Have you ever been forced to respect or follow orders from an undeserving employer? You know, the kind of person who loves power, and loves reminding you that they have it? Or perhaps you’ve had to put up with power-trip of an unqualified or ill-prepared professor because you understood that he held the power to affect your grades? A little closer to home, have you struggled to show love and respect to a parent who failed to offer the same?
Sometimes people hold positions of power or influence who are undeserving of either. This is a travesty. In addition to making a mockery of the office it also puts everyone under it in an extremely challenging position. People are forced to deal with the conflicting emotions of wanting to treat the office with the respect it deserves while also feeling that the person in the office is unrespectable.
This was the situation the Jewish people found themselves in before Jesus arrived on the scene. “Do what they say, but not what they do.” Those were Jesus’ words to the crowds as he considered the hypocritical example of the scribes and Pharisees. More precisely he said, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.”
Because the scribes and Pharisees sat on “Moses’ seat” as teachers of the law, they were to be granted due respect. The office they held demanded it. However, Jesus is quick to point out that while the office is to be respected, the officeholders were to be seen for what they were – hypocritical phoneys who didn’t practice what they preached. What an awful set of circumstances.
A people under obligation to show respect to unrespectable men, and to receive from their mouths words that they themselves neither believed nor practiced. What is the most likely result? Men and women abandoning the true words of scripture because those words were on the lips of hypocrites.
Thankfully, as Jesus addressed this hypocrisy, he knew that they day was around the corner when the spiritual landscape would be dramatically changed. The time was coming when the Lord would fulfill the promise he made through the prophet Jeremiah: “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jer 3:15)”
God has designed our faith in such a manner that every Bible teacher is expected to be a living example of the things he teaches. Every preacher ought to be a walking, talking illustration of the values and way of life he instructs others to follow. Instead of his hearers having to sort through the landfill of his life for a few morsels of palatable truth like the Jews had to do with the Pharisees, they should be able to receive his teaching with confidence. They should be able to look to the outcome of his life and expect that, by heeding his teaching and following his example, they might see the same blessed outcome in their own lives.
The New Testament writers assume a harmony between the words and actions of the church’s leaders. Unlike the case of the Pharisees where their hearers had to be warned about the disparity between their teaching and their lifestyle, the writer of Hebrews says concerning elders:
Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
A few paragraphs later, he adds:
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
The writer of Hebrews could confidently instruct his readers to imitate, obey and submit to their leaders because the men who held the office were commanded by God to not only preach, but to embody the faith. The people could “consider the outcome of their way of life” and see that the faith they preached was real, effective, and liveable.
Our calling as elders is to live in a manner worthy of Hebrews 13, and never put our hearers in the same predicament as those of the Pharisees. Would people find themselves closer to God and more like Jesus, if they imitated our lives? If they looked to the results of our character and life choices, would they see evidence of blessing? If they placed our teaching alongside our lives, would they see harmony, or hypocrisy?
Shepherds – Leading by Example
Teaching and demonstration, these two are never to be separated. In fact, the Lord has designed the Christian faith to be passed on in just this way. Not simply through the conveyance of theology, but through men living-out what they teach. The lives of the elders ought to showcase what it looks like when believers actually live-out the theology they claim to believe. In this way, their hearers can see that their teaching is not mere theory, but a real path to blessing and transformation.
As elders we must not only accept the fact that people are always watching our lives, but should invite them to do so. Like Paul, we should be able to tell people to, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Our character and lifestyle should not be something we feel hesitant about sharing with others, but should be regarded as an essential and powerful complement to our teaching.
Consider the apostle Paul’s instructions to young Timothy as he laboured to encourage the church in Ephesus:
1 Timothy 4:12-15 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.
Timothy was much younger than Paul and so he faced certain challenges as he ministered to the Ephesians. There were the natural temptations which accompany youthfulness in addition to the prejudices which are often held against young men. Paul offered a solution to both of these challenges – “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
Whereas some may have had a hard time receiving the teaching from such a young man, their respect would be gained when they observed his life. When others saw the authenticity of his faith through his character and lifestyle, and placed that alongside his teaching, they would be hard-pressed to find fault.
