Some things that hinder the appointment of elders 1. Yet, with these common, average, uneducated men, the Lord launched a campaign that has reached the world and turned it upside down. 4 and 5:17-19, Paul discussed the office of presbyter (elder). Because of this, it is better to take this passage as a warning against hasty selection and ordination of elders. b. Old Testament 4. 3. How? Such ambition in leaders and in any Christian is a curse to be avoided because leaders with such agendas will always end up manipulating and using others for selfish ends. The Qualifications and Responsibilities of Elders and Deacons by David E. Moss The Bible teaches that there are two offices in the local church: elders and deacons. (1) Not addicted to much wine (1 Tim. However, they were still to be \"tested\" to ascertain that their character and service were genuine and consistent. With all this in mind, let’s note two things about 1 Tim. A further support for this position is the similar qualification placed on widows to be enrolled in the list of widows who could receive support in 1 Timothy 5:9. [For a more complete In Acts 20:28, the word “made” in “made you overseers” is the Greek tithemi, “to place, set.” But it often carries the idea of “appoint” and is so translated six times in the NASB (cf. Thus even a single man or a man who has been married only once must demonstrate that he is not a “playboy” or flirtatious, but that he is stable and mature in character toward his wife or other females. We tend to focus on the outside and we give little emphasis to spiritual character. When considering a certain man for the office of elder, ask yourself if this man is a godly example in these areas: Character and Reputation An elder is a man who has exemplary character. What duties are church elders responsible for? So according to the New Testament, leadership is to be an emergent leadership, a leadership that emerges as a product of God’s work within the flock of God’s people. Is he a student of the Bible? The qualifications for deacons are listed in I Timothy 3:8-13. Read full chapter. A deacon, as with an elder, is to be a servant of God and a servant of men (Mark 10:43-45). In essence this should be our aim because as these marks are realized, we will also be accomplishing the other goals God has for our lives (cf. Ed Glascock has an excellent explanation of this clause. Jesus made this clear to the disciples. What does this mean for the way we choose and train new office bearers? He is not a hypocrite who says one thing to one person and something contradictory to another. 4:10). It is the responsibility of the church to recognize the emergence of those men whom the Holy Spirit has prepared and appointed by the qualities of their lives from the standpoint of (a) their character, (b) their giftedness, and (c) their burden and concern for the body of Christ. In fact, I am convinced no one ever really gets close enough to hit the bull’s eye. Oswald Sanders, in his classic book on leadership entitled Spiritual Leadership, has some fitting remarks: “The true spiritual leader is concerned infinitely more with the service he can render God and his fellowmen than with the benefits and pleasures he can extract from life. 3:3; Tit. 1:7). Does he truly know the Lord and has he shown definite progress in spiritual maturity? 3:13-14). 3. The only two local church offices mentioned in the NT are those of Elder (overseer) and Deacon (servant or minister). Hosautos links the entire list of qualifications with one another. Question: "What are the qualifications of elders and deacons?" Primarily they are marks of maturity. 3:8). They begin with one-woman-man.1This requires that a man (if married) be a loyal husband. Being “above reproach” is not a demand for perfection before selection. What then is the focus? 1:2; 1 Pet. Note that these qualities may also be seen from the standpoint of a man’s fundamental relationships—to God, His Word, self, family, others including the outside world, and things. 3:3). 8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. He is not a quarrelsome person who struggles against others for self-seeking reasons such as jealousy or selfish ambition. One of the needs of the board and the flock is to allow men to work in their areas of giftedness so that the men on the board are able to complement or integrate their gifts together for the benefit of the church. The similarities of the qualifications for deacons and elders/overseers in 1 Timothy 3 are striking. He does not destroy his credibility by words that are contradictory. First Timothy 3:2-7 offers the qualifications specific to elders, stating, … This is evident from the fact that they are always mentioned after the elders, and also because the requirements for deacons are slightly less strict than for elders. Elder is an office of oversight. 1:7). also 1 Tim. 3:1). Theology 6. It was undoubtedly a temporary ministry but it still provides us with a biblical example of selecting people for important ministries through the guidance of the leadership, but also through involving the congregation in the selection process according to certain spiritual qualifications. (1) Acts 6:1-7 is often used as an example and does provide us with some important insight, but those selected at that time were never given an official title like deacon. Rather than a detailed exegesis of all the qualifications of these two passages, the purpose of this study is to provide a brief overview of the qualifications for study and reflection in coming to grips with the main concepts in preparation for evaluating possible candidates for the offices of elders and deacons. If we must choose between giftedness and godliness, let us choose godliness. Examining verses 8-13, we will see that qualifications for deacons (diakonous, "those who serve") are much the same. The Biblical Qualifications For Elders and Deacons : Introduction . Much, much more is needed. (See above under elder qualifications.). 