A Qualified Elder – Notes/Study Sheet
* Titus instructed to ordain elders in congregations of Crete (Titus 1:5).
* Takes time for men to mature enough to fulfill this role.
* We must prepare our young men to fill this role – encourage them to be like Ezra (Ezra 7:10).
1. Lord’s church in the Bible had elders (Acts 14:23).
* Elders are also called: bishops (I Tim. 3:1-2), pastors (Eph. 4:11), overseers (Acts 20:28), & presbyters (I Tim. 4:14).
* Elders are always men and are spoken of in the plural. Unscriptural for 1 man to oversee congregation(s) alone.
* Qualifications found in I Tim. 3:1-8 & Titus 1:5-9.
2. Qualifications of an elder (I Tim. 3:1-8).
* Must be blameless – not sinless or perfect, but doesn’t live a life of sin & repents/makes amends when he does sin.
* Husband of one wife – Must not be an adulterer or polygamist! God allows divorce if a spouse has committed adultery
(Mt. 5:32; 19:9) w/no sin or reproach on innocent party. Marriage bond also severed if wife dies (Rom. 7:1-3). No
adultery or polygamy. Greek for “be” means “presently” - (tense of verb is present and verb is in its infinitive form).
* Vigilant (temperate) – self-controlled, both physically & spiritually (Deut. 5:32).
* Sober-minded – has a sense of humor, but is also serious, discreet, and earnest (Eccl. 10:1).
* Must be of good behavior – well-ordered in his habits. Visible in his manner of life.
* Given to hospitality – loves people, strangers included.
* Apt to teach – must be able to teach the Scriptures. Must be able to feed the flock (I Pet. 5:2). Must refute false
doctrine (Acts 20:29-31). Must be able to rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15).
* Not given to wine – not a drinker.
* No striker – isn’t physically violent.
* Not greedy of filthy lucre – must not have a great love for money (I Tim. 6:10).
* Patient – as he deals with needy Christians, the lost, and business matters, he will need to be longsuffering.
* Not a brawler – mustn’t be contentious & argumentative (not a “hothead”).
* Not covetous – More concern for things spiritual & less for things material. Happy rich or poor (Phil. 4:11).
* Must rule his own house well, having children in subjection – Applies to children living at home. Father will avoid
extremes of being too harsh or too lenient. If a man can’t rule his own house, how can he tend the flock of God?
* Must take care of the church – Not a dictator, but a shepherd.
* Not a novice – Not a new convert, or spiritually immature Christian, lest he “get the big-head” and fall to Satan.
* Good reputation among them which are without – must have good report of non-Christian friends/acquaintances. W/o
this testimony, he might fall into the trap of inconsistency/hypocrisy Satan sets for men.
* Elders’ responsibility: feed the flock of God (I Pet. 5:2-3).
* Must be concerned w/more than paying the bills, must work w/troubled members & deal w/erring ones, must have
vision for the congregation beyond “having church” next Sunday.
* There are very few qualifications for elders that don’t apply to every Christian!
3. What if I object to the candidate for the eldership?
* The revealed qualifications (I Tim. 3 & Titus 1) are the only standard. If candidate meets them all, then he is a viable
candidate. Our opinions, personalities, personal likes/dislikes, are irrelevant. “He walked right by and didn’t speak last
week” is not a valid objection.
* “He holds a different opinion than I about thus-and-such” or “he hurt my feelings one time and I’m still upset.” These
are invalid reasons to be in opposition. He is entitled to his opinions if they don’t contradict the Bible and if he upset
you one time but apologized, the matter is settled. Get over it.
* Objections must be based in Scripture. If an elder candidate is an adulterer, a drunkard, hot-tempered, etc., these are
violations of the God-given requirements and are grounds to deny him appointment to the office.
* Personal feelings are not basis to stand in opposition to a man being considered as a potential elder.
REMEMBER, NEARLY EVERY QUALIFICATION TO BE AN ELDER APPLIES TO EVERY CHRISTIAN! Are you living up to them?
R.W. McAlister 9/13/09 a.m.