The New Testament reflects an elder based church government. Three interchangeable terms are used to describe the position of elder-leadership in the church. “Elder” (Presubteros πρεσβυτερος) describes spiritual maturity, “Pastor” (Poimen ποιμην) describes shepherding, feeding, guardianship and protection, while “Overseer” (Episkopos επισκοπος) describes authority, oversight and leadership. The general title of the leadership appears to be the elder and the general picture of leadership in the church is that of a plurality of elders who are responsible to guide and care for the church.
On the flip side, the church also has responsibilities to her elders. The church must properly provide for, protect the reputation and holiness of elders and select her elders properly.
How Should The Church Choose Her Elders?
Instantly we have to ask the question, “How should the church choose her Elders?” The answer to that question is the purpose of our text today. Please turn to 1 Timothy 5:22-25. While you’re turning there I’ll remind you of some of the background.
Early on in the church the Apostles (Acts 14:23) then the apostolic delegates (Titus 1:5) and finally the elders in the churches (1 Tim 4:14) were responsible for the actual ordination of elders in the church. The selection of Deacons, we can see in Acts 6 was done by the entire body of believers and their acceptance and subsequent ordination was performed by the Apostles.