Scripture directs the church and Elders shepherd the flock. We recently touched on the preparation of future Preachers. Like the Preacher shortage, the church seems to have an Elder shortage. Before we can prepare men for this role, we must understand the qualifications of an Elder.
We will begin with Titus 1:5-9 (Paul writes to Titus): For this reason, I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you, if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both exhort and convict those who contradict.
We see “ being an Elder” is a behavior, not a position! In summary, we see an Elder must: A) Have “children that believe,” children who have obeyed the Gospel while in the home under the direction of their father. After children leave home, they are responsible for their behavior. B) Not be self-willed or pursues his interests with a personal agenda. C) Not quick- tempered, a Elder must not have a “short fuse” or knee jerk responses when someone asks a question or has a need. D) Lover of good indicates a desire for the truth, being surrounded by good while looking for the good. E) Hold fast tells us an Elder is to be grounded in God’s Word not being pushed back & forth in the face of false doctrine. F) Convicting those who contradict tells us an Elder must be able to push back against error to prevent apostasy.
Serving as an Elder is a tall task at best. Are we preparing future Elders?