The Biblical Qualifications

As we enter our season of nomination, be aware that the Bible tells us the kind of men worthy to serve as an officer in the church. God has shared two lists of qualifications that should characterize any elder in the church, and another list of qualifications that should characterize any deacon. During the church planting movement of the New Testament era, these qualifications helped identify ordained leadership. That should be true today, as well. The elder qualifications are set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 and the deacon qualifications are set forth 1 Timothy 3:8-13. 

These qualifications were never meant to summarize an elder or deacon. No elder or deacon is merely the summary of his qualifications. There’s more to his character than this. Instead, these features ought to be immediately and naturally evident in the life of a potential elder or deacon. This is true even as we account for a variety of temperaments and skills among ordained officers in the church. The biblical qualities are not negotiable.

This chart is meant to explore the elder and deacon characteristics drawn from 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Many of these qualities appear elsewhere in Scripture, occurrences of which are also organized in this chart. You can also visit this chart in Google Sheet form

For further study, consider not only reading 1 Timothy and Titus in their entirety, but also consult the various cross-references associated with these qualifications. You can do this using the ESV online

You may also be interested to know that the main training resources we will rely on in the period of nominee instruction (see the path of a nominee) are The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church, by Timothy Witmer and Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road, by Tim Keller.