Spiritual Maturity Based on Qualifications for Biblical Elders
An evaluation designed to help determine a person's Christian maturity, measured by the standards set forth in Titus 1:6-9, 1 Timothy 3:2-7, 1 Peter 5:1-4, Acts 20:28
This booklet represents a study of the qualifications for elders of a local church as outlined in the New Testament. The target readership is elders and potential elders. However, as many have recognized, all of these qualifications are listed elsewhere in Scripture as standards for Christian maturity. What makes these unique for elders is that they are collected in two primary lists in Scripture targeted for elders, along with a few other passages. In essence, the qualifications represent the standard of spiritual maturity that all Christians should strive to attain. Anyone wanting to grow spiritually would be well-served to study the picture of maturity found in the elder qualifications.
This study is a joint effort of the Biblical Eldership Resources team. But we acknowledge the input from many elders who through many interactions have unknowingly affected our understanding of these qualifications and help us to see them as not being limited to leaders of the church, but as characteristics to which all Christians should aspire.
We first discovered the idea of a qualifications test from John Hopper and the Great Commission Churches Organization. We have taken the idea and expanded on it for a more robust study. But we appreciate their work in this area.
We want to dedicate this booklet to the elders of local churches around the world, those who "shepherd the flock of God among you," day in and day out. Their faithful and sacrificial efforts in service of the Chief Shepherd will be duly rewarded with the crown of life when he returns (1 Pet 5:2, 4). While many others may benefit from this study about elder qualifications, it is elders and potential elders that were on our radar screens as we wrote this book. In a day and age when popular preachers and writers are given much prominence in the Christian community, local church elders are the real spiritual heroes, though unsung and unheralded.
May the Lord help elders, as a result of this study, grow in their character and in their ability to shepherd the people of God. And we pray also that this blessing would extend to those who look over the shoulders of elders to embrace this study in their own pursuit of spiritual maturity.
The BER team
Chuck Gianotti, Th.M. (Dallas Theological Seminary), elder, teacher, team member of Biblical Eldership Resources, author, itinerate preacher, husband of the love of his lifeâ€“Mary, a father of two grown children, grandfather, canoeing aficionado, outdoor enthusiast, woodworker.
Jack came to know the Lord Jesus at age 7 at Camp Berea (NH); He and his wife Ruth have been Serving full time in the Lordâ€™s work since 1972. Jackâ€™s main efforts have been in planting new assemblies, Bible teaching, discipleship and leadership training. They live in Bethany Conneticut.