Is a church without elders not following the Scriptures?


There are three churches of Christ in my town. I have attended all three. There is one, smaller than the other churches, that has had no elders or deacons for about 15 years. My wife likes to go there. However, when I ask about the need for elders and deacons, I hear from some members that no one qualifies. Fifteen years seems to suggest to me that there must be some problems. The man who appears to be the one in charge celebrated fifty years of being there. Should I not question the lack of elders, or should I look to the churches that meet the words of scripture?

Thank you for a reply and may God bless your congregation.


It depends on the situation. La Vista has existed for forty years and only had elders one year, but that is because the area is transient and we have rarely been able to keep qualified men in the area long enough to establish elders. I have no idea why this congregation was unable to have elders, but ask. Being a small group would give fewer possible choices for elders and it would not be unusual for none to be selected.

What matters most is that a congregation is following the Scriptures. If they don't have elders because they don't want elders, that is a problem. If they just don't have members that qualify then they are putting following God accurately first. A congregation doesn't get to pick who composes its membership. I've seen some places appoint unqualified men simply because they think they have to have elders no matter what. An unfaithful group can have elders and still be wrong.

To make a choice based on one criterion is not seeing the whole picture.

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