Updated: Apr 10
It is a sad commentary in the brotherhood when there are churches who have men in elder / leadership position who are not qualified. The Qualifications are set forth in the pages of the New Testament (NT), but, try as they might, some congregations have no men that meet that which is set forth by the Holy Spirit.
Do they think this is acceptable? Evidently.
The congregation of the Lord's church must have holy men serve as elders, but it must also be understood that not every male in the congregation is an elder, should be an elder, or elder material (if you will).
It is my desire in this series of blog posts to consider the Holy Spirit's teaching on what makes a good elder.
Let us begin by taking notice of Acts 20:28. In this context, the apostle Paul called for the elders of the church to meet with him as he was in route to Jerusalem.
"Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood. I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-30, ASV).
There are certain things we learn from this.
First, the men who serve as elders have a grave responsibility tending to their own spiritual health, From this, they are to take the same responsible approach and give attention to the congregation over which they shepherd.
Second, The Holy Spirit made them bishops (elders, presbyters, pastors); how did this occur? There are two possibilities. In the days of the first century, these men could have been directly chosen by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way, a way of which we have no record. Another possibility is that these men met the criteria of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1). In both cases, the Holy Spirit made them elders (or bishops).
Third, these men are to feed, that is, teach the church of the Lord. It is incumbent on the man identified as a preacher for the congregation to have the ability to teach; the same applies to the elders. It should be this way because these are men who must give an account of themselves in their leadership and teaching.
Fourth, the elders must be men of the Book because there are others who will come in and do what can be done to scatter the flock. Men serving as elders are in the best position to know about this and head it off at the pass (if you will).
In this first article, it is my desire to set forth the importance of the local congregation having holy men serve as elders. The local congregation needs to demand such and accept nothing less than that. Why? Because the Holy Spirit said as much.