THE NATURE AND DUTIES OF RULING ELDERS OF THE CHURCH. Titus 1.5 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— . Confusion Over the Ministry in General.
Huck Finn's analysis: "In Mark Twain's book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Huck got into conversation one day with Joanna, the youngest daughter of Peter Willks, who had died. He told her that in the church of the Revd Harvey Wilks (her uncle from Sheffield) there were 'no less than seventeen clergy,' although, he added, 'they don't all of 'em preach the same day - only one of 'em. 'Well, then, what does the rest of 'em do? 'Oh, nothing much. Loll around, pass the plate - and one thing or another. But mainly they don't do nothing.'' Well, then,' asks Joanna in wide-eyed astonishment, 'what are they for?' 'Why, they're fore style,' Huck responds. 'Don't you know nothing?'"
John Stott: "There is much contemporary confusion about the nature of the ordained pastoral ministry. What are clergy? Are they primarily priests, presbyters, pastors, prophets, preachers or psychotherapists? Are they administrators, facilitators, managers, social workers, evangelists or liturgists? There are many options." (Calling Christian Leaders: Biblical Models of Church, Gospel and Ministry, p. 114).
"The ruling elder is a Biblically mandated office with Old and New Testament warrant, established and regulated by God in His Word for the health of the local church and the advancement of the kingdom of God in the world."
The qualifications are given as guidelines to help us select good, faithful men to serve us in the leadership of the church. There are no perfect men and the qualifications are not designed to find perfect men. But they will help us get an eldership that is fully qualified to do the work God has assigned. Praise God for these good men who have the desire to do this important and sobering work.” - David Posey, FocusMagazine
Jerry Stapella and why as Pastor, "I love elders."“We called him the Italian Stallion. He is at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and his name is Jerry Stapella. This man owns a yacht air conditioning business in Fort Lauderdale. He looks like Hoss Cartwright on steroids. You don’t want to fool with this guy! He is now almost blind and walks with a cane, but I still would not take him on. He is as tough as nails. He was led to Christ by Dr. James Kennedy and later he became a ruling elder at Coral Ridge. If I could go back before that time and show you the life of Jerry Stapella, it would not be pretty. There were lots of loose ends. But if I could show you the sweet beautiful man of God packed into that giant body, you would marvel. That big man became a giant ruling elder, in life, in faith, and in service—just like the photo. But he does one thing that reminds me of how important it is to look for the man of God’s choice and lay hands on him. Jim Kennedy has severe back problems. (Ben Haden has back problems. I have back problems. I think there is something in the Bible about preachers having to be predisposed to back problems before being ordained.) Every now and then, Dr. Kennedy can’t get out of bed. Ann, Dr. Kennedy’s wife, calls Jerry Stapella. Jerry comes over and literally lifts Dr. Kennedy out of bed and carries his pastor to where he needs to go. That is the picture; that is the portrait of an elder.Sometimes pastors need to be carried. And we need strong but loving elders who can help carry them and help carry the ministry.The truth is, behind that portrait of an elder carrying a weak pastor is the picture of Jesus Christ carrying you. We are all weak, and we all need to be carried. Each and every one of us ought to think not only about church leadership, but also about our response to Christ and to recognize that we are prone to wonder, that we need our Shepherd.You see, the portrait of an elder approved of God is the portrait of a man who looks like Jesus, who lovingly comes to us and carries us…all the way home.” - From a sermon, “Portrait of An Elder Approved by God” by Mike Milton