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Elder Qualifications

For a man to be considered as a viable candidate for the office of elder, he must possess the following general character qualities:

1. Above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6-7)

  • He has an unquestionable character.

  • He has a credible reputation and is a good example to be followed.

  • His life is so consistent that it does not provide opportunities for disgrace or blame to be attached to it.

2. Husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6)

  • He is a one woman kind of man.

  • His moral character and sexual purity are unquestionable.

  • He is discreet in his contacts with women.

  • He is devoted to his wife, nurturing and cherishing her.

  • He is exemplary in his love and faithfulness to his wife.

3. Proper management of his family (1 Tim. 3:4-5; Tit. 1:6)

  • He is clearly the head of his home, the one in charge of his family.

  • If he has children, he spends time with them and lovingly disciplines them.

  • His children are under his control, not insubordinate or wild.

  • He exercises a loving rule over his wife and children.

  • His wife and children respect him and follow his lead.

  • He manages his resources in a God honoring fashion.

4. Not self willed (Tit. 1:7)

  • He is flexible when dealing with people, and with ideas not clearly revealed in Scripture.

  • He is not stubborn and insistent on getting his own way in matters of judgment and personal preference.

  • He is not so wrapped up in his own ideas that he is insensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others.

5. Not hot headed (Tit. 1:7)

  • He is not easily angered but is slow tempered.

  • He is not touchy and quick to defend his own rights.

  • He does not blow up over the abuses and thoughtless words and/or actions of others.

  • He does not resort to unnecessary physical violence.

6. Not a quarrelsome fighter (1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7)

  • He does not welcome a fight, but seeks to make peace.

  • He is cooperative in working with others, not quarrelsome and competitive.

  • He is not easily drawn into an argument.

7. Free from the love of money (1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7)

  • Material possessions are not the ambition of his life.

  • He refuses to pursue financial gain above eternal things.

  • Family and spiritual life are not sacrificed on the "altar" of his job.

  • He is not greedy or covetous, but quick to give to people in need.

8. Not addicted to wine (1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7)

  • He refrains from excessive use of alcoholic beverages.

  • He is not marked out as a man "who needs a drink".

9. Hospitable (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8)

  • He is friendly.

  • He opens his home to friends and people in need.

  • He shows a willingness to share with others whatever God has given to him.

10. Gentle (1 Tim. 3:3)

  • He is approachable.

  • He is kind and patient when dealing with others.

  • He is sensitive to the feelings of others so that his words and actions reflect tenderness and promote healing.

11. Self controlled (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8)

  • He is not mastered by anything other than by Christ.

  • He is not controlled by his senses, appetites and desires, but rules over them.

  • He is well balanced, moderate and free from excesses in his ideas, food, time, money and energies.

12. Sensible (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8)

  • He is wise in all his dealings, level headed, not flighty.

  • He practices prudence in the light of Scripture, recognizing Biblical principles when making decisions.

  • He has a sanctified common sense (wisdom of Proverbs is observable in his life).

13. Well ordered (1 Tim. 3:2)

  • His life is disciplined and orderly, not slip shod, scatter brained or disorganized.

  • He is responsible and able to get things done on time.

14. Just (Tit. 1:8)

  • He is equitable in his decisions and counsel.

  • He is fair in all his dealings.

15. Holy / Devout (Tit. 1:8)

  • The Scriptures are his standard for living.

  • He has an obvious desire to be like Jesus Christ.

  • He fights against sin and seeks to please God.

16. A lover of good (Tit. 1:8)

  • He takes delight in the good things in which God delights.

  • He willingly avoids things which have an evil influence over him or his family.

  • He is known not only for the evils he is against, but also for the good he is for.

17. Committed to the Scriptures (Tit. 1:9)

  • He is a student of the word who is committed to the Scriptures alone.

  • He holds fast to the faithful Word.

  • He remains teachable knowing that no one's theology is perfect.

  • He has the ability to clearly explain major Biblical doctrines.

18. Proven ability to teach the word (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:9)

  • He has a good grasp on the contents of the whole Bible and the doctrines set forth therein.

  • He applies himself to the discipline of studying the Scriptures. and is able to take that knowledge and relate it to the flock for its edification and growth in grace.

  • He is able to hold your attention by presenting the Word in an interesting manner.

  • When he is finished, you have a better understanding of the passage he dealt with, and you can see how it applies to you.

  • His teaching is consistent with his life.

19. Able to defend the truth (Tit. 1:9)

  • He is able to expose erroneous doctrine with meekness and firmness.

  • He is able to show from the Scriptures why a teaching is false and cannot be accepted.

  • He is able, in a loving and gentle manner, to exhort or confront someone whose life does not conform to Scripture.

20. Time-tested Christian experience (1 Tim. 3:6)

  • He is not a recent convert.

  • He has been saved long enough to have faced some spiritual tests that have proved his faith is genuine.

  • There is no reason to believe that his eldership would cause him to be puffed up with pride.

21. Good reputation among the lost (1 Tim. 3:7)

  • Those outside the church respect him for his consistency of life and conduct.

  • He has a good reputation with neighbors, relatives, and work associates.

  • He pays his bills on time

  • He honors his promises even if they are unwritten.

  • He is submissive to authority in the church, at work and in civil government.

  • His name is without genuine blemish in his community.

Such a list does not suggest that a man is perfect in all these areas. It is a given that maturity will vary in each area based on Christian experience, the work of the Spirit and even the influences of family and culture. It is to be expected, however, that no man will be considered a valid candidate where there are glaring omissions of violations in one or more of these areas. Hence, the church must exercise the greatest of patience and heartfelt, earnest, prayer in the choosing of her leaders.


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