The Most Important Quality for an Elder?

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10 Responses

  1. Gwen Bouwsema says:

    I believe that there should be more trust in God. Anyone who loves The Lord and shows that in his life is worthy of being an elder. He will have and contribute according to his own gifts. It may not be intellect but might be faith or compassion or whatever. I think that families are destroyed because of the clear being judged unworthy treatment in our churches. If one has a desire to serve and is never on nomination for elder or deacon should the conclusion be made that one is a total idiot? Just listen to your wise consistory! They know you are not worthy. They ask you every house visit will you let your name stand but they really do not mean anything by such question. You have to have lived our life to know what we mean.

  2. Gwen Bouwsema says:

    I believe that there should be more trust in God. Anyone who loves The Lord and shows that in his life is worthy of being an elder. He will have and contribute according to his own gifts. It may not be intellect but might be faith or compassion or whatever. I think that families are destroyed because of the clear being judged unworthy treatment in our churches. If one has a desire to serve and is never on nomination for elder or deacon should the conclusion be made that one is a total idiot? Just listen to your wise consistory! They know you are not worthy. They ask you every house visit will you let your name stand but they really do not mean anything by such question. You have to have lived our life to know what we mean.

  3. ck says:

    Ryan:
    You wrote”….Likewise those who are unable to teach, or who have little knowledge cannot be an elder – they may have faith to move mountains and may love to serve and give everything away for the glory of God and the benefit of the church, but they are disqualified on that point.”….
    I’m a little confused as to why you would write this. What criteria are you following when you state “unable to teach”. You may have men who appear as if they are unable to teach but, once they have the opportunity to be in a teaching position, it may very well surprise you. It doesn’t depend on man but on God who works within by his Holy Spirit. We often get so caught up with trying to find the ‘perfect’ person to serve that we are blinded to many who should serve.
    ck

    • Hi CK, I am not saying an elder must get up in front of the church and preach, but one of the criteria is, “Therefore an overseer must be…able to teach…” That means that he must have the desire to study the word and the ability to teach it. And I am not merely saying that a man is disqualified if it appears that he cannot publicly teach, that is not what I am getting at. The role of an elder in the Church by its very nature involves teaching. That is why Scripture requires that an elder must be “able to teach.” To rule over the people of God is to encourage, admonish and exhort God’s people to believe and live according to scripture and to warn and rebuke those who stray. That is teaching. That requires the ability to teach with patience and love in private settings. An elder must be able to discern false teachings, heresy, liberalism etc. He must be able to refute these teachings with the truth of God’s Word. He must be able to teach the people when their ideas contradict Scripture.

      I agree with you that it is God who works in us by the holy spirit. I agree that we should not look for perfection, but should we nominate people who do not meet the criteria? My point is simply that we need to follow the criteria, God gave it to us in His Word for a reason. To nominate someone who does not meet the criteria and expect that God would work that criteria after the fact seems backwards to me. Perhaps one who has not displayed the ability to teach is better suited for deacon. The difference between elder and deacon according the criteria is the ability to teach. And that is not to say that deacons don’t teach. anyway…thanks for the comment 🙂

      • ck says:

        Thanks for clarifying.

        Another point – it seems to be that there is this perception that if someone isn’t suitable for elder, well then he can always be put on the list for deacon. I once spoke with an elderly man who had served as both elder and deacon and he stated, quite surprisingly, that deacon can be a more difficult task. There is a lot of teaching involved in being a deacon as well, so why would you say that “one who has not displayed the ability to teach is better suited for deacon.”

  4. ck says:

    Ryan:
    You wrote”….Likewise those who are unable to teach, or who have little knowledge cannot be an elder – they may have faith to move mountains and may love to serve and give everything away for the glory of God and the benefit of the church, but they are disqualified on that point.”….
    I’m a little confused as to why you would write this. What criteria are you following when you state “unable to teach”. You may have men who appear as if they are unable to teach but, once they have the opportunity to be in a teaching position, it may very well surprise you. It doesn’t depend on man but on God who works within by his Holy Spirit. We often get so caught up with trying to find the ‘perfect’ person to serve that we are blinded to many who should serve.
    ck

    • Hi CK, I am not saying an elder must get up in front of the church and preach, but one of the criteria is, “Therefore an overseer must be…able to teach…” That means that he must have the desire to study the word and the ability to teach it. And I am not merely saying that a man is disqualified if it appears that he cannot publicly teach, that is not what I am getting at. The role of an elder in the Church by its very nature involves teaching. That is why Scripture requires that an elder must be “able to teach.” To rule over the people of God is to encourage, admonish and exhort God’s people to believe and live according to scripture and to warn and rebuke those who stray. That is teaching. That requires the ability to teach with patience and love in private settings. An elder must be able to discern false teachings, heresy, liberalism etc. He must be able to refute these teachings with the truth of God’s Word. He must be able to teach the people when their ideas contradict Scripture.

      I agree with you that it is God who works in us by the holy spirit. I agree that we should not look for perfection, but should we nominate people who do not meet the criteria? My point is simply that we need to follow the criteria, God gave it to us in His Word for a reason. To nominate someone who does not meet the criteria and expect that God would work that criteria after the fact seems backwards to me. Perhaps one who has not displayed the ability to teach is better suited for deacon. The difference between elder and deacon according the criteria is the ability to teach. And that is not to say that deacons don’t teach. anyway…thanks for the comment 🙂

      • ck says:

        Thanks for clarifying.

        Another point – it seems to be that there is this perception that if someone isn’t suitable for elder, well then he can always be put on the list for deacon. I once spoke with an elderly man who had served as both elder and deacon and he stated, quite surprisingly, that deacon can be a more difficult task. There is a lot of teaching involved in being a deacon as well, so why would you say that “one who has not displayed the ability to teach is better suited for deacon.”

  5. I’d say the most important quality (given what we seem to be lacking today) is “able to teach”. God bless.

  6. I’d say the most important quality (given what we seem to be lacking today) is “able to teach”. God bless.