ELDERS AND SERVANTS
God's ordering for the Kingdom life of His People in a locality calls for others to assist the Elders. Paul, in his letter to the congregation of Philippian Believers, lays it out:
"To all the Saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi,
with the Elders and Servants".
It should be noted that this letter is addressed to "all the Saints". This is not a hierarchy! There are not three kinds of believers being addressed here.
Nevertheless, although every Saint is called to be godly and holy, for Elders and Servants the requirement is more so.
Notably, Paul links truth to godliness while reminding Titus about appointing Elders:
"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness".
The ministry of Servant began to emerge in Acts chapter six verse one. A need arose for men to formally oversee "the daily distribution" to the widows.
The Elders instructed the Saints to "seek out" suitable men whom they would appoint. (For more on Servants refer Kingdom Servants on the Menu).
The basic instructions as to who can be considered for Eldership were first given to Titus and Timothy.
“… if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.
For an overseer must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict,” Titus 1’6-9.
"This is a faithful saying: If a man desires to be an overseer, he desires a good work.
An overseer then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach;
not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the People of God?);
not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil," 1 Timothy 3'1-7.
These instructions apply to those who would be elders and those who are responsible for appointing elders.