The Office of Elder

The word “Presbyterian” is taken from the Greek word, presbuteros. It is translated into English as “elder.” The Presbyterian Church derives its name from the form of church government we utilize- a church that is led by “presbyters” or elders. The very name suggests someone who is mature in their faith. We don’t do this simply because we think it’s the most efficient way for a church to operate but because we see this in the Scriptures.

Even in the Old Testament, elders were tasked with leading God’s people. Moses, thankfully, listened to the wise counsel of his father-in-law and utilized such men! In the New Testament, we are given some clear instruction on the character qualities of an elder in 1Timothy 1 and Titus 3.   He should be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, manages his own family well and sees that his children obey him with proper respect. He must not be a new Christian and must have a good reputation with those outside the church. Elders should also be able to teach.

What are elders supposed to do? I Peter 5:1-3 tells us:

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:  shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (ESV)

            Put simply, elders are to see their role as shepherds. Shepherds lead their flock. Shepherds feed their flock. Shepherds protect their flock. Shepherds care for their flock.

The Elders of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church have called for nominations for the office of elder. You will be provided forms this Sunday that you can use to nominate those men who you think meet the biblical qualifications for the office. Nominations will be accepted until September 25th. You may place your completed forms on Paul’s desk or in the offering plate during the month of September.