alcohol (1 Tim. 3:3 & Titus 1:7)
- Not greedy or covetous; not a lover of money; not fond of sordid gain – He does not pursue materialistic accumulation of wealth and possessions and is not greed with what he owns (1 Tim. 3:3 & Titus 1:7)
- One who manages his own house well and with dignity – His wife is submitted to his leadership and his children are faithful; not accused of rebellion to God or disobedience by engaging is reckless living (1 Tim. 3:4 & Titus 1:6)
- Not a recent convert; not a novice – He has been a Christian long enough for his godly character to be evident to all (1 Tim. 3:6)
- Has a good reputation with those outside the Church – His good character is consistent in every area of life and recognized even by unbelievers (1 Tim. 3:7)
- Not arrogant or self-willed – He is humble and prefers others before himself (Titus 1:7)
- Loves goodness and what is good – He loves people of good character and things of good quality (Titus 1:8)
- Just, fair, righteous – He makes fair and impartial judgments based on righteousness (Titus 1:8)
- Holy, devout, pious – He strives to avoid sin and live righteously (Titus 1:8)
- One who holds firmly to the Bible and teaches it – He is loyal to and teaches the word of God and sound theology (Titus 1:9)
The book that has helped me understand these qualifications to most is Alexander Stauch’s book, “Biblical Eldership.” I would encourage any Elder Council to go through the work book. This has been an excellent resource for us. Also, when I find someone I think may have Eldership qualities, I like to go through “The Measure of a Man” with them before “Biblical Eldership”. This is a great starting point resource for understanding the 20 qualifications above.
Are the Elders who serve at your church biblically qualified? If not, do you think they are aware of the qualifications?