From Craig Swanson…
As we look at the qualifications of an elder we will be looking at (1 Timothy 3:1-7). The office of overseer, bishop, elder or pastor, are used synonymously in the Bible. They all refer to the same office. An elder must be:
(v.2) above reproach – No valid accusation of wrongdoing can be made against him. No overt sin can mar his example to the people who follow him.
The husband of one wife – Literally, a one woman man.
Temperate – Sober-minded
Prudent – Self-controlled
Respectable – Well ordered (lack of chaos)
Hospitable – His home needs to be open and welcoming.
Able to teach – Able to teach is a big requirement for an elder since rightly handling the Word of God is his main responsibility.
(v.3) Not addicted to wine – An elder must not have the reputation as a drinker. (One who overindulges) His lifestyle must be radically different from the world.
Gentle – Gracious, quick to pardon failure.
Uncontentious – Reluctant to fight or cause disharmony.
Free from the love of money – He is not in the ministry for money.
(v.4 & 5) He must be one who manages his own household well – What does his family look like? Are his children believers? Are they rebellious? Does he have the respect of his wife? How can a man be expected to manage a church well if he can’t manage his own home?
(v.6) Not a new convert – The issue of pride is dealt with here, but I believe there are other practical aspects to this requirement also. A young believer may have much zeal, but the process of sanctification takes time.
(v.7) He must have a good reputation with those outside the church – The requirement for being above reproach extends to those outside of the church. If he does not have the respect of the community, how can he reach them with the gospel?
This list of characteristics is not just a requirement for an elite group of men. Yes, elders must exhibit these qualities to be eligible for the office, but these are things that should characterize all believers as we walk with the Lord and follow His commands.
Thank you for continuing to pray for and lift up our elder team to the Lord. For more on the Crosspoint elder team, go to our website.