Above Reproach

"An overseer, then, must be above reproach . . ."  (1 Tim 3:2, 7, Titus 3:6, 7). If you could summarize the qualifications for elders in two words, you would…

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Apt to Teach

“An overseer, then, must be … able to teach…” (1 Timothy 3:2). This qualification goes hand in hand with the qualification of being faithful to the Word (Titus 1:9). The…

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Be an Example

"Shepherd the flock of God . . . being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). "Like people, like priests," Hosea said (Hos 4:9 NASB). The self-evident connection between the…

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Children Behaved

"He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity . . ."(1 Tim 3:4). ". . . if any man is…

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Devout

“[The overseer must be . . .] hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled . . ." (Titus 1:8). The qualifying requirement to be devout demands that elders…

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Eager to Serve

“Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight . . . voluntarily, according to the will of God; . . . with eagerness . . .” (1 Peter 5:2).…

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Exhort in Sound Doctrine

The overseer must be “. . . able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict . . .” (Titus 1:9) The under-shepherd is to guard…

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Faithful to the Word

“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”…

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Gentle

"An overseer must be . . . gentle . . ." (1 Tim. 3:3 NASB). Gentleness. Paul employs a Greek word that cannot really be translated consistently with any one…

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Godly Desire

“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” (1 Timothy 3:1) Scripture places a premium…

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Good Reputation

"And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil" (1 Tim 3:7). This…

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Hospitable

An overseer must be . . . “hospitable” (1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:8). Elders are to model what is commanded of all Christians: a sacrificial life that includes hospitality (Rom.…

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Lover of What is Good

"An overseer must be . . . loving what is good" (Titus 2:8). A man’s heart is revealed by what he loves. Whatever a man loves becomes his passion, the…

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Manages His Household Well

"He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity" (1 Tim. 3:4). An elder’s ability to shepherd his own family well…

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Not a Drunkard

"An elder, then, must be . . . not a drunkard” (1 Tim. 3:3, Titus 1:7). An elder is not to be a heavy drinker of alcohol. In both passages…

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Not a New Convert

"An overseer, then, must be . . . not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil” (1 Tim.…

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Not Greedy

"An overseer must be . . . free from the love of money.” (1 Tim 3:3, 1 Peter 5:2; Titus 1:7). This character trait appears in all three elder-qualification lists.…

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Not Lording it Over

An elder must not “exercise dominion over” or "domineer" the flock (1 Peter 5:3), in the sense of subduing the congregation to his will. He is not the pinnacle of…

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Not Quarrelsome

"An elder must be . . . not quarrelsome"  (1 Tim. 3:3d). Can you imagine an elders’ meeting turning into a fistfight? Paul did, which is why earlier in the…

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Not Quick-Tempered

“The overseer must be . . . not quick tempered” (Titus 1:7). A quick-tempered man is one who is predisposed to anger and easily provoked. His first and natural inclination…

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Not Reluctant

“Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion . . .” (1 Peter 5:2). While Paul says that he was “obligated” to preach the gospel (Rom.…

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Not Self-Willed

"For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain . . ." (Titus 1:7).…

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Not Violent

The overseer is to be "not violent" (1 Tim. 3:3, also Titus 1:7). Paul used a number of different terms to depict the character of an elder in his relationship…

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One-Woman Man

"An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach" (1 Tim. 3:2). "... if any man is above reproach, the…

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Refute Error

The overseer must be “. . . able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict . . .” (Titus 1:9). The pastoral elder is charged…

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Respectable

"An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach . . ."  (1 Tim. 3:2). The elder (along with all…

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Self-Disicplined

The apostle Paul saw self-discipline as a key factor in dealing with the matter of meats offered to idols, as well as his own effectiveness in ministry. Although a different…

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Sensible/Prudent

"An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach . . ." (1 Tim. 3:2). Related to self-discipline, an elder…

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Spirit-Appointed

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His…

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Temperate

"An overseer must be . . . temperate” (1 Tim. 3:2). An elder should not be given to unwise, self-serving or self-consuming extremes. The word in 1 Timothy 3:2 is…

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Upright

“An overseer must be . . . upright” (Titus 1:8 NIV, also translated as “just” or “righteous”). The underlying adjective (dikaios), used very commonly in the (Greek) OT and in…

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