I'm just writing to ask what your opinion is on the appointment of elders. Do you think elders need to be appointed, or are there situations where they may take it upon themselves to call themselves elders (when one is the oldest man in the church, for instance)? -- Scott Burdon

Well, the Bible never records elders appointing themselves, though the exact manner of recognition is unspecified. All we have are the qualities to look for. I guess that way, regardless of how a man became recognized as an elder/overseer/shepherd, there is a standard to measure him against--to make sure qualified people are serving.

I suppose that if a few men called themselves elders and no one in the congregation objected, they might serve very well. In most situations, however, I believe some election/selection process would naturally take place.

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