Notice also that as Timothy maintained his example, and gave himself to faithfully carrying out his shepherding tasks, those who watched him over time would “see [his] progress.” As one pursuing holiness, utilizing the means of grace, and faithfully executing his pastoral duties, Timothy would grow right before his people’s eyes. This is the calling of every elder.
Every elder is to continually grow in the faith; learning more about God and Christ; becoming more and more familiar with the scriptures; refining his ability to teach; making a habit of personal repentance and spiritual development; learning to better love those under his charge; and gaining greater self-control over his passions. When asked about an elder, the church should be able confidently say, “we’ve seen his progress.”
As Titus laboured in Crete, Paul encouraged him likewise:
Titus 2:7-8 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
The unbelieving Cretans had a reputation of being liars, vicious, lazy and gluttonous (Titus 1:2). In other words, they were the exact opposite of what believers were called to be. If Titus were to minister on the island of Crete, he would have to ensure that he not only taught truth, but that this life shone as a bright example of it. His character and lifestyle would proclaim Christ everywhere he went, and the Cretans would see the undeniable difference that Jesus makes. Further, by being a model of good works, Titus would ensure that when accusations did come, his accusers would be put to shame by his blameless character.
Notice from these few passages just how comprehensive our example is to be. Paul tells Timothy, “Set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” That covers just about all the bases, doesn’t it? In this short list we see that spiritual leaders are to remain exemplary in what we say, how we behave, what we feel, and what we believe. We are called upon to set an example in our words, emotions, beliefs, and passions. Just in case one might feel something is left out, Paul says to Titus, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works.” When one steps into the office of elder, he steps into a spotlight and offers his entire life as an example for others to follow.
Does all of this mean that elders are perfect, and that there is no room for failure? Of course not. However, even our failures are to be handled in an exemplary manner. Elders are to be examples in confessing sin, practicing repentance, and seeking reconciliation whenever necessary. Elders, like all believers, are sinners, sometimes weak, prone to failure and wholly reliant on God’s grace. In addition to modeling the pursuit of holiness, we must also model how to deal with our failures when they happen.
Elders: Above Reproach
When the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and to Titus in the letters we commonly refer to as the pastoral epistles, he used another phrase to describe the comprehensive example which elders must set for others. He said that elders must be above reproach.
He wrote to Timothy in Ephesus:
1 Timothy 3:2-3 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
And to Titus in Crete:
Titus 1:6-7 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
To be above reproach is to be beyond blame, or to be unaccusable. It means that there is nothing in this man’s character or lifestyle which could open him up to legitimate criticism. There is nothing which would cause others to undermine, or dismiss his ministry as an ambassador of Christ. There are no glaring character faults which might weaken his credibility and cause others to have a hard time accepting his teaching.
After stating that potential elders must be above reproach, Paul then goes on to give a list of specific character qualities which are essential to such a reputation. If Titus and Timothy were to find men who were above reproach, they would have to be men who met each of these criteria. We’ve already seen portions of these texts, but let’s look at them in full. Paul writes:
1 Timothy 3:1-7 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Titus 1:5-9 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you– 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
Since we, as a church, desire to follow the Lord’s design for spiritual leadership, we will spend some time contemplating these character qualities and consider them as qualifications for eldership. As we explore each of these qualifications and their implications, take the time to do serious reflection and self-examination to see where you excel and where you might fall short.
Qualifications for Eldership
First of all, if a man is to be considered for eldership, he must be above reproach in his home life. There is no better measure of a man’s genuine character, and the authenticity of his faith than how he behaves at home. For this reason, when examining a man for the office, a heavy emphasis must be put on how he loves his wife, how he raises his children, and how he manages his household.
The first aspect of a man’s home life which Paul would have Titus and Timothy assess is his relationship with his wife.
He Is Faithful to His Wife
Titus 1:5-6 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you– 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.
The Greco-Roman culture in which Paul and Titus lived tolerated, and encouraged sexual promiscuity. The wealthy elite were known to have dalliances with mistresses, and produce children with concubines, while also being legally bound to a wife. As Titus considered men for eldership, he would have to find men who understood that the cultural sexual ethic was wholly incompatible with Christianity.
To be the husband of one wife does not refer to polygamy, nor does it imply that an elder must be married. It means that a married man is faithful to his wife in all regards. He is physically, emotionally, and mentally committed to the one woman with whom he is joined. He does not express his sexuality outside the marriage bond, nor does he entertain emotional intimacy with other women. Such a man takes to heart the words of Solomon:
Proverbs 5:18-21 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths.
