Does an elder "assume" the position of leader or is he appointed?

Should the oversight meeting be open to all elder brethren of consistent walk in life, or only to a few, who “assume” the care and rule of the meeting?

I think one qualified by God for such a work would be very slow to “assume” anything; 

1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1: 6-9; and 1 Peter 5:1-5 give us the qualifications of an overseeing elder: first, he must” desire” it (or “stretch forward” to it, as the original expresses). But that is not enough; he may even be “consistent in walk and life,” and yet fail to manifest the necessary qualification for eldership. Does he rule his home well for instance? or is it a matter of common knowledge, that he is ruled in the home? An overseer of this type is a great hindrance, for sometimes it is the power in the home that seeks to rule the church by his means.

Has he a “good report of them that are without”? Does he “hold fast the faithful Word”? Has he a pastor’s heart, to feed the flock of God?

I think one qualified by God for such a work would be very slow to “assume” anything; he would be apt to do the work, show fitness for it, and have a heart for the Lord’s people, but it would not be for him to push himself into a prominent position; rather his fellowship would be sought. Elders caring for the saints should be on the look out for brethren who are manifesting any spiritual activities, and seek to encourage such, remember that age comes on apace, and that soon perhaps their work will need other hands to take it up.

W.H.