By God’s perfect design, every congregation of the Lord’s church should have qualified men serving as elders. In Acts 14, as Paul and his traveling companions visited different cities, “they appointed elders for them in every church” (Acts 14:23). In Titus 1:5, Paul instructed the young preacher to “set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city.”
Elders have a spiritual responsibility. In 1 Peter 5, the bold apostle, who was also an elder (1 Peter 5:1), describes the role of these men as shepherds. He instructs and commands, “shepherd the flock of God among you” (1 Peter 5:2). Elders are responsible for protecting, leading, and caring for their congregation’s spiritual needs.
Elders are to be spiritual examples. In the following verse Peter writes that these men must “[prove] to be examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). Not only do they lead, but they also lead by example. All members should be able to examine and strive to imitate how elders live, speak, and serve.
Finally, Peter reminds these “shepherds” that “when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” While the role or office of an elder comes with a level of responsibility that many will never know, their eternal reward will be even greater.
Having men who are willing, qualified, and capable of serving as spiritual shepherds is not only part of God’s design and plan; it is a wonderful blessing to any congregation of the Lord’s church.