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Are Young Elders Scriptural?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by KingJ, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. What's your view?

    A good friend of mine was made an elder at his church recently. I am happy for him. But .....he is 33.

    So, I was looking through scripture on qualifications for elders mentioning / suggesting age and found nothing (apart from elders = elders :speechless:).

    It's a joke imho. It should be a clear-cut rule in Christianity that elders cannot be younger then 45 / 50. Elders = elders = older people = 45 plus. I guess the question is what respected church would appoint young elders?

    Youth = youth = inevitable mistakes / naivety. Elder > 50 > evangelist / apostle.

    Some applicable verses so you don't need to hunt them.

    1 Tim 3:1-7 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He 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?

    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— 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. 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, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 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.

    1 Tim 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity

    1 Tim 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,
  2. Some churches call all the clergy, helpers, ministers........ Elders.
    Elder being one proven in the Word in wisdom and maturity.

    Jesus was like 33 they say. I think He did a pretty good job.

    Now if they have a position called the "youngers" then he might check into that one first.

    You know someone born again at the age 55, i would put them in charge of nothing or minister at 57. I would find a helps he could be part of. 3 years young in the Lord is not very old.

    If you look at Job, His elder friends just made Job more miserable and spoke wrong about God. It was the young guy Elihu that spoke right about God, saying Job you multiply your words against God. Just shut up and stop blaming him!!! (paraphrased a bit)

    He was the only one that Job did not have to sacrifice for because he was speaking as He heard God, the rest where just throwing worldly knowledge mixed with religion.

    I have heard it takes years of Maturity to be called to be an Apostle or Prophet. Often they served as something else for awhile first before that anointing is there.

    It also would depend on how fast one is willing to put the Word first and learn. There are some believers that have been saved for 20 years still going around saying the Lord is mysterious in all his ways. I mean 20 years and you still don't know the will of the Lord on things? Something is wrong there.

    Be blessed.
  3. Generally, I agree with you here that there is a lot to be said for the experience that can only come with age.

    In answer to the question "what respected church would appoint young elders," in my experience, the most influential people in a church are rarely the ones who hold official positions. If a younger people are observed to be faithful and mature leaders in a congregation, giving them an official title is really just a formality that reflects the church recognizing what they were already doing anyway. That, with the fact that the official responsibilities of elders can vary greatly between churches (sometimes they're not even called "elders," or recognized with any official title at all), making a clear cut "age rule" about it across all of Christianity seems a bit unnecessary to me, and could potentially cause more damage than good.

    That being said, I do agree with you in that I have observed that generally, older people do make better leaders, for the very reasons you describe, but there are enough exceptions to that observation that I don't see why a rule about it would be necessary. Also, I'm sure most of us will have witnessed the tragic phenomenon of a young, seemingly mature Christian becoming ruined after being handed a position of authority before they were ready for it. I think young people are probably more likely to be negatively impacted by being given authority prematurely, but older people aren't immune to it. It just means we have to be more careful to give young people the tools and mentoring they need to understand the authority they wield, so they aren't ruined through its misuse.

    Anyway, these are just some thoughts I had while considering the situation you described. I guess you know your friend. If he's not ready for a position of authority, you can always talk to him about it.
  4. I would say if Timothy was able to appoint overseers and ministers, he was qualified to be an elder, regardless of his age. It is not physical age that is important but spiritual maturity.
  5. #5 KingJ, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
    Hi, but physical age can be directly related to spiritual age. But never vice versa. :cautious:

    Timothy was full of the Holy Spirit, a perfect preacher. But dare he counsel my wife and I on marriage. A responsibility of a respected elder. I must find these scriptures and see the extent to which he was involved in selection. As far as I recall Paul and Barnabas had the lead say.
  6. Jesus was God. He was ready to be an elder at 7 :p.

    I have been thinking about 3 years saved at 55 < 10 years saved at 20-30 and don't agree. The office of an elder / overseer encompasses experiences / wisdom not just from scripture. If there life shows they looked after kids etc and the only disqualifier was them not being 'saved', they are better elders then any youngster.

    The example of Job is food for thought, but that is not to say, Job himself should now qaulify. Clearly those advising him neither.

    I strongly feel we need to add grey hair as a requirement. Let's be dead honest with ourselves. Who here will take life advice from a 33 year old? An elder is the guy in the church you go to for ...repentance, life advice, prayer, personal problems etc etc.

    Sorry, I can't accept it.
  7. My friend is on cloud 9 at the moment, no point discussing anything. He is big, I would probably get a smack if I offended him :D.
  8. One thing I've learned about being a leader... it doesn't take long before something happens that makes you wish you weren't one.
  9. I think terms of maturity in the New Testament are not very well understood? Example in 1 John...Children are those who are basically new believers..no matter the age of the flesh. Young men are those who have a understanding of the gospel to the point that satan (the accuser) cannot through condemnation have power over them. Fathers are those who understand the great mystery that Christ was the Word and was from the beginning the source of all things. Maturity in New Testament terms is a matter of grace and knowledge and has very little to do with the age of the flesh. Although one could reason that those who have endured in faith have also gained in earthly age. :)
    "As your days, so shall your strength be"
    God calls me Olivia likes this.
  10. I Thank God that I was the one there leading as what might happen to the person if I was not there.

