I really started thinking about this in church today. My church is in the process of appointing a couple new elders, and so for the last couple weeks here they have been printing the "Biblical Qualifications for Elders" in the program. I'll list them here for you:
- One-woman man: Faithful to his spouse, sexual desires under control, eyes that don't wander, appropriate relationships and respect for other women.
- Temperate: literally,, "sober" or "circumspect." Sensible.
- Sound Judgement: Non-impulsive. Thinking before acting. Having a clear spiritual perspective, able to discern spiritual matters and determine what would most please God.
- Orderly, Respectable: An organized, not chaotic life, beginning at home. Provides spiritually, physicaly, and emptionally for those under his roof. Not heavy handed but having the respect of his wife and children who obey. Home is God's first proving ground for leadership.
- Hospitable: a spirit of openness to others, sharing resources God has intrusted to him to have a ministry to others.
- Able to Teach: Qualified and mature in biblical knowledge, able to defend and teach sound doctrine to others.
- Not Addicted: Not given to excess in area or habitually using unhealthy substances or habits to handle life's addictions.
- Not Violent: Not given to angry responses when things don't go his way.
- Not Overbearing: Considerate, responsible, patient, gentle, forbearing, able to yield, kind, and fair.
- Not Quarrelsome: Not argumentative or competitive to the point where relationships suffer.
- Not Loving Money: Not greedy, content with what God has provided, not consumed by material things, a generous and sacrificial giver.
- Self-controlled: Able to say "no" with his mind when his feelings and emotions are saying "yes." Cooperating with the indwelling Spirit to make wise choices.
- Upright. Just. Holy: Doing what is right, fair, and pleasing to God.
- Not a Recent Convert: Not a new believer but someone who is mature in Christ.
- Good Reputation: God's Word lived out daily, spoken well of in the church and in the broader community.
- Hold Firmly to the Word: Stands firm in the Word, not swayed by popular opinions, political correctness, other pressures.
- (Based on Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3)
Some pretty solid qualities, right? Are these not qualities to seek after? I see these as qualities to encourage and push every husband, father, and leader that is grounded in biblical principles toward. Though these are qualities outlined in the context of what an elder in the church needs to have, I think they for the most part can have successful broader application.
These are qualities I desire to exemplify and live out. Though at this point in my life some can't be assessed yet (wife and children elements...haha), but most of the others are elements that can be pursued and that I know I can probably use some improvement in.
I think you would agree that organizations, our society, and world are in desperate need of sound leaders in our communities, families, homes, and relationships, and I believe that these qualities are a good starting point.
Something to think about. Till another day.