I made the statement, “It is evident to me the elders led the local church in the NT times.” But someone in disagreement, believing no scripture indicates a person should be in a position of leadership over other Christians, asked me why I said that.
Elders were not just older people. They were appointed by the church planters.
When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you
Younger men were to be subject to their elders.
1 Peter 5:5
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Elders ruled or led
1 Timothy 5:17
The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
The one in the office of overseer must manage their family to be able to care for the church of God.
1 Timothy 3:1-5
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),
Elders are to guard the flock of which they have been made overseers. Being an overseer IS being a leader.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Elders are to exercise oversight for their flock in the right way
1 Peter 5:2
shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness
The statement was made that elders were set-down into positions of lowly serving.
But appointing someone is not to “set down”into lowly serving.
This is what Jesus said in Mark 10:42-45 about leading:
42 Calling them to Himself, Jesus *said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many
This does not mean no one is a leader in a local church.
This is the actual meaning of the word Kathistemi:
1. to set, place, put
a. to set one over a thing (in charge of it)
b. to appoint one to administer an office
c. to set down as, constitute, to declare, show to be
d. to constitute, to render, make, cause to be
e. to conduct or bring to a certain place
f. to show or exhibit one’s self
1. come forward as
So people are not “put down into lowly serving,” but are set over the church. But as Christ said, we are to lead by serving.
So yes, it seems evident to me that elders are to be leaders.