What was the purpose of appointing elders and why was this done “with prayer and fasting”? There are several reasons that the right kind of leaders must be placed in the local church for it to continue to grow and expand the gospel. Consider these key principles that make qualified elders in the church so important:
- Elders are responsible to maintain and teach the truth of the gospel of grace as they did in Acts 15 so that false teachers do not “secretly bring in destructive heresies” that weaken God’s plan and purpose for the church (2 Peter 2:1).
- Elders are required to be “examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). Paul is very specific about the qualifications required of elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. For this reason, the appointing of elders is not a casual matter and must be done through dependent prayer and fasting.
- Elders are to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you…willingly as God would have you…and eagerly” (1 Peter 5:2). Paul says the same thing; “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the flock of God” (Acts 20:28).