1 Timothy 3:2, 4
Married male; “he must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.” (NASB).
A personʼs character is of the highest importance for a position of Elder with B’ney Yosef North America. Any nominee should be recognized by his extended community as a person of character. Exodus 18:18-26 states that leaders over the nation should be capable in their fields, fear God, be men of truth, and hate dishonest gain. They must be servant-leaders, following the example and instructions of Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:25-27), and demonstrating the qualities displayed by the Apostle Paul in Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-7. First Timothy 3:7 admonishes that an elder “must have a good reputation with those outside the church.” No person of questionable character should be a representative of B’ney Yosef North America. First Timothy 3:2 states that elders must be blameless, temperate, and of good behavior. First Timothy 3:6 indicates that humility is also essential to his character. This is a higher calling than a congregational leader since it represents to the nations a number of congregations and peoples.
A candidate for an elder of Bʼney Yosef North America must have proven his leadership skills, not only within his congregation, but also as someone who promotes unity between congregations. Hence, as an elder in First Timothy 3:4 is required to have managed his house well, a B’ney Yosef elder should manage his congregation well.
First Timothy 3:6 states that an elder should not be a novice. No one should rise to elder of Bʼney Yosef North America who has not been involved for a minimum of seven years in an organization that understands the future unification of Judah and Ephraim. Neither shall he be considered if he has not functioned in an elder role in a stable Hebrew Roots or Messianic congregation for at least five years. He should be respected within the congregation where he serves and should not have been removed from his position. A present elder position is not required if he has not been thrust out of the congregation and meets the above requirements. Any leader who has looked out for the spiritual welfare of a congregation should be included. The terms pastor, rabbi, minister, shepherd, undershepherd, priest, and bishop are all titles which designate a spiritual advisor. Even the term deacon in the Baptist sense of the word is acceptable if the deacon has served in a ruling spiritual body of the congregation. A deacon who is merely a financial administrator should not be considered qualified by that service.
If a man has not had influence over a good number of people, he should not be considered for a position of Elder for B’ney Yosef North America. Fundamentally the Elders serve to represent the entire B’ney Yosef North American group, so if a person does not already represent a good number of people, then he should not be considered.
An elder of Bʼney Yosef North America should bring unity and peace rather than foster contentious debate and division. We are attempting to unite the tribes, not break them into further divisions. One should detect peace from his demeanor. First Timothy 3:3 states that an elder must “not be given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous.” Elders should desire and have abilities in resolving conflict. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9).
An elder of the Bʼney Yosef North America should have a vision that extends beyond the Hebrew Roots movement and/or the Messianic movement. He must understand that the house of Yosef will include people from the church and possibly other religions who are called by God to join us and, in time, will hear Yeshua’s call to repentance.
Exodus 18:22 suggests that leaders will be asked to judge major disputes, so Bʼney Yosef elders should be willing to do so. Elders must be able to make righteous judgments while not fearing man, not favoring the rich or poor, and not accepting bribes.
Not Divisive, Prejudiced, Easily Offended, or Prone to Slander
Elders should not be known as ones who stir up controversy or are contentious about doctrine. First Timothy 3:3 describes an elder as “not quarrelsome.” He should not be one who forces his opinions on others. He should respect others who see issues differently and be willing to allow great diversity in the community without contradicting Torah. Elders should not exhibit racial prejudice since Israel is comprised of those coming “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). Elders should not be easily offended. They must not quickly lay blame. They must be quick to forgive. Elders should not slander other people, living or dead.
Elders must be willing to operate as a group. The Elders of B’ney Yosef North America should give a unified face to the movement. It cannot consist of factions attempting to rise to prominence. The goal of a unified Ephraim/B’ney Yosef must be held superior to personal doctrinal beliefs.
Adherence to One Law
B’ney Yosef North America’s Elders must adhere to the concept that the Law, as given for guidance to Israel, applies to all who are now identifying themselves as Israelites and joining together in this assembly of individuals, home assemblies and congregations. They must also acknowledge, however, that lack of adherence by others is not a disqualifying marker for eternal life.
Because the regathering and restoration of Israel is prophecy in action, and because we are attempting to actively align ourselves with that prophecy, the Elders must have spiritual discernment, and many should have the predisposition and desire to press in to prayer to reach the heart of our heavenly Father, receive His words, and communicate them in a humble yet powerful manner.
Recognizing of Talent
Elders should be able to recognize talents in other people and utilize them for the best of the organization. They must be willing to delegate by turning jobs over to others. This is oversight, not micromanagement.