Before nominating someone for the role of elder, please (1) carefully read the LNBC Elder Qualifications included below and (2) obtain permission from the nominee to put his name forward. If there is an affirmative on BOTH points above, then please use the link below to make your nomination.
The Roles and Accountabilities of Elders
affirms that elders are invested only with the authority that they are given by
Christ. They are under-shepherds of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, (1 Pet.
5:2-4), and are responsible to execute His will and not their own in governing
the church. In other words, elders are not given authority to implement their
own desires, but rather to represent the desires of Christ.
The Elders are accountable for all aspects of the health of the church. Elder accountability at LNBC is a function of delegated authority under a congregational system of church governance. Elders do not rule over the congregation but instead submit to the authority of the congregation in carrying out the delegated responsibilities entrusted to them. Under this system of congregational governance, the primary functions of Elders are to lead, shepherd and oversee/govern the local church. These functions are fulfilled by 1) delegating responsibility to the Lead Pastor for matters of ministry strategy and staffing, and 2) direct responsibility for congregational care. Although not intended as an exhaustive list of accountabilities, the following is provided as a helpful guide to understanding these functions.
The Elders will lead the church by establishing the vision and mission for the church; implementing an effective congregational care structure; addressing challenges within the church related to doctrine, division, or discipline; engaging with struggling or unengaged members in the hopes of restoration; supporting and encouraging the staff; and empowering other leaders within the church.
The Elders will shepherd all aspects of church life by engaging in and ensuring the health of all ministries of LNBC including for example but not limited to guardianship, teaching, worship, prayer, evangelism, modeling, and relationship.
- With respect to the ministry of guardianship, they will guide, direct, and protect the members of the body, seeking to meet their needs and assist in any way possible, warning against harmful influences both internal and external to the church. (Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 5:15; 1 Peter 5:1-2)
- With respect to the ministry of teaching, they will ensure the appropriateness and effectiveness of Christian education, instruction and discipleship in all forms of content and methods. (1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9; 2:1)
- With respect to the ministry of worship, which is a ministry of the Word of God, they will participate in and ensure the health of corporate worship for rightful and God-honoring praise and encourage members to lead a lifestyle of worship daily. (Acts 6:4, 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 2:1-8)
- With respect to the ministry of prayer, they will maintain a strong personal prayer discipline and lead the church in corporate prayer. (1 Timothy 2: 1-4)
- With respect to the ministry of evangelism, they will lead by maintaining personal disciplines of lifestyle and verbal evangelism and consistently encouraging and equipping others to do the same. (1 Timothy 4:13-16; 2 Timothy 1:8-12)
- With respect to the ministry of modeling, they will personally guard their own lifestyle godliness, possess a healthy sense of humility, and maturity through the accountability of fellow elders. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:7-8; 2: 2, 6-8; 1 Peter 5:3)
- With respect to the ministry of relationship, they will engage in activities and ministries of the church and seek to actively build community, fellowship and engagement. (Acts 20:18-21)
Essential Qualifications and Spiritual Gifts of an Elder
Our evaluation of individuals who aspire to serve as Elders at LNBC includes a comprehensive process of evaluation of the qualifications across several areas of focus and spiritual gifts.
Calling: The ability to sense God’s calling on one’s life for a particular season of service to the body of Christ: “I think God is in this."
Character: derived directly from the biblical qualifications of an Elder as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:2–7 and Titus 1:6–9.
- Above reproach—Lead by example and demonstrate a lifestyle free from patterns of sin. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
- Husband of one wife—If married, be a devoted spouse. Otherwise, a man shall not be automatically precluded from serving as an Elder based on a prior divorce or being unmarried. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
- Temperate—Be self-controlled, enslaved to nothing, and free from excesses. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7)
- Prudent—Be sober, sensible, wise, balanced in judgment, not given to quick, superficial decisions based on immature thinking. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
- Respectable—Demonstrate a well-ordered life and honorable behavior. (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Hospitable—Be unselfish with personal resources, willing to share blessings with others. (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
- Able to teach—Be able to communicate truth and sound doctrine in a non-argumentative way and be able and willing to refute those who contradict it. (1 Timothy 3: 2; Titus 1:9)
- Not addicted to wine—Be free from addictions and willing to limit their consumption for the sake of others. (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- Not quick-tempered—Be gentle, patient, and able to exercise self-control in difficult situations. (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- Not contentious—Not be given to quarreling or selfish argumentation. (1 Timothy 3:3)
- Free from the love of money—Not be stingy, greedy, or for sordid gain, or preoccupied with amassing material things. (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- Manage own household—Have a well-ordered household and a healthy family life. (1 Timothy 3:4-5; Titus 1:6)
- Not a new convert/not a new believer—Have been a Christian long enough to demonstrate the reality of their conversion and depth of spirituality. (1 Timothy 3:6)
- Good reputation with outsiders—Be well-respected by unbelievers and free from hypocrisy. (1 Timothy 3:7)
- Not self-willed—Not be stubborn, or prone to forcing their opinions on others or abusing authority. They must be servant minded. (Titus 1:7)
- Loving what is good—Desire the will of God in every decision. (Titus 1:8)
- Just—Desire to be fair and impartial. Their assessments of situations and associated decisions must be based on scriptural principles. (Titus 1:8)
- Devout—Be devoted Christ followers, seeking to be conformed to His image. They must be committed to prayer, worship, the study of Scripture, and the guarding of their spiritual walk. (Titus 1:8)
- Holding fast the faithful Word—Be stable in the faith, obedient to the Word of God, and continually seeking to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. (Titus 1:9)
Competence: Defined as specific, Holy Spirit-endowed abilities, combined with skills acquired through training and life experience, including such things as excellent interpersonal and communication skills, conflict management skills, creative problem solving, the ability to “think in the gray”, and the ability to keep confidential information.
