During one of the last Training Center classes of the year, the men asked the elders of FBC what they thought was necessary to have an effective eldership. After giving them the following presuppositions:
- a commitment to the authority of the Word
- a primary focus on authorial intent
- expositional preaching
- all of which results in sound doctrine
the elders were allowed to say one thing. Here’s a survey of their responses:
#1 An Elder team must be made up of men of character. Men who study the Word daily in order to accomplish all the things God has for them to do for that day. Their time spent in God’s Word should have a definite effect on their attitude, decision-making processes, and their ability to handle situations, especially when the stress level increases or a crisis happens.
#2 An Elder team must be made up of men who have been affirmed by the Holy Spirit over a long period of time – not months, but years. Don’t rush into choosing elders! When starting out, form a leadership team at first and, in time, let the Spirit affirm, through the church family, whom he has chosen as elders.
#3 Elders must love people. He has a shepherd’s heart. He loves interacting with the body. He can’t be aloof. He must show a definite heart for the whole church, not just one area/ministry of the church.
#4 An Elder must be a man of one book. He may read other books regularly, but He knows God’s Word intimately. He uses Scripture to counsel others. He cannot make biblical decisions regarding church (or even life) without really knowing the Bible.