Monday, December 1, 2014

Above reproach

Today Challies describes the characteristics of those who should not be leaders in the church: the "anti-elder."
It is tragic but undeniable: There are many, many people in positions of church leadership who should not be in positions of church leadership. There are many pastors who should not be pastors, many elders who have no business being elders.

This is not a new problem. In the pages of the New Testament both Paul and Peter labor to describe the man who is qualified to the office of elder. It is noteworthy that almost all of these qualifications are related to character. Where we are drawn to outward skill, God cares far more for inward character. ....

In the book of Titus, Paul writes to a young man and charges him to appoint elders in every church in Crete. He tells him what kind of man to look for and as he does this he gives a glimpse of the anti-elder, the kind of man who may seek the office but who is absolutely unsuited to it. ....
  • The anti-elder is a dictator. Paul says, “He must not be arrogant.” The anti-elder is marked by arrogance and aggression, and therefore he makes decisions that are to his own advantage rather than to the advantage of the people in his care. ....
  • The anti-elder is short-fused. “He must not be…quick-tempered.” The anti-elder has a hot temper and a quick temper. He lives by his passions, and refuses to exhibit any kind of mastery over his anger. ....
  • The anti-elder is an addict. “He must not be…a drunkard.” The anti-elder is addicted to alcohol or other addicting substances. ....
  • The anti-elder is a bully. “He must not be…violent.” .... He will use force of personality or the strength of his position to coerce people to do his will, and to be domineering over them. ....
  • The anti-elder is greedy. “He must not be…greedy for gain.” The anti-elder is greedy for financial gain. .... [read it all]