Cohesiveness: The intangible quality of being able to “fit” within the existing team and be a good “team player”. The ability to work effectively within and enrich the current circle of community and relational harmony within the council.
Courage: The ability, when needed, to enter into difficult exchanges and defend the faith, the church, and individuals in ways that preserve and maintain the community. The ability to speak the truth in love without destructive results.
The demonstration of the spiritual gifts of discernment, wisdom, leadership and teaching is considered foundational for those who serve as Elders; however, the presence of other gifts such as administration, encouragement, and mercy greatly enhance Elder functioning.
- Discernment: The gift of discernment is the divine enablement to distinguish between truth and error. It is the ability to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong. Scripture references are: 1 Corinthians 12:10; Acts 5:1–4; and Matthew 16:21–23. People with this gift: (1) Distinguish truth from error, right from wrong, pure motives from impure motives. (2) Identify deception in others with accuracy and in an appropriate manner. (3) Determine whether a word attributed to God is authentic. (4) Recognize inconsistencies in a teaching, prophetic message, or interpretation. (5) Can sense the presence of evil.
Wisdom: The gift of wisdom is the divine enablement to apply spiritual truths effectively to meet needs in specific situations. Scripture references are: 1 Corinthians 12:8; James 3:13–18; 1 Corinthians 2:3–14; and Jeremiah 9:23–24. People with this gift: (1) Focus on the unseen consequences in determining what next steps to take. (2) Receive an understanding of what is necessary to meet the needs of the body. (3) Provide divinely guided or given solutions in the midst of conflict and confusion. (4) Hear the Spirit provide direction for God’s best in a given situation. (5) Apply spiritual truth in specific and practical ways.
Leadership: The gift of leadership is the divine enablement to envision the future of the church coupled with a humble heart to serve others. Scripture references are: Genesis 12:1; Isaiah 43:18–19; Matthew 7:7; Matthew 20:25–28; Luke 22:27; John 10:3–4, 11; I Corinthians 2:9–13; and James 1:5. People with this gift: (1) Are servants by nature; eager to see the church prevail in the world. (2) Demonstrate spiritual foresight that anticipates the work of God. (3) Allow Scripture and prayer to inform their decision-making process. (4) Impart vision to others using clear communication. (5) Can assess significant past events and their potential for impact on the present and future. (6) Are able to think creatively and apply ideas and concepts in new ways. (7) Desire accountability in fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting the needs of those they serve.
Teaching: The gift of teaching is the divine enablement to understand, clearly explain, and apply the Word of God, causing greater Christ-likeness in the lives of listeners. People with this gift: (1) Communicate biblical truth that inspires greater obedience to the Word. (2) Challenge listeners simply and practically with the truths of Scripture. (3) Present the whole counsel of God for maximum life change. (4) Give attention to detail and accuracy. (5) Are committed to consistent personal time of biblical study and reflection.
Eldership and Male Responsibility
According to our understanding of Scripture, God has chosen to hold qualified males uniquely accountable for the condition of the church, and so the office of Elder at LNBC is a responsibility stewarded by men. We hold this position in a spirit of respect for others who interpret Scripture differently on this point. However, as a church, the following is our understanding.
In giving instructions to the early church, the Apostle Paul did not “permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12). His reason is NOT that men are inherently more qualified or capable (indeed many women have teaching and leadership gifts that exceed many men). Rather, his reason is rooted in the order of creation where the man, Adam, was first held accountable for the condition of the earth (1 Timothy 2:13; Genesis 2:15). This principle of male accountability is also seen in Paul’s teaching on marriage. He says, “the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church,” and so he is called to “give himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:23,25). In marriage and the church, we believe God holds males uniquely accountable for sacrificial headship, and so we follow the principle of holding qualified men responsible for serving in the office of Elder.