Eligibility Question for Elder Nominee

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Should an individual that has consistently not taken communion be considered for nomination for elder?

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Participant

Withholding oneself from the means of grace is a sign of significant spiritual conflict.  I would encourage the elders to help that person resolve this spiritual conflict first.  As an elder this person will be responsible for the serving of communion and it does not fit with the office if this person would not participate in the sacrament as an office bearer.    

Community Builder

That situation seems unfathomable.  If a person has consistently not taken communion, that person is dealing with some serious spiritual/moral issues that requires a visit from the pastor or elder.  That person requires counselling. He/she should not be the one to provide spiritual direction to anyone else. How can one who doesn't participate in communion oversee communion?

An elder should live an exemplary, godly life. He/she should know the scriptures intimately and should be one who can provide godly, biblical, wise advice in all circumstances.

We too often look for "any warm body" to fill a slot on the elder nominee list, and that makes a mockery of the office and calls into question the integrity of the church's leadership.

I agree with Tom and Keith. If a person is not participating in the Lord's Supper, then there is a serious spiritual issue they are facing, possibly related to a lack of assurance regarding their salvation (1 Cor. 11:29). If they are not "holding firmly to the trustworthy message [of the Gospel]," that is, if they themselves are not strongly encouraged by the Gospel, it is hard to see how they would have the ability to "encourage others by sound doctrine" (Titus 1:9).  

My personal opinion is that there is not enough information here to answer the question.  I think its obvious that if this person refuses to participate in communion, in a belligerent or devisive way, in a church where communion is a sacred sacrament, that they should not be considered eligible.  The form for ordination even states that "Elders must provide for... regular celebration of the sacraments..."

My concern here is that we don't know why this person has "consistently not taken communion".  Is this a person that travels a lot?  An alcoholic in a church that serves only wine?  Has celiac disease with no gluten-free option?  There could be a variety of reasons this person has not taken communion.  If the original poster has concerns about an elder nominee, I would encourage her to share those with her elder or in a communication to elders or council.  

-m

Community Builder

Matt, I can't imagine any scenario where your concerns would hold water.  If that person is an alcoholic -- especially struggling with alcoholism -- or the need for a gluten-free option, there wouldn't be a church council that wouldn't accommodate those special needs.  And if he is an alcoholic without any sense that he is struggling with his alcoholism, he wouldn't qualify to be an elder. (That wouldn't be the quality of a godly leader who must serve as an example to the congregation)

And if that person travels a lot to the point that he/she consistently misses communion -- and presumably many other services -- that would also disqualify that person from serving as an elder.

 

As mentioned in an earlier post, elders must be exceptional, godly men/women who live lives of integrity.

We seem to be too quick to select office-bearers who appear to be ''good enough'' to serve in office. In some cases, we seem to have lowered our standards to the point where serving as an elder has become equivalent to serving on some church board or committee.  When that's the case, the church's leadership has lost its integrity.