The elder is a leader in the Christian church. It is a divinely-appointed office that is held by men who are able to teach sound doctrine, refute error, be of good reputation, having believing children, who manage their households well, etc. The elder should not be in office if he is unable to fulfill the requirements of the office and he should not be chosen because he is a popular figure in the local church.
1. The Responsibilities of Elders in the NT Church:
- Must shepherd the flock (1 Peter 5:2).
- Must voluntarily exercise oversight upon the flock (1 Peter 5:2).
- Must live as examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:3).
- Anoint and pray for the sick (James 5:14).
- They have the tasks of teaching (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; Titus 1:9).
- They have the tasks of acting as judges (Acts 15:2; Acts 15:6; Acts 15:22-29; Acts 15:16:4).
2. Qualifications for an elder
- Must be above reproach (Elders - Titus 1:6; Bishop - 1 Timothy 3:2)
- Husband of one wife (Elders - Titus 1:6; Bishop - 1 Timothy 3:2).
- Household must be in order with children who believe (Titus 1:6 ; 1 Timothy 3:4).
- Not a new convert (1 Timothy 3:6).
- Self-controlled and temperate (Titus 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:2).
- Honorable, hospitable, seeking good (Titus 1:7).
- Have a good reputation (1 Timothy 3:7).
- Not addicted to much wine (1 Timothy 3:3).
- Not greedy (1 Timothy 3:3).
- Able to exhort (teach) sound doctrine (Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:2).
- Able to refute false teaching (Titus 1:9).
- They must be ready to earn their own living if necessary (Acts 20:17; Acts 20:33-35).