What Should An Elder’s Life Look Like?
–When we look today at the second portion of Paul’s list of the qualities an elder should have today, 2 parts of it have to do with the elder’s personal life; completely separate from him running a church. In most careers, as long as your personal life doesn’t affect your business life, your employers do not care.
In this passage, however, we can see that clearly if one is to be an elder inside of a ministry, their personal life must be one that is considered healthy. In leading others, particularly from a place where you are held as an example to be followed and imitated, your character is absolutely essential.
ILLUSTRATION: Terry Maketa, who is our sheriff here in El Paso County and has been for as long as I can remember, has recently been brought up on charges from improper use of tax payer’s money, to creating a hostile work environment. But the main focus of the media isn’t these two issues; it’s that he’s had multiple affairs on his wife. The Gazette wrote, “Maketa is accused in May of a string of affairs, dismantling oversight of the $60 million office budget and creating a hostile work environment. The El Paso County Commissioners have started an investigation and called for the sheriff to resign. The District Attorney’s Office says it is reviewing criminal complaints.
While Maketa has said he was “embarrassed and humbled” by the revelations, he has indicated he will stay in office until his term ends in January. Maketa did not return a call Monday for comment.” Click to read the rest of this post >>
What Is An Elder?
The passage that we’re going to go through today isn’t so much about what an elder does than what an elder’s qualifications are. Not just anyone should be an elder and not just anyone can say that they are an elder.
This passage uses the term “ἐπίσκοπος” which is the term Paul uses in this passage simply means “church leader.” But in other areas of Scripture, Paul uses the term “πρεσβύτερος” which is translated as elder, however both of these term I believe (and many other scholars believe can be taken as synonymous with one another. One thing that is essential to be an elder is ordination to that position.
For very plain reasons, at this fellowship, you must be recognized as a biblically qualified leader before you can have any responsibilities or be ordained for any particular work. I believe that any congregation that does not have biblically qualified elders at the helm is no church at all. Neither would it be qualified by Scripture because Paul writes in Acts 14:23, “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
Unless your “church” has qualified elders overseeing it, it does not qualify as a biblical church “For the bible tells me so.” It seems that my generation wants to redefine the church at every turn but God has beaten them to it.
ILLUSTRATION: We live in a culture where anyone can be ordained for any reason. You take a quick online class, sign a piece of paper that’s mailed in to you, and then a few days later, you get a certificate in the mail. I remember one time going with a friend so that they could get a tattoo and as they were getting their tattoo done, I was talking with the artist and he asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a pastor to which he responded between the most foul of language that he was an ordained minister as well. This individual I was speaking to wasn’t even a believer and yet some entity out there had qualified him for the ministry of the gospel that he didn’t even believe in!
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