Getting Rid of a Bad Elder (Revised)

respect your eldersI get emails —

Hi Jay,

I’ve read some of your articles and recently read one about elders firing their minister. My husband was once fired from a position, and it was a mess. And as we have moved on and are serving at another church, doing so has made me question the lack of accountability for elders.

It seems to me that elders really do not have finite, effective accountability other than church members gossiping about them or complaining to them. In most cases, the only time an elder is asked to resign is if he has an affair, embezzles money, or hurts a child. What would be the process for removing elders that simply aren’t fit for the job (though are good men and faithful believers), or as a group have struggled to lead the church biblically, financially, and relationally?

It doesn’t seem wise to me that our God would leave any leader with absolute power, without real consequences for his/her actions. 

Thank you in advance for considering my questions.

I get this question a lot — maybe more than any other. Although I’m in a middle of a series on the mission of the church, I figure I could provide links to prior posts on the subject.

Further on Elders (Getting Rid of Bad Elders: Prevention)

Further on Elders (Getting Rid of Bad Elders: Cure, Part 1)

Further on Elders (Getting Rid of Bad Elders: Cure, Part 2)

There are more. Search “Bad Elders” in the box in the upper right to find them. But these three posts cover what little I know on the subject, including materials from earlier posts.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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4 Responses to Getting Rid of a Bad Elder (Revised)

  1. The links take me to a sign in, not to a blog post.

  2. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Should be fixed now. Thanks.

  3. Christopher says:

    Do we know the young men mocking Elisha were, in fact, eaten? I seem to recall the NIV saying they were mauled (which means they may have survived).

  4. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Christopher,

    The Hebrew is that the bear “tore” or “ripped” them. “Mauled” is a fair translation. No translation that I can find says “eaten.” Then again, bears don’t usually maul an animal for fun. It’s a prelude to supper.

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