Appointing the Right Elders
1 Timothy 3:1-7, In Pursuit of Godliness series, Part 4.
We appoint elders because the Bible tells us, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.” Titus 1:5
Appointing elders is one of the most challenging works of the church. If we put the wrong person in eldership, our church will suffer. The wrong guy for the office of elders, will break our heart and the work of evangelism will also suffer. Thus, it is important to follow the instruction of the Bible when appointing elders as God knows what is right for His church.
1. Elders are males in the Bible.
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife.” 1 Timothy 3:1-2a. NASB
· Overseers in Greek is episkopos and it is a masculine noun. The word episkopos is used to refer to bishop, elder, and pastor.
· Since chapter 2, Paul had been making distinctions between the males and the females in the church in terms of their church roles, though not in terms of their worth.
· God established a system of governance which would provide peace, order, harmony, and unity in the church.
· The subject pronoun used for overseer, is he. while the object pronoun used to describe an overseer is his.
· The elder being “the husband of one wife” is a strong indication of male elders in the Bible.
2. They must have the desire to serve.
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” 1 Timothy 3:1
· The Greek word for aspire is oregetai, which means to reach forward to.
· Men who long to serve God in the leadership, must really want it so hard to the point that they are reaching out to get it.
· They are willing to do or even give up anything that would hinder them to answer God’s call to serve.
· They must not be compelled by anyone to become elders.
· The desire to become an elder must be born out of his growing in the knowledge of Jesus and His church.
· “The work of an overseer is a fine work.” It’s an excellent work, it is highly commendable.
· We serve in a kingdom which cannot be shaken. See Hebrews 12:28.
· God honors those who honor him. See 1 Samuel 2:30.
3. Elders are models of Christ’s character.
“2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching, 3 not overindulging in wine, not a bully, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:2-7, NASB.
No human is perfect, thus, there will never be a perfect pastor or elder. What we must look for in a person who desires to be in the eldership are the 3 “must be” of 1 Tim. 3:2-7.
1.) Must be above reproach. v.2
· Faithful husband
· Gentle spirit.
· Able to teach the Word he lives by.
· Not a drunkard.
2.) He must be one who manages his own household well.
· A good Christian leader in the home is a good candidate for leadership in the church.
· There’s a close connection between the believer’s home and the church. See 1 Timothy 5:1-2.
3.) Must have a good reputation with outsiders.
· Pastors and elders are champions of the gospel.
For the sake of the gospel, their reputation in their community is very important.