Qualifications as a Whole

Series: Qualifications as a Whole
Presenter: Bob Deffinbaugh

Bob Deffinbaugh looks at the elder qualifications as a whole—seeing the forest as well as the trees.


Audio File
Lecture Outline
Detailed Outline

Remember It

Contemplate these questions, then click on each question to see the answer.
1. Why does the speaker/author compare the qualities/qualifications for elders, deacons, older/younger men, older/younger women?
To show that there is much overlap between the elder qualifications and the qualities that describe a mature Christian.
2. According to the speaker/author, how does understanding Jesus’ response to the Pharisee about the question of divorce help us in understanding the high standard for elders?
There are exceptions because of the weakness of human flesh, but the exception does not define the rule. It's true that no elder can meet perfectly the qualifications, but the standard still remains high and should not be watered down.
3. How do we apply these standards to elders who cannot possibly measure up to them perfectly?
The elders should be “head and shoulders” above the rest, farther down the road toward these qualifications, setting the example to follow.

Discuss It

  1. When you are considering a man as a candidate for elder and you ask him if he believes he meets the biblical qualifications, what do you hope he will say? What will you say to him if he feels he is not qualified? What if he feels that he is fully qualified?
  2. Though God’s standards for elders do not change, how might the application of these standards vary somewhat from one place to another, and from one church setting to another? Put differently, how might you apply these qualifications differently for a brand new church in a previously un-evangelized area, as compared with a long-standing church with a long history of good teaching and leadership?

Apply It

  1. Read through Acts 13-20 and explain how Paul must have applied these qualifications for elders as he appointed elders in new churches, often quite soon after these churches came into being.
  2. Discuss this case study: For many years missionary efforts have taken place in a certain land that has been unresponsive to the gospel. Now, all of a sudden, people are professing faith and gathering as believers for instruction, fellowship, and worship. In the light of the qualifications Paul sets down in 1 Timothy and Titus, how would you go about appointing new elders in these emerging churches?