Diotrephes loved to control people. He excommunicated those who disagreed with him. He wouldn’t allow the apostle John in his church. Elders should never be like him because he was an arrogant, self-willed man.
As an elder, you are in the people business. Being an elder is an entirely people-oriented job. You have to be good at relating to people, because you frequently have to work with people who are critical and difficult. If you aren’t good at relating to people as an elder, you will cause more problems.
“He may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6). If a young believer is placed in a position of leadership too early, they can become puffed up. It takes time to know the devil’s strategies and to know your own weaknesses. An elder must be a mature Christian.
Why was hospitality important for elders in the New Testament churches? In what ways is hospitality still essential to the ministry of a pastor-elder?
Why must elders be men of integrity? What are the consequences if pastor-elders are not men of integrity?
Study the quality of gentleness. Why is it so crucial for pastor-elders to be gentle?
Meet with at least two elders and ask them which of the qualifications covered in this lesson they are doing well in and which are more of a struggle for them? In other words, none of us measures up perfectly in all areas. Ask them to identify their areas of strength and weakness.