Question:

When one elder relocates to another district and there is no one to replace him, who leads the church? Is it the remaining one elder?

Please explain to me with clear scripture references because we have this problem at our congregation.

Answer:

A congregation with only one man qualified to be an elder does not have an eldership. Elders in congregations are always referred to in the plural (Acts 11:30; 14:30; 15:2,4,6,22-23; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18; I Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; I Peter 5:1,5).  The consistency in the examples is notable.

As a result, when a congregation no longer has a plurality of men to serve as elders it must go back to functioning like a newly started congregation, which means having congregational meetings for the men to decide the business that needs to be accomplished.

Question:

Thank you for the clarification. The one elder doesn't want to step down. He asks for a passage from the Bible were an elder stepped down.

Answer:

This isn't a matter of saying he is no longer qualified to serve as an elder. The problem is that there is no scriptural support for a congregation having only one elder. He will have to prove that God allows a congregation to have only one elder. As I pointed out, all statements regarding elders in the church have always been in the plural. Since he cannot prove that a congregation can have only one elder, he must accept that he cannot serve as an elder until another qualified man is found in the congregation. If he refuses to accept the situation, then he no longer is following the biblical pattern and is demonstrating that he is no longer qualified to be an elder.

Response:

I agree with you, Brother Jeffrey, and I will try to seat with the one elder and the deacons to talk about it using the Scripture you sent me. I just pray that he understands and have the fear of God.

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