Question:

I worship at a church of Christ that has no elders. There are qualified men who do not desire the office. There is a sound church of Christ nearby that has elders. Am I putting my salvation in jeopardy? Should I move my membership? My desire is to be pleasing to God.


Answer:

By definition, men who do not desire the office of elder are not qualified. "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work" (I Timothy 3:1).

We know from the example of Sardis that a church can be generally bad and still contain some faithful Christians. "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy" (Revelation 3:4). While being in a bad congregation makes it harder to remain faithful, it does mean that a Christian's salvation is not dependent on the faithfulness of the congregation he attends.

But in this case, while a congregation should grow to have elders, a lack of elders simply means more growth is needed, not that the congregation is in sin.