What Should I Do if I’m the Only Elder in My Church?

The Opportunity before You

A pastor who is in a church in which he can’t find another qualified elder has a wonderful opportunity. The most basic part of a pastor’s job description is to make disciples. We want to disciple people toward the various callings that that Lord may place on their lives. In 2 Timothy 2:2, the apostle instructs Timothy to find faithful men to train and entrust to them the gospel.

The most basic part of a pastor’s job description is to make disciples.

Also remember that you’re not in an unusual situation. You’re not at a disadvantage or behind the curve. You are right where God wants you to be in the pioneering growth and establishment of that church.

Places to Start

Start with your membership directory. Pray for the men in the church by name. In your preaching, hold out to the men in the congregation that they should aspire to be qualified as an elder, whether or not they ever become one. 1 Timothy 3 becomes a picture of mature manhood and womanhood, of the kind of advancement and progress in the faith that every Christian should want. Hold that out for people as a vision.

Then, really spend time with men in the congregation, pouring into them, discipling them, investing in them. Read good books together, have them travel with you to conferences, grab coffee, grab lunch, become a part of their lives, and give your life away to them.

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons

Thabiti Anyabwile

This book lays out an application-intensive approach to seeking out and developing qualified church leaders. Thoughtful analysis of key passages in Acts and 1 Timothy are balanced with practical action points in a contemporary context.

Finally, be patient. Keep letting the Word do it’s work. Encourage men; give them opportunities to serve in various ways. And in time the Lord will, according to his own plan, begin to raise up men who will be qualified elders.

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