Pastors and Elders XII: The Requirements for an Elder (part IX)

The next requirement for an elder in 1 Tim. 3.3 is “no striker”.  This is not really referring to physical fighting – though if someone is getting into actual fights I would recommend you stand them down as an elder.

What it is referring to is the kind of person who is always spoiling for an argument.  The kind of person who is happy in conflict.  Look, conflict will always come.  Just teaching the truth of the Bible is controversial enough for most Christians!

But we should never be those gunning for a fight.

Sometimes what we teach at the Tree of Life cuts against a number of religious, denominational and cultural traditions.  We bring the Word of God in a way that may shock someone or kill a sacred cow or two.  But we should never, ever be the people gunning for a fight – “I’ll show them, I’ll get my grace guns out and shoot their legalism right down”.  No – we should never be that person.

Beware of the person who always has to take a contradictory view to everyone else.  The one who always sticks out.  Charismatics might label him or her a prophet or prophetess, but it’s more likely they are just carnal and divisive and spoiling for a fight.  Don’t promote them into your leadership team, you want leadership without drama.  You can’t stop drama in the church, but you can keep it out of your leadership team.

People who have the unhealthy need to always be right are not people who you can trust with the souls of others.

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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