The Character and Work of Elders – Notes/Study Sheet

(Acts 20:28-32)



   * Qualifications & character need to be stressed & understood. No Diotephes needed (III John 9).

   * Self-serving men who rarely attend; men who are still babes in Christ after many years not fit for office.

   * Reading NT in order, you find existence of elders, but no mention of character until I Tim. 3 & Titus 1.


1. Only one Christian character.

   * Notice again traits mentioned in I Tim. 3:1-8 & Titus 1:5-9.

   * Same principles found in Gal. 5 & II Peter 1. Wording differs, but no contradiction.


2. Elements of Christian character for elder must be in all Christian men.

   * Faithful Christian man may be unqualified for eldership. Why? Because he’s a new __________________, careless,


      or have outright ____________________ in his life.

   * Some become discouraged because of high moral/spiritual standards of being elders. Must strive harder!

   * Why shouldn’t we possess the necessary qualities anyway?

   * Character traits are clear, but what do elders do? Paul sailed to Miletus to visit w/Ephesian elders (Acts 20).

   * Elders must watch & be vigilant (gregoreuo – Acts 20:31; I Pet. 5:8).


3. One duty of an elder is to watch himself.

   * “Take heed unto yourselves...” (Acts 20:28). Must be of good behavior (I Tim. 3:2) & examples to flock (I Pet. 5:3).

   * Honest self-analysis vital (II Cor. 13:5; Rom. 2:21; II Tim. 2:15; Gal. 6:1; I Tim. 4:7; & 5:22, etc. Jesus – Acts 1:1).



   * Elders are subject to God’s law & expectations like the rest of us. Can’t “lord” authority over flock (I Pet. 5:3).

   * Everyone will be watching an elder.


4. Elders must watch the flock.

   * Take heed to the flock of God (Acts 20:17 & 28).

   * Overseer, from episkopos, meaning: an overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by

      others are done rightly, any curator, guardian, or superintendent.

   * Oversight of the church belongs to elders (I Pet. 5:1&2).

   * Part of watching is feeding (Acts 20:28; I Pet. 5:1&2). Poimaino: to furnish pasture for food; to nourish.

   * How? Proper teaching (I Pet. 2:2). Elders are responsible for all teaching, even that done by others. Also for materials

      that are distributed. They must give account (Heb. 13:17).

   * All sheep must be tended, including weak (Acts 20:35). Good shepherd gives his _________for the sheep (Jn. 10:11).

   * Shepherd will leave 99 sheep to search for the 1 lost one (Luke 15:4).


5. Elders must watch the wolves!

   * Wolves will enter in (Acts 20:29). They draw away disciples (Acts 20:30).

   * False prophets are wolves (Matt. 7:15).

   * Those that would have us fellowship denominations are wolves!


   * Those that encourage our young to disregard_________________________________________________ are wolves!

   * Those who advocate divorce & remarriage for any reason are wolves!

   * Wolves are lurking around every corner. Elders must watch for them!


6. Conclusion:

   * We need to encourage our young men to teach. Learning to teach & teaching are excellent ways to learn.

   * Congregations need men to protect the flock.

   * We must train the young to value service as a faithful elder.

   * As we consider appointing another, measure him by the Bible and pray about it.


                                                                                                                                    R.W. McAlister  9/13/09 p.m.