Questionnaire for a Prospective Elder
How do you determine if a man is not only qualified to be an elder, but also compatible to elder at your church?
Mark Dever and Bobby Jamieson recently discussed Capitol Hill Baptist’s elder selection process on Pastors Talk. At one point in the process, elder candidates fill out a questionnaire, which is reproduced below. Perhaps you’ll find it useful in your church and ministry.
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This questionnaire is not a formal examination of your fitness for the office of elder. Instead, it is simply a way for the elders to gain a basic, initial sense about some matters related to your desire and qualifications for the office. Generally, short answers will suffice.
1. How did you come to know the Lord?
2. Do you desire to serve as an elder? If so, why?
3. If you’re married, what does your wife think about the possibility of you serving as an elder?
4. Tell us about your immediate family. If you’re married, how is marriage going? If you have children, how are they doing? If you’re married but don’t have children, please tell us why that is. (In all this, please be brief.)
5. If you’re married, what does biblical complementarianism look like in your marriage? If you’re single, how would you intend to practice biblical complementarianism should you get married?
6. To the best of your ability to discern, do you think you meet the qualifications for elders given in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9?
7. In the last twelve months, have you intentionally accessed sexually explicit material of any kind?
8. Do you give regularly to the church?
9. Do you have any near-term plans to leave CHBC?
10. What are your regular habits of personal devotion and, if applicable, family worship?
11. What do you do for work, and how is it going?
12. Are there any current circumstances in your job, family, schedule, or other responsibilities that would make it difficult for you to serve as an elder?
13. Do you wholeheartedly agree with CHBC’s statement of faith and church covenant?
14. Do you wholeheartedly agree with CHBC’s church polity? (Church membership and discipline, congregational authority, plural elder leadership, deacons as servants of the church.)
15. Is there anything in CHBC’s teaching ministry and overall ethos that you disagree with or have serious questions about? (For instance, what is taught in topical Core Seminars.)
16. Do you disagree with or have reservations about any aspects of CHBC’s teaching on gender or our application of this teaching?
17. Can you give us any examples how you’re already serving CHBC in elder-like ways? (For instance: hospitality, discipling, teaching, counseling.)
18. If you become an elder at CHBC, are you willing and able to submit to the whole body of elders when they make a decision you disagree with?
19. Should you be nominated as an elder, are you aware of any members of the church who would likely vote no or otherwise oppose your candidacy?
20. Can you happily serve with every other current elder?
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For more on elder candidates, read: