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Thread: Qualifications for an Elder

  1. #1

    Qualifications for an Elder

    I find it odd that we'd send a pastor packing if we saw him dare order an alcoholic beverage at Applebee's (You'd be hard pressed to prove drinking is a sin, drunkenness/abuse is however).

    We'd send a pastor packing for many of the issues the church as deemed "bad".

    Yet when a pastor's family is not in order (As clearly spelled out in 1 Tim 3), his wife has left him and his kids have run away, we let that slide because, naturally, nobody can be perfect.



    Is the unwritten church code killing the church from within?

  2. #2
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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by TexUs View Post
    I find it odd that we'd send a pastor packing if we saw him dare order an alcoholic beverage at Applebee's (You'd be hard pressed to prove drinking is a sin, drunkenness/abuse is however).

    We'd send a pastor packing for many of the issues the church as deemed "bad".

    Yet when a pastor's family is not in order (As clearly spelled out in 1 Tim 3), his wife has left him and his kids have run away, we let that slide because, naturally, nobody can be perfect.



    Is the unwritten church code killing the church from within?
    While I suspect that you may be thinking of a specific example, I will not ask what that is as it would be in poor taste as the pastor is not here to address the charges (and as such would not be permitted on this board).

    I will say that the 'wisdom of men' and 'churchanity' do have a separate set of "laws" that may be imposed by congregants. I personally am more concerned with the implications of my own walk on my ministry, and view others in ministry from a perspective that considers two things.

    These are;

    They are dirty rotten sinners.... ... Just like ME.

    My desire is that no one should come under the judgment that might come from allowing compromise to affect their ministry.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by TexUs View Post
    Yet when a pastor's family is not in order (As clearly spelled out in 1 Tim 3), his wife has left him and his kids have run away, we let that slide because, naturally, nobody can be perfect.
    you seem to be making an assumption that if you manage your family well, that your wife won't leave and your kids won't run away. This just isn't true. You can be a perfect father/husband and still end up with a broken family. Look at the God/Adam and God/Israel relationships as examples.

    Paul is obligating us to take time and examine how the man managed his family, not to make a snap judgment based on the family members' behavior. What do you think?

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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    The folks in the pews will select the kind of man they want to have in authority over them. God will put His man where He wants him. It is really great when these two things work together in concert. It is really terrible when they do not. This pastor certainly needs compassion. Should he continue to preach? God must determine that. If he did not see his family come to Christ well there are a whole host of speculative questions. Do we choose a pastor because we like him or because he is Gods man sent to preach the word of God to us?

    This is a sad situation. It is also not an uncommon situation.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger

  5. #5

    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Don't have a specific example in mind, actually, but I've seen it happen before. More just speaking to the failures of the body here, of the "unwritten code".

    Paul is obligating us to take time and examine how the man managed his family, not to make a snap judgment based on the family members' behavior. What do you think?
    100% agree. That's my point. I was speaking (in my example) of one who's family was not managed properly... I guess I assumed that was clear.

    Not sure if any of you are pastors, but how many pastors do you know (or you yourself) have come "in view of a call" and were offered a job with the congregation not knowing squat about your family? Were they invited to an interview? Were they asked any questions about the family? I've never once seen that done, we never verify what's clearly Biblical, but we'll sure impose our own (non-Biblical) beliefs on them.

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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by TexUs View Post
    but how many pastors . . . were offered a job with the congregation not knowing squat about your family?
    I always assumed that this was a part of the process. Churches ought to do better i mean, come on, does it need to be spelled out in black and white? . . . wait a minute . . .

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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by TexUs View Post
    I find it odd that we'd send a pastor packing if we saw him dare order an alcoholic beverage at Applebee's (You'd be hard pressed to prove drinking is a sin, drunkenness/abuse is however).

    We'd send a pastor packing for many of the issues the church as deemed "bad".

    Yet when a pastor's family is not in order (As clearly spelled out in 1 Tim 3), his wife has left him and his kids have run away, we let that slide because, naturally, nobody can be perfect.



    Is the unwritten church code killing the church from within?
    Are there churches where this happens or are you asking hypothetically?

    all the best...

  8. #8

    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Are there churches where this happens or are you asking hypothetically?

    all the best...
    Both. PERSONALLY at my own church? No. Have I seen it elsewhere? Yes.

    I will say that at my own church (as I said, I've yet to see a church do this) even they don't follow through with checking that the family is in order and whatnot.

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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Bible colleges pumping out novice career-path Pastoral candidates for autonomous local churches predominantly filled with carnalites.

    Did the Apostles go "in view of a call"?

    Just sayin'...

  10. #10

    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by PneumaPsucheSoma View Post
    Bible colleges pumping out novice career-path Pastoral candidates for autonomous local churches predominantly filled with carnalites.

    Did the Apostles go "in view of a call"?

    Just sayin'...
    I smiled quite big when I read that. Wholeheartedly agree.

  11. #11
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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    My experience was that most churches want a man in his 20's with 75 years of experience, three Ph.D's and the simplicity of a 6 year old, a man that makes the women swoon and the men not be jealous, who is independently wealthy but poor as Job's turkey, and they want his wife to be a soloist, a pianist, an organist, the women's mission society leader, a Sunday School teacher, AND stay home to raise 6 kids on $20,000 a year.

    At the last church at which I served, when they asked "what does your wife play?", my response was "The stereo."

  12. #12

    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    The "unwritten rulebook". Like I asked originally, is it killing the church from within?

    The best teachers I know have never been to seminary, they are just students of the Word. Yet most churches wouldn't even consider them because of that fact. Just another "rule" found nowhere in scripture that we impose on people, ignoring all the while what really matters and qualifies our leaders.

  13. #13
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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    Quote Originally Posted by TexUs View Post
    The "unwritten rulebook". Like I asked originally, is it killing the church from within?

    The best teachers I know have never been to seminary, they are just students of the Word. Yet most churches wouldn't even consider them because of that fact. Just another "rule" found nowhere in scripture that we impose on people, ignoring all the while what really matters and qualifies our leaders.
    We shouldn't throw out the baby with the bath. I have known lots of teachers, some with no formal education and some with multiple Ph.D's. Some of the best teachers I have ever known were indeed the multiple Ph.D types.

    The fact that the church doesn't recognize truth is more an issue of biblical illiteracy and cultural craniorectal transpositional disorder than an issue of the quality of individuals for the purpose of teaching.

    And yes, the chuch has been killing itself from within for hundreds of years.

  14. #14

    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    I'm not saying to stop hiring seminary graduates, I'm saying making that an (unbiblical) requirement is well, unbiblical, as there are many fine pastors that are quite influential today that have never been through seminary.

  15. #15
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    Re: Qualifications for an Elder

    And there are many fine elders and pastors that never set foot behind a pulpit!

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