A husband of one wife is a “one-woman man.” He has eyes and affection only for the woman to whom he is covenantally bound. This goes far beyond simply remaining sexually faithful in marriage. It also speaks to the heart. As Jesus said:
Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
A one-woman man is not a man who succumbs to lust, whether toward the woman on the street, on the TV or on the internet. His sexual energies are focused exclusively upon the woman whom the Lord has provided for him.
In our sex-obsessed and pornography-laden culture, maintaining this sort of purity takes deliberate, vigilant effort. A man who is qualified to be an elder has learned how to use God’s means of grace, coupled with practical boundaries and personal safe-guards to harness his sexuality and practice it in a God-honouring way. This likely means that he is employing both internal and external controls in this life. On the one hand, he is maintaining his own spiritual life, and remaining close to God. On the other, he has implemented external standards and safeguards which protect him from needless exposure to sexual content or temptation.
Internet filters, accountability software, restricted modes on search engines and video sites, are all possible safeguards. By using these things, the wise man makes a modern application of Solomon’s instructions to “Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house… (Prov 5:8).” The wise man, who values his purity, will not be reckless in what he exposes himself to online or elsewhere.
Further, the man who is committed to honouring God with his sexuality will have a healthy sexual self-awareness. That is, he will recognize under which circumstances he becomes the most tempted. Is it when he is sorrowful, disappointed, frustrated or lonely? Is he most tempted when he is physically, or emotionally fatigued? With this type of awareness, he can anticipate temptation and learn how to cope with his weaknesses in a way which honours Jesus.
None of this is to deny the reality that all men are faced with sexual temptations. It is to say however that a godly man has learned how to respond to those temptations with self-control. He has learned “how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God… (1 Thess 4:5).”
The potential elder’s commitment to his wife will also be seen in how he interacts with women socially. He does not flirt, nor does he entertain flirtation. He recognizes that an emotional affair is as much a violation of his commitment to his wife, as a sexual affair. Therefore, he does not maintain ongoing, private relationships with the opposite sex online, nor does he allow for such a connection in the workplace. He avoids even the appearance of impropriety, thus preventing the possibility of accusations against him. In other words, where his interactions with women are concerned, he is consistently above reproach.
Elders are charged with calling believers out of a culture steeped in sexual deviance and into a lifestyle of purity, where sexual immorality and impurity is not “even named among us” (Eph 5:3). He can’t do this with any credibility if he is not first and foremost the husband of one wife.
Paul’s focus on a potential elder’s home life continues as he turns to how this man raises his children.
He Manages His Household Well
The pastoral epistles were written by Paul to men ministering in somewhat different contexts. In Ephesus, Timothy was helping churches which were established over a decade prior. In Crete, Titus was setting fledgling congregations in order. These differences can be seen in the instructions Paul gives each man concerning the examination of a potential elder’s home life. He writes:
Titus 1:5-6 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you– 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.
He likewise wrote to Timothy:
1 Timothy 3:4-5 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
It appears that these two passages focus on children at different stages of life. In Crete, the churches were so young that there would not have existed multigenerational believers. That is, there would not have been situations in which believing parents raised their children to embrace the faith into adulthood. There just wasn’t enough time. Yet, Paul instructs Titus that as he considered which men to appoint as elders, he would have to take into consideration the reputation of their children. Paul likely had in view teenaged children, or young adults, who were still at home. Kids old enough to live “debauched” lives, yet young enough that their behaviour could be used by opponents to discredit their parents.
When looking at the home life of the man in question, it should be clear that he has his household in order. Even if he has not had time to raise up the next generation in the faith, the state of his home life reveals his character and, consistency. This man has raised his children with loving affection, deliberate instruction, and consistent correction – and it shows.
Why would the reputation of a man’s children matter? You can imagine a modern scenario in which parents become disciples of Jesus but their teens or young adults have no interest in the faith. Instead, their kids choose to carry on in sin, just like the godless culture around them. Even to the point of having a public reputation of debauched, or perverse living (social media could help cement that reputation). In such a situation, if that father is appointed as elder, he and the church may be set up for heartache.
