I am a big believer that God uses all sorts of personalities to advance his Kingdom. We see this in Scripture. Biblical figures display a wide array of strengths and weaknesses, cultural backgrounds, and varied gifts. Moses was not as articulate as Paul, Peter trusted quicker than Thomas, Rahab was a risk taker and Priscilla was an excellent teacher. So let us not make the mistake of assuming that God uses uniformity to accomplish his purposes. There is room for a multiplicity of personalities to accomplish great and mighty deeds for the Lord.

That said, there are some roles that require a baseline of non-negotiable qualifications. I am thinking especially of the office of pastor-elder. This biblical office, created by our Lord to provide human spiritual leadership over local congregations, is not open to anybody regardless of giftedness or qualifications. While it requires humility and sacrifice to hold this office, it is not humble and not right to ignore the qualifications for the sake of anti-authoritarian, democratic, or other cultural ideals. A man who holds this office must be:

  • A Blameless-Character Man         1 Tim 3:7; Tit 1:6
  • A Called Man                                   1 Tim 3:1; 1 Pet 5:2
  • A Family Man                                  1 Tim 3:4-5; Tit 1:6
  • A Hospitable Man                           1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:8
  • A Humble Man                                1 Tim 3:6; Tit 1:7; 1 Pet 5:2
  • A Mentoring Man                           2 Tim. 2:2; Tit.1:5
  • A Self Controlled Man                   1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:7-8
  • A Sensible Man                               Tit 1:8
  • A Sexually-Pure Man                     1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:6
  • A Shepherding Man                       1 Tim 3:3; 1 Pet 5:2
  • A Teaching Man                             1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:9

Unless you are comfortable with going around apologizing to other creatures for what the Creator was written, you will champion these qualifications in your local church! You will allow for men of varied personalities, giftedness and backgrounds to hold this office, but you will not give it away to a man just because he is wealthy, winsome, has been around for a long time, is loyal, is a man of stature and poise, wants this office, is hip and in touch with culture, is creative, or can rev up a crowd with his oratory skills. By guarding this office, we guard the churches that elder-pastors lead and serve.