Chapter 14: Looking for a Few Good Men
How do you go about looking for elders?
Recognize Before Training
“It may be wise to recognize men who are already qualified and are already doing elder-type work rather than to ‘make’ men elders simply by training them.”
“By recognizing elders before we train them, we’re simply acknowledging that a man is already living with elder-quality character and doing elder-type relational work without having the title.”
What an Elder is NOT
A biblical elder is not simply an older male. “Live experience alone does not qualify a man to be an elder.”
A biblical elder is not simply a successful businessman. “Leadership in the church is fundamentally different than leadership in the business world.”
A biblical elder is not simply an involved community member.
A biblical elder is not simply a “good ol’ boy.”
A biblical elder is not a female.
A biblical elder is not a politician.
What IS an Elder?
**“An elder is simply a man of exemplary, Christlike character who is able to lead God’s people by teaching them God’s Word in a way that profits them spiritually. So we are looking for men who display exemplary character and who demonstrate both aptitude and fruitfulness in teaching God’s Word.”
These four areas can be helpful for assessing a potential elder:
1. Core Theology
Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture
Divinity and Exclusivity of Christ
2. Doctrinal Distinctives
3. Love for the Congregation
4. Cultural Distinctives
Gender Roles in the Home and Church
Opposition to Homosexuality, Abortion, etc.
“So many potential mistakes and heartaches can be avoided simply by ensuring that only those men who are biblically qualified become elders.”