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Are you my elder?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2010 in elders, office | 5 comments

Are you my elder?

Arthur, at “The Voice Of One Crying In Suburbia,” has asked an excellent question in his post “Things that make you shake your head.” Arthur links to a post whose author suggests that reading should almost be a requirement for being an elder. Arthur says that reading is a good practice, but he doesn’t see it as a requirement for being an elder.

I wonder, what do you see as being requirements for being an elder? By this, I mean, what absolutely must someone be, do, think, believe, etc. in order for you to recognize that person as an elder (pastor, if you prefer)?

(By the way, I know about 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Please do not just list those passages. Instead, explain what those passages mean and how you would use them to choose whether or not to recognize someone as an elder. For example, 1 Timothy 3:3 says, “Not a drunkard.” How would you apply that?)

(By the way #2, the man in the picture above is one of my elders.)


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  1. 9-17-2010

    An older (in the LORD) follower of Christ who is growing and maturing as evidenced by their lifestyle of loving God, neighbor, brother and enemy, who is sacrificially serving others and who spends time with younger brothers and sisters helping them to do the same.

  2. 9-17-2010

    1. An open home (hospitality)
    2. An open life (teaching)
    3. Respected by his children and wife (leads his family well and children are not out of contol)
    4. Tempered (not violent)when faced with personal adversity
    5. Not a con artist always trying to get over on you (not greedy)
    6. Peaceful (not always quarreling but also not afraid to set the record straight)
    7. Not a womanizer (husband of one wife).
    8. Not a new believer who has “worked” his way to the top through influence (not a recent convert).

    I would also add what Hutch added, an example of serving and getting under not a desire to be over for influence sake.

  3. 9-18-2010

    Excellent question! I suppose my simplified response would be this; There has to be something in that person that I recognize I could use or learn. That would include spiritual disciplines such as prayer, giving, graciousness, hospitality, etc. And also intellectually in terms of mastery of various subjects.

  4. 9-20-2010

    They certainly must be chosen by Timothy or Titus based on their desire to do the work and their meeting of the qualifications specifically outlined by Paul which are likely to indicate that they have not bought into the Ephesian heresy of the late 50s early 60s ad.

  5. 9-20-2010

    Seriously speaking,

    It seems that leaders in the New Testament are people who have long term experience at being disciples of Jesus, which includes following his command to make disciples.

    So an elder (in Hebrews the term leader is used) is somebody who after living with Jesus for a while, desires the work as Paul puts it, or like some others is inextricably called to it, either by internal compulsion or external circumstances. (how many great Christian leaders have become such out of necessity?)

    The qualifications will vary from church to church, which makes sense, as the Ephesian church did not seem to function like the Corinthian or Jerusalem churches. But I suppose the must be recognized by the broader church community in some churches as qualified and in other churches they will be recognized as such by that particular community. But the main qualifications seem to be experience following Jesus in many circumstances of life and the ability to teach others how…skills all Christians need of course.


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