What is elder leadership?

Our Lord, Christ Jesus is the head of His Church. He alone is the true source of all the Church is and does, and His glory is the objective of every act, function, and motivation of the body–individually and corporately (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23). 

 

As followers of Jesus, church bodies must follow biblical instructions and precedents in governing themselves. Elder leadership, as set forth in the New Testament, is the foundational form of overseeing and governance that most closely follows biblical principles (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; Acts 20:17-32; Philippians 1:1).

 

The ultimate responsibility and authority of church elders is to observe, examine, and discern that Christ’s church remains on a true biblical course. The elders also must uphold God’s Word and ensure that church members are being biblically shepherded, accurately instructed through precise Bible teaching, and that the church is being well-managed. The foundational roles of elders are to protect the church, instruct the church through proper biblical teaching, preserve the truth of the Word of God and refute those who contradict biblical truth, preserve unity, lead the church, and care for each church member.

Elders:

  1. shepherd and equip the flock (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 5:1-3);

  2. lead by example (1 Peter 5:3); 

  3. teach skillfully (1 Timothy 3:2);

  4. preserve the truth of the Word of God and refute those who contradict biblical truth (Acts 20:29-31; Titus 1:9);

  5. manage the affairs and resources of the church (1 Timothy 3:5-7; Titus 1:7);

  6. humbly serve the church (Matthew 20:25-28; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:3);

  7. pray for the church and the sick (Acts 6:4; James 5:14); and 

  8. preserve unity in the church (Psalm 133:1; John 17:21-23; Romans 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:3; Philippians 1:27; 2:2).

What are the qualifications of an elder?

An elder must be:  above reproach; faithful to his wife (not required to be married); able to teach and give instruction, defend the faith, and guard against false doctrine; a lover of good, upright, gentle, holy, hospitable, disciplined, sober-minded, and self-controlled; respectable and well thought of by those outside the church; able to manage his household and care for God’s church; able to keep his children under his authority submissive, subordinate, and faithful; not a recent convert; not a lover of money or greedy for gain, a drunkard, violent, arrogant, quick-tempered, quarrelsome, or self-willed (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-8; 1 Peter 5:1-3).

What resources can I access to learn more about elder leadership?

The place to begin is in your Bible.  The Scripture references listed above are the best place to start.  Two other excellent resources include:

  1. a video titled Biblical Eldership Overview, and 

  2. an abridged 49 page version of the book, Biblical Eldership: Restoring the Eldership to its Rightful Place in the Church, is available as a free download at https://biblicaleldership.com/files/pdfs/BE_booklet.pdf.  This resource will be used to guide the study of eldership in Community Groups this fall.

  3. Community groups will be studying elder leadership starting on September 18.  You can join a community group by contacting Gene Walter or signing up online at https://northernheightsbc.churchcenter.com/groups/community-groups.

How can I ask a question?

The church is developing a Frequently Asked Questions document and will add a link on this page once it is ready.  Questions can be submitted by clicking on this link and submitting them to the team developing the transition plan to elder leadership.