    Like the girl who came to gave her life to the Lord at a service I agreed to preach. After she was done she stood up and asked me in front of everyone if God would heal her stomach. She was going into surgery I found out later.

    I thank God I was there, had the other Pastor been there teaching that Night (I was there as a favor to fill in, not my kind of denomination or belief) She would have left to have surgery thinking God sometimes heals, sometimes don't. You just never know with God.

    Leader that wish they are not leaders are doing to much under their own strength, and it will wear you out quick.
  11. "You know someone born again at the age 55, i would put them in charge of nothing or minister at 57. I would find a helps he could be part of. 3 years young in the Lord is not very old."

  12. Maybe. Sometimes reluctant leaders end up being great leaders. I'm sure you can come up with a few examples from scripture.

    God seems to have a knack for putting unlikely people with all the wrong qualities in the strangest of places.
  13. that is true. As leaders, we have to watch being worn down. Lots of times we try to help many who really don't want help or do what they are suppose to do. They just want someone to cry to and it will wear us out emotionally getting involved with those the Lord never said get involved with.

    One couple I was helping with marriage, neither one would do a blessed thing concerning scriptures, but always wanted to come back and tell me how bad it was. I had to cut them off, this calling me at 3am to "pray" when they would not follow even one scripture. I got a servant of people mentality and not hearing the Lord and helping those he said help.

    I have since learned, Not to get involved unless the Lord says to get involved. Lots of those crying and wanting, not many willing to do any doing.
  14. Sort of a spiritual leadership "prime directive?" Sit ready at the helm controls and wait for God to say "make it so?" How can I fit an earl grey into that... :cool:
  15. ______________________________________________

    Good answer, Beloved.
    That's why Moses had to get leaders of 50's and 100's, etc.; and Moses only handled the more serious matters.
    There is al so a question of those people who want to get close to the Ministry: some by constantly serving banquets for only the Minister(s); and, yes. those who are not spiritual enough for the Ministry, and use the Ministry as a pillow to "cry on".
  16. #16 MichaelH, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
    My son Drinks Earl Grey, big Geek my son.

    I learned something from a minister I was under. (Prison) and had to learn it again, I guess once you get that pastor status you don't think all those things you learned apply anymore...... Nope, wrong.

    Someone come to ask him for prayer, and he said NO, I am not praying for you or anyone unless the Lord brings you up in my Prayer time. He said bring me your scriptures, that fix this and I will agree with you.

    This person was pretty hurt by this comment, and walked away.

    I got it though, we can't teach people that we are their source, we have to teach them their answer is in the Word. We have been training folks the wrong way and running ourselves into the ground doing it.

    If you can't take 5 minutes to write down a scripture, then you need more than just a prayer. This scripture alone would save lots of marriages, but who cares to obey God?

    1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

    I can't stand to see a believe sit and cry about a problem who has been saved 5 years as if there is no God. David Cried, but shook it off and said........ "shall I pursue after this Troop?" David encouraged himself in the Lord and got something He could put his faith on again.
  17. Are Young Elders Scriptural?

    Someone mentioned Elihu. That's a great example. Doesn't mention his age, but God definitely used him.
    Now this:
    "Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the house of their fathers, by their families; from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shall you number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the Tabernacle
    of the congregation."

    So there is an age appropriate for the placing of elders in the congregation (Church). The Lord Jesus was thirty years old when He was baptized and then led into the wilderness to be tempted. He was fullfilling the Law even at His calling!
    Anyone else would only be "helps", but not a have a part or function in the Ministry of the Lord.
    The elders are those who have matures in the faith, and "...you have overcome the wicked one...you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and have overcome the wicked one...". And, eventually, that is where the Lord must draw the Ministry.

    Beloved, Walk in the Truth.
    KingJ likes this.
  18. _______________________________________

    And YES, to I Pet. 3:1-5 _ We are called to teach the Church how to fend for themselves by relying o the Lord: not by putting their faith in the Ministry. But there are some who call themselves "ministers" and believe their job is to defend the Word and the Church. Kind of reminds me of Absolom: how he won the people ove r with enticing words.
  19. #19 Mitspa, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
    If any are sick among you let them call for the elders, not look up a scripture, but call for the elders... maybe that "pastor" needs to look up some scriptures?:)

    I understand your point Mike, but this sort of teaching can cause more harm than good?
  20. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
    (Act 14:8-10)

    Faith comes by what? hearing.......... Just wanting prayer and not wanting to hear is not going to help them.
    pray for me, pray for this, pray for that.............. I want to know what your believing.

    Well, believe that God is just going to work it out.

    How is God going to do that? What God say about it?

    Well, that his will be done.

    Their in trouble.

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