This man would have to deal with the sinful reputation of his child as a public figure. He would have to deal with accusations from people about his fitness for the office. He would have to face questions about his ability to manage the church while apparently failing to manage his home. He would have to deal with charges of hypocrisy from unbelievers as they compare the lifestyle of his children to the content of his teaching. He may even have to deal with his own doubts as he seeks to faithfully teach the church regarding matters of parenting and home life.
Some may think it unfair to make the behaviour of one’s children a measure of qualification for eldership. After all, our children are ultimately their own people, aren’t they? Yet it is the Lord himself who has made how one manages their household a measure of one’s fitness for eldership. He said through Paul, that an elder “must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
For these reasons, as Titus went from town to town assessing men for the office of elder, he would have to look for men whose households were in order. The men qualified for the office would be men who had well-managed homes, evidenced by the good behaviour of his children.
Must and Elder’s Children be Saved?
Paul states in verse 6 of Titus 1 that a potential elder’s children must be believers. As is clear from its various translations in the New Testament, the word for believers (pistós) can be understood to mean faithful, believing or trustworthy. Jesus uses the word to describe a good steward, while also using it to address Thomas’ lack of faith (Matt 25:21ff, John 20:27). Luke uses the word to describe various individuals who possess saving faith (Acts 10:45; 16:1). Paul invokes the word to describe the character of faithful brothers (Eph 1:1; 6:21; Col 1:2,7; 4:7,9). In his letter to Timothy, Paul uses the term to describe believers, in contrast to unbelievers (1 Tim 4:10). The word is also used to describe the faithfulness of the Father, and Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:24; 1 Cor 1:9; Rev 1:5).
How then should we understand the requirement that a potential elder’s children be believers? Both belief in terms of saving faith, and faithfulness in terms of character, are within this word’s range of meaning and so we should not be too dogmatic in one way or another. However, here are some things to consider:
It does not appear that the word in question is ever used to describe unbelievers in the New Testament (except potentially when Jesus uses the term to describe a good steward). Further, when the term is used in reference to individuals, and is not used to describe saving faith, it is used to describe the character of one who has previously exercised saving faith. It describes the faithful character of genuine believers.
In light of this, it is certainly possible to read Titus 1:6 as Paul instructing Titus to find men whose children are genuine believers. However, since the churches in Crete were so young, this likely does not have in view situations in which a man has successfully passed the faith on to his young children, seeing them grow up as faithful believers. Instead, it likely refers to men who had been converted, and who also had seen their entire households embrace the faith along with them. The faith of their children, and the ensuing faithful lifestyles of the same would spare these men the difficulties addressed above.
The main argument against the idea that it refers to belief in the sense of children being genuine Christians, focuses upon the sovereignty of God in salvation. Some may ask, “If the Lord is responsible for opening the hearts of individuals, then how could a father be blamed for the unbelief of his children?” This line of argumentation seems to assume that the Lord is obligated to provide all men equal access to the office of elder, and to do otherwise is unfair.
However, the Lord has complete freedom to establish a qualification for the office of elder which is dependent upon his working alone. He has, for instance, done just this in requiring an elder to have the ability to teach. We know that not all possess each spiritual gift, yet only those who have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to teach the scripture are permitted to function as elders. Could one accuse God of unfairness for not giving all men the ability to teach, thereby barring some men from the office? Certainly not. The Lord reserves for himself the prerogative to develop whomsoever he chooses for the office of elder, and that includes how he chooses to put their families together.
A man might seek to pass the faith on to his children, only to see them reject it. Another man might work to raise respectable kids, only to see them rebel. In either circumstance, the outcome is not guaranteed, and is in the hands of the Lord. Nevertheless, if a man’s household is out-of-order, and his children have a reputation of sinful and rebellious lifestyles, he remains unqualified for eldership.
It is possible however, that Paul is not using the term “believers” in reference to those with genuine saving faith, but to children who have a reputation of obedient, respectable living. In this view, even if the children are not Christians, they are to have a reputation of living respectable lives, with due reverence toward their parents. This interpretation seems to be preferred by most commentators and is certainly within the realm of possibility. It does however present us with a unique passage in which the word pistós is used to describe an unbeliever.
