Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 9.
“The way appointed by Christ for the Calling of any person, fitted, and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the Office of Bishop, or Elder, in a Church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the Church itself; and Solemnly set apart by Fasting and Prayer, with imposition of hands of the Eldership of the Church, if there be any before Constituted therein;…”
1 Timothy 4:14
The local church consists of members. It also consists of officers, those ordained by Christ to lead the public worship of God and administer discipline. One of the offices is that of an elder. Elders of a church are not imposed upon a local church. They do not come and serve for a couple years and then are whisked away to another part of the country by an overseer. The office of elder is not a mantle that anyone can take upon themselves. The process for calling an elder looks quite different according to the Bible.
All power and authority necessary for the running of a local church Christ has given to the local church. When it comes to appointing elders, the members of the local church are to mutually agree to installing someone to that office. This is not a light decision to be made. Prayer and fasting are to be undertaken. If there are fellow elders, then they ought to lay hands upon the man set apart to be an elder.
When you first join a church, it may seem that the elders in the church are in a league of their own. Yes, they do have a different position than the other members. Yet they are still fellow members, recognized by the membership for the office. They have been appointed by Christ, but the local church has a role in granting that authority contained in the office of elder.
Questions to Consider
- How do elders get chosen in your church?