5:14). The list of qualifications to Timothy and Titus are basically the same. 3:1, Paul carefully chose to use episkope, the “office or charge of oversight.” But why? Today, the church has lost its distinctiveness because, far too often, you can’t tell believers from unbelievers—and I am not talking about manner of dress. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, … 2:11; Heb. 5:22). The example of the family is used to describe the work of elders. 1:7). (2) Not fond of sordid gain (1 Tim. It is necessary to combine these two passages for a complete list of qualifications for the office of elder. Is he prudent or biblically minded to the extent that he walks wisely according to the wisdom of Scripture? In other words, what God has called you to do, He has gifted you to do, and what He has gifted you to do, He has called you to do (1 Pet. This is a warning against hastily choosing men for ministry for whatever reason (the pressure of needs, to fill a quota, etc.). Leaders must follow the warning the prophet Jeremiah gave to Baruch in Jeremiah 45:5, “Are you seeking great things for yourself? And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons … beyond reproach (1 Tim. Time is needed so his qualifications can become clearly apparent. The qualifications are found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. “Aspire” is a very strong word. Acts 16:1-3 where Paul seems to have chosen Timothy based on the report of the people). As an emergent leadership, men are not simply elected or appointed by men, but recognized by the qualities of these passages in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The position of Bethlehem Baptist Church is that eldership is open to any man in the church who meets the spiritual qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. (2) It is an ambition that seeks not position, praise, power, prestige, or popularity, but service to God and ministry to men. Above Reproach. There is a principle here. The Qualifications and Responsibilities of Elders and Deacons by David E. Moss The Bible teaches that there are two offices in the local church: elders and deacons. (1) Hospitable (1 Tim. e) 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. . Literally, “a lover of strangers.” As he is able, does he share his home with others in order to minister to their needs? There is one word which truly summarizes these qualifications. 7. How can these hindrances be avoided? But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 14:13-21)? Because leadership is always so determinative on the well being and spiritual growth of the body of Christ, one of the first things the Apostle Paul saw to was the appointment of elders in every church as under-shepherds of God’s people (Act 14:23; Tit. You see, one of the most fundamental principles of Scripture is that we all fall short of God’s glory and perfection. Is he free from any form of substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.) In summary, an elder must be above reproach, including in his marital status. Does he have a good reputation among unbelievers because he has a life-style of unquestioned integrity. See Addendum. They are requirements. No! Deacons are expected to be available to minister to families in times of death, sickness, hospitalization, and as requested or needed. 3:2; Tit. of the local church and their elders. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. But what exactly does this mean? In 1 Tim. (2) Not double tongued (1 Tim. We continue, on this page, to consider the characteristics or qualifications of elders and deacons. If the clause means married only once, then it would be the only absolute quality in this list of qualifications. An Elder must evidence the qualifications prescribed for that office in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 as well as the qualifications for Deacons listed in Article IV, Section 7.B.3. 3:10-14; Ps. 4:14; 2 Tim. Unless that is held in the foreground of our thinking, the whole idea of leadership and leadership training becomes dangerous.2. (1 Timothy 3:8-13, NASB) Specific qualifications for deacons Is he emotionally stable and in control of his feelings? (10) Having a good reputation with those on the outside (1 Tim. Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti Anyabwile is an excellent introduction to the topic of faithful church eldership, deaconship, and the qualifications of said leaders. (1) Husband of one wife (1 Tim. But there is a biblical and sanctified ambition and one that is essential to good leadership, one that is a mark of maturity, a mark that should be a part of each of our lives. Answer: The Bible has a very clear set of qualifications for a deacon and an elder and their positions in the body of believers. Why? Does he know the Word well enough to teach it to others? (2) Next, these qualifications are marks of identification and confirmation. What may result if these hindrances are not avoided? Concerning elders and their qualifications, two specific functions are mentioned within this list of qualifications, (1) teaching (1 Tim. . 