Whichever approach you take, the reputation of a man’s children must be considered when assessing him for the office of elder. His children must not have a reputation of rebellion or overt sinfulness, since this would give his opponents ammunition against him, and create a stumblingblock for the believers who are under him. It would raise questions about his ability to manage his own household and thereby cast doubts upon his ability to manage the church.
Raising His Children in a Dignified Way
We said that there are likely two different age groups addressed between Paul’s letters to Titus and Timothy. In his letter to Timothy, it appears that he is focusing upon younger children, who are still at home and under the authority of their father. He says of the potential elder:
1 Timothy 3:2-5 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
Having been established a decade earlier, the church in Ephesus had time to see young children grow up into adulthood in the context of Christian homes. As Timothy considered men for eldership in Ephesus, he would have to find men who embraced the Lord’s design for the home and sought to raise his children in the faith.
As the loving servant-leader of his home, this man cherishes his wife, and seeks to raise up his children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 2:25ff; 6:4). He has a home which is in order. His marriage is healthy and his children are submissive. His kids love and respect him and have a reputation of obedience. You can imagine how detrimental it might be to a man’s credibility if he were to hold the office of elder, while also having a reputation of a troubled marriage, or out-of-control kids.
Notice also that Paul says that this man must keep his children submissive, “with all dignity.” This speaks to the manner in which he keeps his household in order. As he leads his children to respect the office he and his wife hold as parents, he also holds that office respectably. He does not lord his authority over his family. He is not an authoritarian or a heavy disciplinarian. He does not demand respect, but behaves as one worthy of it.
Being under authority is already a trying task for a child, or anyone else. How much the more when an authority figure is unfair, unkind, sarcastic, condescending, demeaning, inconsistent, indifferent or unreasonable? A father who manages his household well avoids anger, authoritarianism; permissiveness; absenteeism; unkindness (criticism, demeaning, sarcasm, humiliation, short-tempered frustration); overprotection; unreasonable expectations; or a lack of affection. In everything that he does as a father, he is careful to obey Paul’s command to “not provoke [his] children [to anger], lest they become discouraged (Eph 6:4; Col 3:21).”
In many ways, our homes are the proving grounds for our faith. Marriage and parenting require us to exercise the fruit of the Spirit, the one-another’s of scripture, and every other spiritual grace. It is within the context of home life where we are the most vulnerable and the most authentic. In many ways, what we are at home, is what we really are. It’s for this reason that we can be sure that the character, or lack thereof, which a man exhibits in his home, will eventually rear its head in the church.
If a man is harsh, domineering, neglectful, unloving, unfaithful, undignified, and self-centered in managing his household, you can be sure he will be the same in managing the church. It’s for this reason that close attention must be paid to a man’s household when considering him for eldership. After all, if he does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
The Lord has designed the office of elder in such a way that we are men under constraint. On the one hand he has commanded us to be authentic examples of everything we preach, and on the other he has commanded believers to watch our lives and to imitate our faith. God has commanded, and everyone is watching! It seems that elders have no where to hide.
The command to be public examples sounds intimidating, but serves us well. It provides a healthy scrutiny which keeps us accountable. It also ensures that believers always have examples of the faith being lived out before them. It ensures that the gospel is never relegated to mere theology or theory, but that it is continually practiced before others.
Our calling to be examples to the flock means that we must live in a way which does not invite reproach. There should be nothing in our character, or home life, which opens us up to accusations of hypocrisy. By living in this way, we rob our opponents of ammunition to accuse us, while also ensuring that those under our charge are not put in the difficult situation of having to receive our words, while entertaining doubts about our character.
The major arena in which our reputation is supported or undermined, is that of our home. An elder must have a healthy, God-honouring marriage and well-behaved children.
As husbands, we are to have eyes only for our wives. We are to be devoted to her sexually and emotionally, taking appropriate action to guard our marriages and our purity, in and outside the home. As loving, servant-leaders, we are to invite the respect of our children, while raising them up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. We are to train our children to submit to our loving authority, while never resorting to unloving or undignified means to secure it. We should seek to model the perfectly balanced character of our heavenly Father who both loves and disciplines us.
In all of this, we must remember that elders are still human, and still subject to the same sin nature as every other believer. When minor sin or failure arises, we should model healthy vulnerability, confession and repentance and then continue leading as examples of God’s amazing grace.