THE APPOINTMENT OF ELDERS
INTRODUCTION: It is a wonderful time whenever any congregation ordains
elders. Today brother Randy Frazier will be officially recognized as one
the elders on this congregation. He has taken on this responsibility freely,
without any coercion. He desires the office. It is good at this time to
discuss the appointment of elders.
I. ELDERS NEED TO BE QUALIFIED
A. The illustrative terms used for the leaders of the local
congregation suggest to us the kind of men God wants in the eldership.
II. ELDERS NEED TO BE APPOINTED
1. Elder - Comes from presbuteros which means Older or aged.
Meant to demonstrate maturity.
B. There are some qualifications the Lord has given to serve as a guideline
for selection. (1 Timothy 3
2. Bishop - Comes from episkapos which means overseer. Meant to demonstrate
the ability to rule the church.
3. Pastor - Comes from poimen which means a shepherd. Meant to demonstrate
the need to shepherd and guide flock.
4. These three terms are found in Acts 20:17, 28.
1. Positive qualifications
C. Observations on Qualifications.
a. Blameless (2a)
2. Negative qualifications
b. The husband of one wife (2b)
c. Temperate (2c)
d. Sober-minded (2d)
e. Of good behavior (2e)
f. Hospitable (2f)
g. Able to teach (2g)
h. Gentle (3d)
i. One who rules his own house well (4a)
j. Having his children in submission with all reverence (4b) This will
show that he has the ability to rule the house of
God (verse 5). Titus adds the following statement, "having faithful
children not accused of dissipation or insubordination." These qualifications
are for demonstrating that a man has the ability to guide a home spiritually.
k. A good testimony among those outside (7a)
a. Not given to wine (3a)
b. Not violent (3b)
c. Not greedy for money (3c)
d. Not quarrelsome (3e)
e. Not covetous (3f)
f. Not a novice (6a)
1) Lest he be puffed up with pride (6b)
2) And fall into the same condemnation as the devil (6c)
1. We must never appoint men just to be appointing them.
2. But we must never "raise the bar" so high that no one living could
qualify. Some want a man without any fault and weaknesses. They are looking
for superman, not an elder.
3. Sometimes we get into fine points like, "how many children should
he have, and how many of them should be faithful Christians?"
A. There are a couple of passages in the New Testament which
teals with the choosing of Elders.
III. ELDERS HAVE A WORK TO DO.
1. Acts 14:23- "So when they had appointed elders in every
church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom
they had believed."
B. The fact is that there is NO BINDING EXAMPLE of one procedure to be
followed in the selecting and ordaining of elders.
2. Titus 1:5- "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should
set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city
as I commanded you;"
3. These are individuals who had miraculous gifts. They would have to
leading of the Holy Spirit.
1. There are several principles that should be followed in
the selection of elders.
a. An elders selected must be in accordance to the qualifications
given by the Scriptures.
2. In absence of any binding method, the Elders of a congregation have
the authority to search out, place before and ordain elders. Again the
question has to be asked, Who is better qualified to appoint elders?
b. If there are no elders present in a congregation the men should take
the lead in the selection of elders. Most of the time the men of a congregation
choose several mature men who screen names of men as to their qualifications.
They are then placed before the congregation to see if there is any valid
objections to the men chosen.
c. If there are already elders present, the elders take the lead. Elders
have the authority in matter of procedure and expediency. If they are not
to take the lead in this, in what area do they have any authority? See
d. Who should know better than the elders of a congregation who might
meet the qualificaitons for the eldership. It is their duty to watch the
flock and shepherd them (1 Peter 5:1-2).
e. The Elders can set up any procedure which does not violate what the
Scriptures teach. For example, they do not have the authority to place
a man in the eldership without considering scriptural objections, but it
is up to them to decide how those objections are to be heard. They also
have the responsibility for placing men before the congregation, but it
is up to them to do it in the most expedient manner that they see fit.
A. They have a shepherding work.
IV. ELDERS NEED TO BE RESPECTED
1. 1 Peter 5:1-3 "The elders who are among you I exhort, I
who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also
a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2- Shepherd the flock of
God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,
not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3- nor as being lords over those entrusted
to you, but being examples to the flock;"
B. They have a leadership work.
2. In that shepherding work there is the work of feeding the flock (Acts
20:28) and protecting the flock from false
doctrines that threaten to damage the flock of God (Titus 1:9; Acts
3. They will give an account of their shepherding.
a. Hebrews 13:17
1. They have been made overseers over the flock (Acts 20:28).
2. 1 Timothy 5:17
A. The member of a congregation have a responsibility to appreciate
them for their work's sake.
CONCLUSION: The least appreciated person in baseball in the manager. He
gets precious little of the credit if his team is winning. It is the players
who shine in the limelight. But when the team is not doing well the manager
often gets more than his share of the blame. As one person put it, "You
can't fire the whole team! So you settle on firing the manager
1. Hebrews 13:7- "Remember those who rule over you, who have
spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome
of their conduct."
B. We should obey them in their work of guiding the congregation.
2. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those
who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13-
and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace
1. Hebrews 13:17- "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive,
for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let
them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable
2. 1 Timothy 5:17- "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of
double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine."
Isn't that the same in the local congregation? When all is going well
everybody wants to take the credit. But when something goes wrong it is
always the leadership which gets the blame! Let us esteem our elders, respect
the awesome responsibility they have voluntarily
Copyright 2000 by Grady
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