Elders in the Lord’s Church need encouragement. Their office is the highest office anyone could ever attain, but it carries a weight and a responsibility unlike any other.
Too often, elders do their best, yet receive so little encouragement. I hope this post helps lift their spirits a little bit.
I am not an elder, but I spend a lot of my time with elders, and I can–at least to some extent–appreciate their role and responsibility. I do not always agree with what elders decide, but, through spending so much time with them, I appreciate what they do, and I want to hold up their hands.
So, this post is for the elder…
…who hasn’t slept much lately because you want to win back that wayward soul, but you just are not sure the best way to approach him.
…whose wife was removed from the ladies’ group text at church the day you were appointed to the office.
…who hears the whispers around the building that maybe you’re getting too old for this and it’s time to pass things on to the next generation.
…who visited 5 people last week, then got lit up in the foyer on Sunday for the one visit that was not made.
…who finally took his wife on that 40th-anniversary cruise (in year 42 of marriage), only to get crushed by a member because you missed their second-cousin’s-brother-in-law’s funeral while you were out “seeing the world” instead of “doing your job.”
…who has a wife who wonders why no one will talk to her any longer, now that her husband is one of “them.”
…who cries in private over the growth of a desire by some influential members to move beyond Scripture, but who teaches a Bible class week after week, holding fast to the Truth.
…who is about to vote for a budget decrease, and who knows that there will be major blowback (mostly likely by people who give less than anyone).
…who shakes hands every Sunday, then receives a letter from one member for not shaking her hand, because, obviously, “you must not like me like you do those other folks.”
…who tries to delegate, only to be asked a thousand questions about minor matters. Then, when you say to go to the deacon who is in charge, is told, “I thought you were supposed to know what was going on. You’re an elder, right?”
…who holds Bible studies on a regular basis and teaches a Bible class, but who is told almost every week that “no one in this town wants to hear the Truth anymore.”
…who, every time you stand up to make announcements, sees that one member who folds his arms and makes it very obvious that he doesn’t want to hear from you.
…who is thinking of stepping down from the stress and strain.
This is for you: “When the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).
Elders, this is for you.
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn