Friday, February 27, 2009

Qualifications of elders

After noting the character traits mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1, Nathan White of Berean Baptist Church in Powder Springs, GA writes,
“By observing this list, we can clearly see that the qualifications for an elder are centered on personal character, reputation, faithfulness, and sanctification, as just a basic summary.

Interesting that the scriptures do not mention a man’s:
* Educational level, as if a seminary degree is somehow a necessary asset to enter the ministry (it does mention that an elder must be ‘able to teach’ and ‘refute those who contradict’.)
* Popularity, as if a man’s ability to attract large crowds, demand a large hearing, or ‘change a lot of lives’ has anything to do with the holy office.
* Results (pragmatism), as if we are to look at the response to his message and determine if he is qualified. (Example: “Lot’s of people are getting saved, and God is moving, thus this man must be anointed!”)
* Likability, rhetorical skills, ability to be culturally-relevant or creative in presentation, etc.”

He makes a good point. Read the entire article at the link above and also Bart Barber below.

"What's missing today is an application of biblical standards for evaluating churches and elders/pastors/overseers. We grade according to wordly, material standards. There are biblical standards; we just ignore them. Churches draft "job descriptions" for jobs already described in the Bible, and do so with little or no reference to those biblical materials. Character is not measured; performance is. This is, in my study of the Bible, a flawed and carnal approach. The implications are far-reaching." -- In his comments re his post An Exemplary Pastor


Anonymous said...

When I started out in ministry in the 40's, men went to Bible college and in three years where off into pastorates or mission fields. Very few of us earned degrees or even thought about university.

I had a pastorate my first year in Bible college. It was more important to be serving than earn fancy degrees and impress our fellow man.

I am not minimizing degrees. They do play a role, but I wonder if they haven't replaced service as the key factor in the pastoral ministry.



R. L. Vaughn said...

Yes, I think to a large degree they have.