Biblical Qualifications to be an Elder/Overseer/Shepherd

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1 Biblical Qualifications to be an Elder/Overseer/Shepherd

2 Why Are The Qualifications So Important? Because God inspired them and directed us to use them. They are not random. Because they say something about the character of the men God wants to lead us. Because they say something about the man's love for God and his dependence on Him. Because they speak to the respect of the man in order for others to more easily follow him. Because he will serve in our Lord's church. Because he is accountable first to God.

3 Hebrews 13:7 "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."

4 Hebrews 13:17 "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

5 Even though Hebrews 13:4 and 13:17 do not use the specific terms of "elder", they certainly apply. However, the understanding of two other words in Hebrews 13:17 is key to grasping the depth or gravity of the qualifications God has given.

6 Two REALLY, REALLY SCARY words.

7 Two SCARY words! "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Hebrews 13:17

8 Understanding the words in Heb. 13:17 as originally intended. peitho Obey - a passive and middle voice verb - to be persuadable, to allow persuasion, to be won over. Obedience... resulting from persuasion. -Vines Expository Dictionary of NT Words Implies a trust and respect of the leader, a willingness to follow, a desire to listen, and an openness to reason. There is no authoritarian or "lording over" expectation of leaders here.

9 Understanding the words (cont.) hupeiko submit - active and middle voice verb - to retire, to withdraw, to yield, to willingly give way - Vines Expository Dictionary of NT Words; THAYER'S GREEK LEXICON Implies a humble trust and respect for those God has given to me to be my leaders. A desire and willingness to yield. **Remember that this directive is to Christians, those saved from sin and thankful for God's amazing grace, living now in a culture of love, trust, and grace, that is, the Lord's church.

10 The basic qualifications in the Bible that chosen men must meet to become elders to lead in the Lord's church should make it easier to follow them, obey them, submit to them, and allow them to "keep watch over you as men who must give an account." God's wisdom is seen in the qualifications.

11 Qualifications of Elders I Timothy 3: 1-7 [Wife: 3: 11] Titus 1: 5-9

12 Qualifications Common to Both Passages Perhaps because of special importance Could be addressing common needs or problems Guided by Holy Spirit

13 Qualifications Common to Both Passages Husband of one woman (I Tim 3:2, Titus 1:6) - Not entice-able. Committed to his one woman for life. Not lustful. Dedicated. Trusted Not addicted to wine (I Tim 3:3, Titus 1:7) Self-controlled. Does not "need" it. Dependable. Steady. Serious. Hospitable (I Tim 3:2, Titus 1:8) Giver of time. Sacrificial. Generous. Sharing. Active faith. Caring. Not violent or quarrelsome (I Tim 3:3, Titus 1:7) Humble. Gentle. Christ-like. Wise. Controlled. Patient. God-trusting. Prudent, sensible (I Tim 3:2, Titus 1:8) Knowledgeable. Experienced. Seasoned. Wise. Listener. Thoughtful. Above reproach (I Tim 3: 2 Titus 1:6-7) Over-arching and all embracing quality. Un-accusable. High integrity. Solid reputation.

14 Unique Qualifications These are qualifications that: Other Christians may have BUT Other Christians do not have to have. Elder candidates MUST have them.

15 Unique Qualifications Husband of one woman (I Tim 3: 2, Titus 1:6) Able to teach (I Tim 3: 2) Does not say gifted or talented Able to convict, expose, refute (Titus 1:9) Knows Word and how to use it. Bold and gentle. Has strong convictions. Humble. Children under control (I Tim 3:4) Can also be trusted to lead family of God. Patient/respected by kids. Children who believe/trust; not accused of wildness or rebellion (Titus 1:6)

16 Character Qualifications Negative qualities All Christians Need to Avoid Not greedy for money (Titus 1:7) Free from love of money (I Tim 3:3) Not arrogant or self-willed (Titus 1:7) Not a new convert (I Tim 3: 6) "Seasoned" by wisdom/time. Not quick tempered or prone to anger (Titus 1:6) Not conceited (I Tim 3: 6) - Deeply aware of own need for God's grace. Not interested in eldership for position, but to serve. Learned not to take one's self too seriously.

17 Character Qualifications Positive qualities All Christians Try to Have Peaceable Devoted to the Word Righteous, just Self-controlled Gentle Devout, holy Good reputation Temperate Manages own household well Loving what is good

18 Other Qualifications "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer (elder), he desires a noble task." 1 Tim. 3:1 Notice that this passage says: IF any man aspires to the office, not that a man MUST aspire to the office before being considered.

19 Other Qualifications I Peter 5:1-4 "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be reveals: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."

20 Job - an Old Testament example Many passages suggest that Job was an elder, and possessed the qualifications: Job 1:1 - "There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil." Qualifications: Above reproach - 1 Tim. 3:2 Loves what is good - Titus 1:8 Upright and holy - Titus 1:8

21 Job 4:1-4 - Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered, "If one ventures a word with you, will you become impatient. But who can refrain from speaking? Behold you [Job] have admonished (instructed) many, and you have strengthened weak hands. Your words have helped the tottering to stand, and you have strengthen weak knees." Qualifications: Gentle - 1 Tim. 3:3 Lover of what is good - Titus 1:8 Able to teach and exhort - Titus 1:9

22 Job 23:11, 12 - "My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Qualifications: Above reproach - 1 Tim. 3:2 Devout - Titus 1:8 Faithful to God's Word - Titus 1:9

23 Job 29:7, 8 - "When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, the young men saw me and hid themselves, and the old men arose and stood." Qualifications: Above Reproach - 1 Tim. 3:2 Respected - 1 Tim. 3:3

24 Job 29: "Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, and I made the widow's heart sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I investigated the case which I did not know. I broke the jaws of the wicked and snatched the prey from his teeth. Qualifications: Gentle - 1 Tim. 3:3 Lover of good - Titus 1:8 Just - Titus 1:8

25 Other interesting lessons from Job on what would DISQUALIFY one from eldership. Job's "friends" let him down and left him frustrated. He called them "worthless physicians" and "sorry comforters."

26 Job 6:14,15 - "For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; so that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty. My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi (a seasonal stream), like the torrents of wadis that vanish." lack of compassion, inconsistent, useless

27 Job 12:5a - "He who is at ease holds calamity in contempt." insensitivity, lack of compassion, arrogance, judgmental verdicts. "The man who has not experienced difficulties can often be unsympathetic, perhaps even contemptuous of those who are. Unable or unwilling to visualize himself in similar circumstances, his judgments are simplistic, uninformed, and arrogant." - Biblical Eldership Mentor's Guide - Lewis & Roth

28 The Apostle Paul to the Ephesian elders: "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." Acts 20:28

29 Your assignment for this week. 1. On the handout is a list of several eldership qualifications from the selected passages we have studied in 1 Timothy and Titus. 2. Read the selected passage printed there from Job Find in the Job passage the corresponding qualifications on the list and write the letter of the qualification under the passage.

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