3. When compared with the qualifications of an elder, it is apparent that the requirements for a deacon are somewhat more relaxed. Scholars are divided, however, down the middle on the precise meaning of “appoint” (ceirotonew, “to vote by stretching out the hand”). As a summary statement for all that follows in the qualifications, Paul says an elder is to be a man who is above reproach (1 Tim. The responsibility of the church is to select those men who are models, examples for the flock to follow as we see in Hebrews 13:7 and 1 Peter 5:3. He keeps short accounts with God. These are concepts that are pertinent to the passages in view because they have their roots in the New Testament as a whole and bear directly on what the Bible says about leadership. Is he able to handle those who disagree with him in a patient and gentle manner? Motion in itself never means direction just as activity in itself never means effectiveness. The qualifications of a deacon are similar to those of a bishop/elder/pastor. Christian Truth. In a way, this is a summary statement of the rest of the qualifications. List common hindrances in the ordination of elders and deacons that should be avoided. In two of these epistles, Paul provides concentrated instruction on the qualifications required of two kinds of church officers: overseers/elders (1 Tim. First, notice that Paul does not use the term elder in this passage, and that is significant. Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons 1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Does he handle others in a gentle, patient, and gracious way? 15). (6) Uncontentious (1 Tim. (1) A husband of one wife (Literally, a one-woman man) (1 Tim. rizen1. Is he involved in dishonest business practices? Rather, I am referring to values, priorities, pursuits, and godly character. Is he stable in the faith, sound in doctrine and practice? The Thessalonian elders had charge over the church and diligently labored on its behalf. 3:12). God’s emphasis in this passage is not on giftedness, or on dynamic personalities because such things in themselves never qualify a man for leadership in the church. (1) They are moral qualities or qualities of high moral character. 4–5). The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. What are their qualifications? The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:8: Phil. 1 Timothy 3:8 Or devious in speech; Cross references. 5 Robert Saucy, “The Husband of One Wife,” Bibliotheca Sacra, July, 1974, p. 230. At the Summit, our deacons serve in a variety of areas. They make hospital visits to members who are sick or injured. (1) It is an ambition that has been cleansed of self-seeking, one that seeks only the glory of God and the well being of others. It generally refers to a person with some very self-centered, hidden agendas. Its purpose is to make us more like the Lord Jesus and effective as His representatives in a lost and dying world. Their basic meanings are rather obvious: Temperate/prudentmeans self-controlled, enslaved to nothing, free from excesses. This is why evaluation according to the criteria of these passages is so important. (3) Holding fast to the faithful word . Is he yielding, showing a mellow gentleness, or is he heavy-handed, insisting on the letter of the law? While some say the "women" in 1 Tim. He then sets out the qualifications for the role. In other words, the qualifications listed in 1 Tim. So, what does this truth and fact mean—the fact that no man is perfect or fully measures up all the time? Since all believers should grow and mature in the Lord, these qualifications should be the goal of every believer, not just elders and deacons. 3:2). The qualifications for Elders and Deacons are listed by the apostle Paul in 1 Tim.3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9. They are mentioned here alongside the elders in 1 Timothy 3. 1 Pet. Hampton wrote many articles for the Biblical Studies Foundation and on... More, 4. 1 THE OFFICE OF A CHURCH LEADER IS A ‘G OOD WORK ’ [1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.] (3) As those qualities that mark a man for leadership, they are primarily the marks of spiritual maturity, the marks of one who has grown in Christ and has experienced the life-changing power of the Lord through the ministry of the Spirit of God and the Word of God. The qualifications of elders and deacons given by God are not just suggestions or guidelines (in the looser sense). The position of Bethlehem Baptist Church is that eldership is open to any man in the church who meets the spiritual qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. All deacons and elders are required to complete the Basic Graduate Theological Studies in the Christian Faith, a minimum of 27 semester hours. Qualifications for Deacons - Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. W ith his description of the elder’s qualifications complete, Paul moves in 1 Timothy 3:8–13 to outline the requirements for the second ministerial office in the church — the deacon. “It is a fine work he desires to do.” Underline the word work. The readers are told to remember those who had taught them the word of God, but it was not their giftedness or skill in preaching that they were told to consider or imitate. 1:7). Elders are the overseers, for Acts 20 elders are defined as overseers (cf. Deacons are also told to manage their families well (1 Tim. . 00:09:50 - Episode #193. Before a man is asked to serve as a deacon, he is to be observed over a period of time to see if he is qualified for that ministry. As the Scottish pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne once said, “The great - I. (2) Not addicted to wine (1 Tim. Acts 16:1-3). By recognizing God’s work in their lives through growth in Christ-like qualities. Deacons are assigned care for Life Groups and leadership support. Both elders (also called pastors or bishops) and deacons are noted as official leaders of local churches in the New Testament. (4) Loving what is good (Tit. Instead, the key is in his emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity. Howard Hendricks, in his unique style, tells the story of a student who came to him with a problem. Two key New Testament passages (1 Tim. They are like the commercial pilot who told his passengers, “I have some good news and some bad news. Qualifications for Deacons. "Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. This view shifts the emphasis away from an event that took place in a man’s life before his conversion and properly concentrates on the character and quality of his life at the time of his consideration for this high office.4. This is not saying a man must be married to be an elder. Does he show a tendency to be either physically or verbally abusive? 