Leadership Podcast – Qualities and Qualifications
We are talking about Elders. Well…Shepherds really. I know what the traditional view of an elder is. IT’s usually the man who’s never been divorced…the one who has kids who have all been baptized and he’s usually pretty successful in the corporate world. Yet, even though we refer to the scriptural list of what an elder should look like, these three qualifications are usually the ones that guide our decision process. Funny thing is, the qualification of “corporately successful” doesn’t appear anywhere in scripture.
What does appear in Scripture? Words like Blameless…Teacher, Submissive, hospitable, gentle, respectful, not greedy, devout…And these are just a few of them. I don’t know about you, but I look at that first word, “Blameless” and I’m out of the running. I can claim a few of the others, but not all of them. There are two ways to look at the lists in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus. We could look at them in a Pass/Fail way or we coudl look at them as a guideline. I don’t really want to get into which is the right way, because some church communities have decided to approach this idea differently and it works for them. Which again means that an elder in one church body may not be qualified to elder in another congregation.
The key here is about community. The community knows one another. There are those in the community who stand out. Those who are revered and respected…those who treat the community as if they are family. People who aren’t just respected for being successful, but being respect because they are involved in the community. They are helpful and thoughtful and interested in the community. The key to knowing who the qualified ones are begins by actually knowing each other.
Who do you know in your church family? If it’s the same 3 or 4 people that sit around your usual spot in the pew then you have a lot of work to do. If you have a pretty good grasp on who is who in your church family…or at least have a few people who you seek out each time you meet, then think about this. When I say these words again, who in your church family comes to mind?
Blameless…Teacher, Submissive, hospitable, gentle, respectful, not greedy, devout, upright…self controlled…A loving and devoted Husband…
Who came to mind? Why them?
Granted, we don’t know the people in our church families like we used to. The community dynamics have changed as we have moved farther and farther away from the church. but within each family, there are those who are attentive to others…those who care and those who seek to know the members of the flock. Maybe this is the time for you to spend some more attention on those people within your church family and get to know those people who came to mind?
In the coming podcasts, we’ll read through the list of qualities and qualifications found in both Titus and Timothy and what they may mean to the leaders of tomorrow.
Until then, Keep listening to the voice of your Shepherd and let him lead you forward.