Elder Biblical Qualifications
“Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect … He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”
- 1 Timothy 3:2-7
“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
- Titus 1:6-9
The elders shall be comprised of individuals meeting the biblical qualifications. These and other passages of Scripture, such as 1 Timothy 2:12, suggest that the role of elder be limited to men who meet the following qualifications.
1. ABOVE REPROACH
Elders must be Godly men – blameless, presenting no patterns of scriptural disobedience or grounds for accusation.
2. HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE
Elders who are married must be devoted to their wives.
3. SELF-CONTROLLED AND TEMPERATE
Elders must be self-controlled, enslaved to nothing, free from excesses. Elders must be sober, sensible, wise, balanced in judgment, not given to quick or superficial decisions based on immature thinking.
4. RESPECTED, TRUSTWORTHY AND SINCERE
Elders must be dignified and demonstrate a well-ordered life and good behavior. They must be well respected by unbelievers and free from hypocrisy. Elders must demonstrate verbal consistency and must not be prone to saying one thing to one person and something else to another. Those who are married must have spouses who model Godly character.
Elders must be unselfish with their personal resources. They must be willing to share blessings with others.
6. HOLDING FIRMLY TO THE TRUSTWORTHY MESSAGE
Elders must be stable in the faith and obedient to the Word of God, continually seeking to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Elders must be able to communicate the truth of God and exhort by sound doctrine in a non-argumentative way.
7. NOT GIVEN TO DRUNKENNESS
Elders must be free from addictions and must be willing to limit their liberty for the sake of others.
8. GENTLE, NOT VIOLENT OR QUARRELSOME
Elders must not be given to quarreling or selfish argumentation. They must be gentle and characterized by forbearance and tenderness, not having a quick temper. Elders must exercise self-control and patience in difficult situations.
9. NOT A LOVER OF MONEY AND DOES NOT PURSUE DISHONEST GAIN
Elders must not be stingy, greedy or out for sordid gain. They must not be preoccupied with material things, but should be models of giving. They must also be purely motivated in their service and not pursuing dishonest gain.
10. MANAGES OWN FAMILY WELL
Elders must have well-ordered homes, a healthy family life, and well-behaved children. (This pertains to those children still under the authority of the parents).
11. NOT A RECENT CONVERT
Elders must not be new believers, but must have followed Christ long enough to demonstrate the reality of their conversion and the depth of their spirituality.
12. LOVES WHAT IS GOOD
Elders must desire the will of God in every decision. Elders must be fair and impartial. Their judgments must be based on biblical principles.
13. HOLY AND DISCIPLINED
Elders must be reverent, continually desiring to be separate from sin. They must be devoted to prayer, the study of Scripture, and the guarding of their own spiritual walk.
14. FIRST TESTED
Elders must have proven over time that they are faithful and that their walk is credible. A suggested guideline for eligibility is that a person will have been a member of Christ Community Church for at least three years.