This is a snippet from Chapter 4 of The City Gate by John Alley.
On a recent Sunday morning I asked my church this question: "What one thing, more than any other, if we prayed for it and saw it come about, would do more to improve the lives, and lift up family life, and bless and protect this church and every church in the city?" The answer was: City Eldership
The qualification for church elders laid out by the apostle Paul are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. In the denominational era of the last five centuries, in a church world in which the Body of Christ has been largely disintegrated in institutional segments, church leaders assumed that the biblical references to elders "in every town" meant that, no matter how small the congregation, elders were to be drawn from the best of the available members of the congregation.
Thus it was that we applied the specifics of Paul's instructions in that context, i.e. within the life of the congregation. And in that way, fishing from that pool, we ended up with good people - doctors, teachers, businessman, farmers, and the like, serving as congregational elders and then seen as the spiritual leaders of that church along with the ordained minister/s.
But the truth is, these Scriptural guidelines for appointing elders were meant to be applied to those who had already been raised by the Lord to the fivefold ministry. And the place where we find a "pool" of these ministers is not in any single congregation, but across all of the Body of Christ of the town or region. This is where we can and do happen to find a whole variety of called and appointed ministers of Christ, who have been recognized for their calling and set apart for that purpose. And it is to these, the ministers of the churches, that the qualifications set out by Paul are to be applied when appointing elders.
The book goes on to expound further - it can be purchased from the city gate book website. That site also has links to amazon, and other places it can be purchased online.