The Role of Elders

The Role of Elders
September 13, 2020
Passage: Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-3
Service Type:

You've probably heard it said... Preachers, preach, Deacons, deke and Elders, eld. Christians live Christ-like, or you might say Christians, Christ.

Last week, we talked about the role of Christians. Today, we will talk about the role of elders and next week we will talk about the role of deacons.

Some think that the qualifications of elders are to be a different set of rules. But, that's not the case. The truth is the qualifications where they logically apply, apply to all Christians.

Christ did not leave the church without appropriate direction. When we think of the organization of the church we see how He laid it out.

First, we see that Christ is the head of the church. He makes the comparison of Christ and hte church with the role of a husand and a wife. Therefore, Christ is the head of the church. The church throughout the world has one head, that head is Jesus Christ.

  • Ephesians 5:23-24
  • John 12:48

The Lord set in order how each congregation would be led. That is through the leadership of elders. They can't make decisions on doctrine, He set forth the doctrine as the head of the church. But, they are to be overseers of the Church.

  • Acts 20:28

Elders hold the most important role in the world. Because, they are to be overseers of the souls of those in the church.

  • Hebrews 13:17

The Hebrews writer urges Christians to obey their elders because they are overseers of your soul.

James A. Garfield was the only president of the united states who was a member of the Lord's church, he also was a preacher and elder in the Lord's church.

He said,

"“I resign the highest office in the land to become president of the United States.” - President, James A. Garfield

He recognized that the role of elder was more important than the role of president.

  • 1 Timothy 3:1-7
  • Titus 1:5-9

He who desires the office of an elder, desires a good thing. Yet, he must meet the specific qualifications.

These are the qualifications of an ideal Christian. Every man should seek to meet these qualifications. Every woman should seek these characteristics where they apply.

Biblical Terms Depicting Elders

Presbuteros, elders

Elder, or older, senior, more advanced in years; denotes dignity, maturity and experience.

  • 1 Timothy 4:14

Episkopas, bishops/overseer

Inspector, overseer, watcher, guardian, superintendent

  • 1 Peter 2:25
  • Philippians 1:1
  • Hebrews 13:17
  • Acts 20:28, KJV & ASV

Poiman, pastors, shepherds

Herdsman, shepherd, pastor; denotes tender care and vigilance

  • Psalm 23
  • Ephesians 4:11

The word shepherd is interchangeable with pastor.

  • 1 Peter 5, Christ is the chief shepherd, while elders in congregations serve under His authority.

Qualifications of Elders


not worthy of public rebuke, a good citizen in the community and in the church

Husband of One Wife

one wife at time/not a polygamist


temperate, not given to extremes


of sound mind, under self-control, or discreet

Of Good Behavior

orderly, well arranged, seemly, modest

Given to Hospitality

conjunction of philos (love) and xenox (strangers) literally, fond of guests

Apt to Teach, Holding Fast the Faithful Word

to teach or preach in the public assembly

Not Given to Wine

to be abstinet, not given over to alcohol

Not a Striker/not a Brawler

different Greek words in the same definition, not quarrelsome, or violent, not prone to smite men. 

Not Greedy of Filthy Lucre

to be greedy for base gain


gentle, mild, and reasonable

Not Covetous

not a lover of money

Rules His Own House Well

his children are not accused of riot, not unruly, or insubordinate

Not a Novice

experienced, aged as a Christian, not newly planted or recent convert

A Good Report of Them Which are Without

even non-Christians would commend him for his goodness

Having Faithful Children

trustworthy followers of Jesus; they are Christians

Not Self-willed

not arrogant

Not Soon Angry

not overcome by passion, not prone to anger

Lover of Good Men

a lover of goodness


to exhibit righteousness


pious and sanctified

The Work of Elders

Elders are not just a position appointed as an honorary position. But, rather it is a position with a job to do.

They, by sound doctrine, are able to convince gain sayers, unruly, people who are seeking to pervert the doctrine for filthy lucre sake.

  • Titus 1:9

When those who are seeking to subvert households to false doctrine elders are to be able to direct in the right way.

  • Hebrews 13:17

They are overseers of your soul. They are to be examples, actively working and overseeing the souls of those under them. Their authority is not to make doctrine but rather to direct doctrine in the Lord's church.

  • Acts 20:28

They are to feed the church. They are to edify and build up the church.

  • Acts 20:32

There work is to build up, oversee and watchout for the church of God.

They are to be examples to the flock.

  • 1 Peter 5:3

They aren't to lord over the church, but rather lead by example. They aren't to put themselves in a position that makes themselves the "boss." But they are to be about the business of providing for the spiritual welfare of each member.

Elders, Eld

A plurality of elders is required in every church.

  • Acts 14:23
  • Philippians 1:1

We do not see a one man rule. We see a plurality of elders over a single congregation.

Next week we will discuss, Deacons, deke.

We all must be servants of Christ. We must follow the path that He set for us. But, in order to do that we must first believe and obey Jesus.

  • Mark 16:15,16

If you are not yet following Christ you can believe that He is the Son of God, repenting of your sns, and confession of His name before men. You can do just as it says in Mark 16, and be baptized for forgiveness of your sins and live a faithful life unto Him.

  • Acts 8:22

If you've been baptized but have not been walking faithfully you can once again, repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness, and He is faithful and just to forgive.

If we can assist you in your study of God's Word, please contact us.

Please follow and like us: