I have been blessed over the years to serve underneath some great elderships. Men who loved the Lord and His church to the point where they made great sacrifices to see that His name was glorified. However, elderships are like preachers, they come and go, and they change quite often. Due to health, relocation, a loss of desire and death congregations are always losing an elder here and there and are looking for the next elder. And sometimes in our desire to find new elders we have the preacher deliver lessons on leadership, or we begin to offer classes on leadership. Sometimes elders will stand before the men of a congregation and beg for the men to consider stepping up. And there is clearly nothing wrong with encouraging men to develop the qualifications stated in 1 Timothy 1 and Titus 1 to their lives. However, when searching for new elders we have to be very careful not to cross certain lines, for example:

1) Some congregations in their quest for elders have watered down the qualifications the Holy Spirit has given to Timothy and Titus; out of fear that no one is qualified and they are about to lose their eldership. So, congregations have deemed Paul’s writings as cultural and have determined that the only thing required of an elder is a man with a good heart who has developed the Fruit of the Spirit in his life. Friends, the church, belongs to Christ, Acts 20:28. He is the head of the church, Colossians 1:18. And He is the one who has the authority to determine the qualifications of elders. Nowhere in scripture does God give each congregation the right to determine what qualifies a man or not for this office. Please, read Jotham’s Parable in Judges 9:7-21, about the Bramble who clearly was not qualified to be king.

2) Often in our desire to find men to become elders we encourage to the point of becoming pushy. Meaning, we have been guilty of pushing men into office who have no desire or want. Friends, this again is Christ’s church. We not only want men in her offices that fulfill the qualifications given to us by God, but also, men who desire and want the position. To push or guilt someone into office who doesn’t have the proper desire, is to put a man in who doesn’t have the want or will. And, it is to install someone God doesn’t want to be installed.

So, as we search for new leaders in our congregation, let’s never forget about the qualifications God has placed forth for these offices. But, also, let’s understand there is a clear line we don’t want to cross where we have pushed someone to put their name forth who may not yet be qualified or who may not desire said role at that time.

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