Question:

We are stuck in the selection of elders for our church, Only one brother qualifies to be an elder. In the absence of a church eldership, who does the selecting of a faithful brother to lead the church? Please help. We very urgently need the answer.

Answer:

The design of the local church is such that one person never leads it. Elders are always mentioned in plurality in the Scriptures, so if you have only one man qualified, the church must wait until they have two or men qualified to be elders.

Regarding the selection of elders, we take a hint from the appointment of the first deacons, recorded in Acts 6. "Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them" (Acts 6:2-6). Even though the apostles were inspired men, they did not select the men to be appointed. Instead, the congregation was asked to select the men based on the qualifications given to them. Once the congregation selected the men, the apostles then appointed them to the position.

Later, preachers were used to appoint elders. A list of qualifications were sent to two preachers (Timothy and Titus) and Titus was specifically commanded to appoint elders as part of his duties. In addition, we find two other preachers, Barnabas and Paul, appointing preachers in the areas where they worked. "So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed" (Acts 14:23). Thus, we learn that appointment to the eldership was not limited to just the apostles.

However, don't confuse appointment with selection. The church is to select qualified men and a preacher is to appoint them to the office.

Response:

I agree with you. Thanks for the clarification.

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