What it means to be an Elder?

As we approach our first elder affirmation this Sunday, it would be a good for all of us to understand what it means to be an elder.

An elder is expected:

  1. to lead a life worthy of emulation (Hebrews 13:7)
  2. to joyfully watch over the souls of the flock as one who will give an accounting for each of them to God (Hebrews 13:17)
  3. to always preach with the ‘Day of God’s strict Judgement for teachers’ in mind (James 3:1)
  4. to pray believingly for the sick (James 5:13)
  5. to shepherd the flock of God allotted to the elder willingly, eagerly, seeking to model first what elder asks of them (1 Peter 5:1)
  6. to serve the Lord with both joy and tears (Acts 20:19)
  7. to resist every temptation to shrink back from declaring the whole Gospel (whether in the privacy of someone’s home or the public square) (Acts 20:20)
  8. to preach repentance and faith in Christ alone (Acts 20:21)
  9. to willingly accept suffering, should God call him there (Acts 20:23)
  10. to value the calling and Gospel of Christ above his own life (Acts 20:24)
  11. to guard the church as the blood-bought possession of Jesus Christ, and thus care for her as His most valuable possession (Acts 20:28)
  12. to stay alert at his post, even willing to rebuke fellow elders who preach or teach any doctrine not found in God’s Word (Acts 20:31)
  13. to live as if “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)
  14. to carefully weigh the words of the preached Word (1 Corinthians 14:29)
  15. to willingly suffer for Jesus’ sake hardship, physical torture, betrayal, inconvenience, exposure, disappointment, persecution, sovereign weakenings, calamities, and daily pressures of concern for the church (2 Corinthians 11-12)
  16. to value the word of God over an argument won (1 Timothy 4)
  17. to train himself for godliness (1 Timothy 4)
  18. to labour and strive with persistence in the work of ministry more than any before him, giving God all the glory for any success (1 Timothy 4)
  19. to address men’s lives as well as minds; calling others to follow his own personal growth in godliness and sanctification (1 Timothy 4)
  20. to keep a close watch over his own life and doctrine (1 Timothy 4)
  21. to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness (1 Timothy 6)
  22. to never quit, give up, swerve from or slack off in his efforts to fulfill his ministry (1 Timothy 6)
  23. to despise the allures of riches in this world and life for the eternal wealth of Christ’s presence in heaven (1 Timothy 6)
  24. to guard the deposit entrusted to his care (1 Timothy 6)
  25. to teach the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that old men and women, young men and women, and children will understand how to adorn the Gospel of Jesus Christ with good works (Titus 2)
  26. to value Jesus above his own wife, children, church, ministry, job, knowledge and self or anything else in the world (Titus 2)
  27. to speak to God’s people with gentle authority (Titus 2)
  28. to be zealous for good works (Titus 2)
  29. to not be ashamed of the Gospel or the Saviour, regardless of the audience (2 Timothy)
  30. to flee from youthful lusts (2 Timothy)
  31. to correct with gentleness, not quarrelsome (2 Timothy)
  32. to preach the Word of God; in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with complete patience and teaching (2 Timothy)
  33. to entrust his soul to the Faithful Creator no matter the blessing, the trail or persecution (2 Timothy)


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