The Apostle Paul lays out the qualifications for church elder in 1 Tim 3 and again in Titus 1. The lists include:
The husband of one wife
He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity and having children who believe
Able to teach: Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Not addicted to wine or pugnacious
Not accused of dissipation or rebellion.
Free from the love of money, must be above reproach as God’s steward
Not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil
And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil
Loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled
Pinelands is blessed to have many men who fit this description, and we have also enjoyed several guest preachers who exhibit these same qualities. So what about calling one of these men? Peter adds another aspect to this discussion in 1 Peter 5. He states:
Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.
Peter brings in the necessity of calling to ministry. Men should not serve under compulsion – because they feel obligated or compelled by earthly influences – but voluntarily. Men should serve according to the will of God – because of a strong sense of calling.
The men who have graciously served our church by preaching during this transitional period are all welcome to apply to be the next pastor of Pinelands, however, each of us as church members must be careful that we do not so strongly encourage a man that we move into compelling him. Certainly, the Lord uses the words and counsel of believers to accomplish his will, however, the Holy Spirit is responsible for bringing clarity to a man’s heart regarding how he should serve.
Thank you, as always, for your prayers for this process and for Pinelands. Leave a comment with your thoughts.
Committee:Thanks for your hard work and dedication, I am sure that We the congregation is continuosly praying for you as a body with an enormus responsibility also individually and corporately to the Lord our Savior for the choosing of a pastor. Is it asking too-much for you to give an update to the congregation ,Nothing elaborate -- e.g. total applications , if any how many under consideration , We know you are all working hard but not every member is able to access a computer . Just a thought. The Lord bless you all and give you the wisdom to choose wisely. William "Woody" Woodburn