4:4-7), 3. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. These qualifications then simply demonstrate God’s work and His appointment (cf. 3:3). (3) Not self-willed (Tit. Answer: The passages referring to the qualifications for an elder or deacon in the church are 1 Timothy 3:2 “A bishop (elder) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach”; 1 Timothy 3:12 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well”; and Titus 1:6-7 “. Deacons were both male and female. Those who minister to the local church, whether as leaders (elders) or as servants (deacons), must be those who allow Jesus to take lordship over every aspect of their lives. Feb 18, 2008 #1. In one way, the Lord's requirements simplify our selection task. 3:12). He has shown himself to be a man who is just, Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. The occurrence of prohistemi in these passages indicates elders have a measure of authority. Writing of the view that the passage means “faithful to one wife,” he says: This view holds that the translation “husband of one wife” is not the best understanding of the Greek phrase mias gunaikos andra, but that it should be translated “a man of one woman” or a “one-woman man.” This understanding emphasizes the character of the man rather than his marital status. How? Deacon Qualifications from Acts. Wrong motives kill a man’s ability to serve the Lord and love others. . They all have feet of clay. When we compare the lists in Titus 1:6-9 and 1Ti 3:2-14, we find basically three categories of things that are required in elders and deacons: 1. 3:7). This is probably because of the nature of their work. Paul addressed his Philippian epistle to the overseers and deacons of the church at Philippi. In these passages Paul listed the qualifications for elders. “Hey prof., I have a problem.” Hendricks, “Yea, What’s your problem?” Student, “Why did the Lord choose Judas?” Hendricks, “Ah, that’s no problem. What may result if these hindrances are not avoided? Without these he would be working in areas of his weaknesses rather than in areas of his strengths as gifted by the Lord. An important question is this. 5:23; Titus 2:3] 1 Timothy 3:8: Titus 1:7; 1 Pet. 3:2), and (2) management or leadership with personal care of the church (1 Tim. The point is simply this: Biblical Christianity knows nothing about compartmentalized living. Deacons Have Similar Qualifications. This is why we present the book compilations in this website. Is the office of pastor taught in the Bible. Does he have a short fuse? 2:7; 2 Tim. How would you like to launch a world wide campaign with the likes of Peter and his companions? It is this that Paul asserts as trustworthy or honorable. Some things that hinder the appointment of elders 1. 3. The New … How can you help each other to continue to grow in godliness and holiness? There needs to be balance. 1:8). Does he take advantage of opportunities to do good to all men (both Christians and non-Christians) in order to build them up rather than tear them down? II. This word in the original Greek text refers to strength under control, like a powerful, but gentle horse. Is he respected by others because his life adorns the Word of God? 1:5-6). (See above under elder qualifications. or any kind of addiction which might take control of his life, cause belligerent and irresponsible behavior, and cause weaker Christians to stumble (Rom. When the time comes to select men to be elders and deacons, invariably some men and women will look for “loop-holes” in the qualifications of elders and deacons listed in 1… C. Qualifications. Can a church elder or deacon be single / unmarried? Indirectly we undoubtedly find a reference to the gift of teaching in “able to teach” in 1 Timothy 3:2, and since one of the gifts given to the body of Christ is the gift of “leadership,” we probably have an indirect reference to the gift of leadership in the analogy between managing his family and the church in 1 Timothy 3:5. We can be like the cowboy who rushed into the corral, bridled and saddled his horse and rode off in all directions. 143:2). 3:4-5). If he is found to be beyond reproach (if there are no violations in the qualities needed to serve), he may then be chosen to serve as a deacon. 1:5-9) provide us with the essential qualifications that such men must demonstrate in order to be qualified to serve the local church. 3:8). Some have interpreted this to mean, “married only once.” But there are several reasons this is not the best way to understand this passage. 3:2). 3:12). Church history 5. 3:12-15; cf. He aims to put more into life than he takes out of it.”1, The greatest need is not for leaders, but for saints and servants. The ministry of overseers in the local church is like a coin with two sides and both must be included. One of the designed results of these marks of maturity is that such men become examples of the Christian life and of the power of God that is available in the person and work of Jesus Christ. 3:10). Does he demonstrate a definite commitment to know, love, and walk with God? It’s the word SERVANT. Literally, “a lover of goodness.” He is a man who is devoted to that which is good or beneficial either in things, deeds, or people (Ps. The scripture also references that deacons’ wives must be: reverent, not slanderers, temperate, and faithful in all things (I Timothy 3:11). 2. A man who demonstrates a character of loyalty and trustworthiness in such personal relationships is qualified in this area. 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