At the beginning of Paul’s letter to Titus he lists the qualities that he expects in a person who is going to be in the office of an Elder. Interesting the requirements are mainly character based ones.
Paul does not list any of the following:
- Good preacher
- Gifted with youth work
- Experienced in church growth
- People’s person
- Keen evangelist with a passion for the lost.
- Passionate worship leader
- Committed leader
Now obviously there is nothing wrong with having any of the above qualities. I expect the majority of churches would want people with these gifts and abilities. However what Paul lists for an elder is:
- An elder must be blameless (v6 and v7)
- The husband of one wife (v6)
- A man whose children believe. And the children are not wild and disobedient (v6).
- Not overbearing (v7)
- Not quick tempered (v7)
- Not given to drunkenness (v7)
- Not violent (v7)
- Not pursuing dishonest gain (v7)
- They must be hospitable (v8)
- One who loves what is good (v8)
- Self-controlled (v8)
- Upright (v8)
- Holy (v8)
- Disciplined (v8)
- Someone who holds firmly to the truth (v9)
- An encourager (v9)
- Someone who refutes those who oppose sound doctrine (v9)
That is quite a list! I wonder if we will ever see a church leadership role being advertised anywhere that lists these qualities rather than the first ones I mentioned?
I personally am not an elder and to be honest do not aspire to be one. However I would like to have these qualities in my life. I think that any Christian young or old, leader or not should aspire to aim to have these godly qualities in their life.