Is He Qualified To Be An Elder?


 By Don McDaniel

 The books of 1 Timothy & Titus are our source of qualifications to be used when measuring a man for the office of Elder.  We have studied these qualifications numerous times in the past and each member should know these qualifications and be able to apply them to each candidate put before the congregation for approval.

I want to offer the suggestion that the past will predict the future; the man’s past will show his probable abilities as an Elder.

An important area to examine is the candidate’s Family leadership (1 Timothy 3:4-5 – “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)).  Failure to meet this one qualification negates all the good a man may have to offer.  Failure to rule his own house indicates he will not be able to take care of the church of God.

His marriage must be one he intends to last a lifetime.  When he married his wife, he probably used the standard words of love, honor, and faithful till death (an implied commitment of care through times of less than good circumstances).  You can look at his marriage and tell whether he had (and still) keeps up his marriage vows.  A sad wife cannot hide her sadness; a happy wife cannot contain her happiness.  He may have been married before men, but God is the one ordaining marriage.  It should be evident to all; He is totally satisfied in his marriage.  Look at his marriage to see his ability to take care of the church of God.

Look at his children, all of his children (the Elder must have children).  Do they honor and follow his example as their father?  Children are impressionable from an early age.  If the family always attends all services, arriving on time, and prepared, the child usually has that pattern implanted and follows it.  Look at his children, do they attend faithfully when their father is unable to attend, or do they slack off?  Does the father attend faithfully, all services, or does the mother provide the positive example?  The father is the custodian of a precious Gift from God, his children.  He has a responsibility to mold them into the image God requires.  Observe his children to see his ability to take care of the church of God.

When an Elder(s) is selected and appointed, we are actually installing a leader(s) over the congregation.  We need to look at the candidate in terms of his leadership example.  The scriptural (elder) example is to lead as a shepherd.  Most of us have never observed a literal shepherd as he shepherds his flock.  I have seen my uncles on their farms, not with sheep, but with cows, horses, etc.  The principles are the same.  You simply walk and the herd follows, when you stop, they stop for a while, but then will wander off in all directions.  A call, whistle, or bell ringing brings them back (mostly).  Some always require a firmer hand, but most will follow the leader.  A father shepherds (takes care, rules) his own house by providing love, food, shelter, knowledge, direction, correction, and everything required to ensure a home God requires.

Some questions regarding leadership: Has he held to the promises he made when he married his wife?  Has he held to the promises he made (maybe to himself) when he held his newborn in his arms?  Has he held to the promises he made when he first put on Chris?  Do his wife, his children, and his spiritual life show his leadership abilities?  Observe his family and himself to see his ability to take care of the church of God.