A Board of Elders

William R. John

In the Richmond (Indiana) Church of Christ Bulletin dated November 19, 1972, the following announcement was published: "At the beginning of each new year the congregation is given the chance to evaluate the elders. Each man is appointed for a three-year-period. At the beginning of 1973 is due to be reappointed for a three-year term.

In the business world we understand that corporate structures may elect or appoint (and re-elect or reappoint) a board of directors every two or three years. We also realize that denominations, outside the bounds of scriptural authority, appoint or elect a "Board of Elders" to serve a predetermined length of time. But where is the authority for those who call themselves of Christ to "appoint and reappoint elders for a three year period?"

In Acts 14:23, in speaking of the apostle Paul and his company, the scripture states, "And when they had ordained (appointed NASV) them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed." For how long were these elders to serve? When did they have to be reordained or reappointed? I believe that any serious student of the Bible can ascertain from God's Word the answer to the above questions. The Bible gives no authority for a specified length of service or designation pertaining to a reappointment.

This is just another example where men are not content to stand upon the "oracles of God" but would rather be like the people who for sometime have upheld "the doctrines and commandments of men." Colossians 3:17 still say, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name (or by the authority) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

March 22, 1973