Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 19 Number 4 April 2017
Page 9

Encouraging Young
Men to the Eldership

John Keith

It is a wonderful thing to see young men who show an interest in the Bible and in the church; it gives a sense of hope for future generations. The preachers actively working now in the vineyard of the Lord will not be around forever, and we need to plant a crop of young “seed sowers.” We dare not forget, however, that not only does the church need sound Gospel preachers, but she also needs biblically qualified men to assume the role of elders in various congregations of the church. I fear we encourage young men to preach to the exclusion of encouraging them to consider for the future the awesome responsibility of overseeing the flock. The very reason Paul left Titus in Crete was for the important task of appointing elders that things there might be “set in order” (Titus 1:5).

Elders, according to the Bible, are not merely good businessmen or logistical strategists; they serve as watchmen over the flock, ensuring that the church operates within the divine precepts of Scripture. This being the case, elders must know the Word of God just as well as the men who herald the Word from pulpits week in and week out. Elders should not be appointed who happen to meet most of the qualifications. Rather, they must be mature men who, with years of study and preparation, have determined that the position of bishop is something they desire (1 Timothy 3:1). Further, they have been willing to work to meet all of the necessary qualifications given by the apostle Paul.

It is a lamentable thing for our Lord and His church when, in the absence of the local preacher, an eldership must hire out the teaching and preaching of God’s Word because the elders in place are not “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2). The church is being assaulted by critics and post-modern influences from within and from without, and she needs biblically educated men who are willing to rise up and “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

I Can Do All Things through Christ

The congregation that is pleasing to God has a positive attitude concerning His work. This attitude should permeate the whole membership—whether great or small—as members are truly men and women of faith, with the body of believers being in one accord and maintaining a healthy relationship with the divine Word. We need to progressively believe in the power of the divine message to radically change and positively reform our own personal lives and the lives of others. With such a strong faith in the power of the divine message, we will then be emboldened to take the divine message to our family, friends and neighbors in a measure and a frequency that God Himself and good men will applaud. With such potential before us, let us devote ourselves to a renewed study of the Word of God. With such a renewed study of the divine revelation, we have valid opportunities to grow beyond spiritual infancy and childhood unto the status of spiritual ones and spiritually mature men and women of God. Surely the prospect of genuine spiritual growth should motivate and mobilize the family of God.

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