In considering who should take on eldership in a church it is right and necessary that we look at the passages in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 to establish the qualifications of elders. In looking for overseers we want to find those that match up to these stipulated characteristics. However, I suggest that it is wrong to treat these passages in a tick box manner. In using that term, I allude to the approach whereby you go down the list and see if someone ticks every box.
What I suggest rather, is that the passages are a photo-fit of what an elder should be. By giving the characteristics they show what an elder should resemble. Both relevant passages are introduced by a summary statement which states that an elder should be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2) and “blameless” (Titus 1:6). When looking for an elder you are looking for someone who has nothing in their life that would lead to obvious shame. You are looking for someone with a steadiness in their character which is not blemished by inappropriate behaviour. You are looking for a reliable dependable person. The statements that follow in the passages then give you a guide as to what you should look for to establish that a man is “above reproach” and “blameless”.