Elders in Every Church is a 7-part series on the work and qualifications for elders.

Elders in Every Church: Conclusion

Elders in Every Church

Our goal must be to “retain the standard of sound words” found in the New Testament (2 Timothy 1:13). Part of retaining the standard is having elders to oversee the local congregation. To have this, we must develop, identify, appoint, and then work with the elders in our respective local churches. May God bless us as we seek to follow His pattern in this regard.
Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church (Part 5): Appointing and Working with Elders

Elders in Every Church (Part 5): Appointing and Working with Elders

Once men have developed to the point that they are qualified to be elders, what comes next? Elders must be appointed. After this, the congregation must work under their oversight. How does this work? And what about a congregation without qualified men to serve as elders? Let us consider these questions in this final lesson.
Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church (Part 4): Other Qualifications for Elders

Elders in Every Church (Part 4): Other Qualifications for Elders

In addition to an elder being a mature man who exemplifies the life of a Christian, there are certain qualifications on top of the character qualifications we discussed in the previous two lessons. In this lesson, we will notice the qualifications that pertain to his family, his ability, as well as other miscellaneous qualifications.
Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church (Part 3): Character Qualifications for Elders #2

Elders in Every Church (Part 3): Character Qualifications for Elders #2

In the previous lesson we noticed several of the character qualifications for elders. This lesson will discuss those that remain which are found in the following passage in Paul’s letter to Titus:

For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self- controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:7-9).

There are several character qualifications given in these verses. A few of these were discussed in the previous lesson. Let us consider the ones that we have not discussed already.
Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church (Part 2): Character Qualifications for Elders #1

Elders in Every Church (Part 2): Character Qualifications for Elders #1

First, a word about the qualifications in general. Some have attempted to say that the qualifications for elders are not really qualifications, but are only meant to present a general description of those who can serve as elders. This argument is made to defend the appointment of a man who does not fit all of the qualifications. Those who argue this will often say that since the list of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 does not match the list in Titus 1, then we cannot combine the passages and strictly follow them because Timothy and Titus were able to appoint elders without having the other list.

There are two problems with this argument. First, it assumes that Paul was writing to Timothy and Titus about something he had not discussed with them previously. This cannot be the case. Paul told Titus he was to appoint elders “as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). The things that Paul taught, he taught “everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Therefore, he had given uniform instructions to both Timothy and Titus about the qualifications for elders. Second, it is difficult to imagine anyone who would qualify using one list but not the other. We must see these qualifications as exactly that – qualifications that must be met for one to serve as an elder.
Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church (Part 1): The Needed Work of Elders

Elders in Every Church (Part 1): The Needed Work of Elders

As we begin this study, we are going to consider why elders are needed, what it is that makes elders special, and why Christians should desire to have elders in the local churches of which they are members. We will also briefly examine the work of elders as it is described in the New Testament.
Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church: Introduction

Elders in Every Church

During Paul’s first preaching tour, he traveled to Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. On his way back, he and Barnabas visited the churches that had been established (Acts 14:21-23). As they visited, they “appointed elders…in every church” (Acts 14:23).

This example shows us that it should be a priority for a church to have elders. In these lessons, we will consider how churches can develop, identify, appoint, and then work with elders.
Continue Reading