The Bible is silent on this issue, which means that wisdom and a prudent application of broader biblical principles must guide our decision.
Nowhere does the Bible give precise instructions concerning how churches should select elders. Yet there are biblical principles and patterns that should inform how churches go about this process:
In the Bible, we find prayers of praise to God, prayers of confession, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers that lift up specific requests to God (Ps. 111; Ps. 51; 1 Cor. 11:24; Phil. 4:6). There’s no verse which says that a church gathering must contain four distinct times of prayer, each of which covers one of these four different postures. But we believe it’s prudent to do so for the sake of being deliberate about each, and for the sake of teaching the congregation how to do the same:
In order to answer this hotly contested question we need to make sure a few biblical pieces are in place.
The New Testament gives the local congregation final authority in matters of discipline (Matt. 18:17; 2 Cor. 2:6) and doctrine (Gal. 1). This means that there are times when the church as a whole should welcome in new members, remove members who move away, carry out church discipline, elect elders and deacons, and decide on other serious matters.
There are a couple reasons why this business should not be done in the context of a regular worship service.
Does the New Testament pattern of a plurality of elders in every church preclude the position of senior pastor?9Marks
In the New Testament, the normal pattern is for churches to have a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1; Jas. 5:14). Does this mean that no single man among them should be called the “senior pastor” and possess a larger measure of relational and institutional authority?
Whenever you do them, announcements feel awkward. They interrupt the flow of worship. They inject mundane matters like church potlucks into the middle of praising God for his holiness and grace.
So where do you put them? This is certainly a judgment call—there’s no biblical teaching on this. And every place has certain advantages and disadvantages. That said, placing announcements at the very beginning of the service, even before the call to worship, seems to least disrupt the service.
Many modern churches have tended to confuse elders with the church staff.
Biblically speaking, all elders are pastors. Peter tells the elders among his readers to “shepherd” [Greek: pastor] the flock of God that is among you” (1 Pet. 5:2). Paul told the Ephesian elders to “care for” [Greek: pastor] the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). And the only time the noun “pastor” is used in the New Testament there is no indication that it is a different office from elder (Eph. 4:11).
We would discourage it. Infant dedications have no Scriptural warrant. God nowhere commands Christians to have a public ceremony in which they dedicate their infants to him, nor is there any hint of such a practice in the New Testament.
Plus, there’s the danger that young Christians will interpret the event almost mystically, as if the child receives some type of special “coverage” or “force field” upon dedication.