23 Characteristics of a Church Elder

In Acts 20:18-38 Luke records a most heart-felt speech from the Apostle Paul to his close companions—the elders at the church in Ephesus. Besides discovering the emotional investment Paul developed with the spiritual leaders of the local chushepherdrch, we learn some vital characteristics of a faithful local church overseer. Below are twenty-three such characteristics that Paul alludes to in this penetrating message. These several characteristics may offer tremendous benefit to anyone seeking to lead as an elder of a local church today.

  1. Invests time in the lives of his flock (v. 18)
  2. Has a servant’s heart (v.19)
  3. Maintains an attitude of humility (v. 19)
  4. The ability to persevere through trials (v. 19)
  5. Never refrains from sharing the truth (v.20)
  6. A devotion to teaching God’s Word (v. 20)
  7. An evangelistic urgency (v. 21)
  8. A yielding to the Holy Spirit (v. 22)
  9. An acute awareness of persecution for the sake of the Gospel. (v. 23)
  10. Self-denial (v. 24)
  11. Dedicated to preaching the scriptures in its entirety (v.27)
  12. Sensitive attentiveness to the dangers of temptation (v. 28)
  13. Protects the members of the local church from dangerous threats to their spiritual growth (v. 28)
  14. Care for the church (v. 28)
  15. Ability to recognize false teachers (vv. 30-31)
  16. Allowing those the elder has trained/disciple, the freedom to lead others (v. 32)
  17. No desire for materialism (v. 33)
  18. Strong work ethic (v. 33)
  19. Takes care of his own financial responsibilities (v. 33)
  20. A heart for the marginalized, weak, and oppressed (v. 34)
  21. A generous giver (v. 35)
  22. Emphasizes prayer (v. 36)
  23. A genuine and emotional love for the local church (v. 37)