"Worthy and Tested!"
I was just on my knees thanking God for the elders of our church. The seven men who serve with me on the eldership team are each a gift of God to me and to our ministry. They breathe life into me. They pray with me, laugh with me, listen to me, challenge me and at times grieve with me. I love each one!
It’s been said that as the elders go, so goes the church. Each of the elders has a long track record of devotion to Christ and to His church. They’ve each been tested by fire and grown in faith. At least three have endured tremendous physical challenges. Years ago, two endured the agony of an unwanted divorce. Two have faced serious career setbacks. All have been humbled by crises, but each has seen God redeem these difficulties for His glory. In short, they have not just “gone through” tough times; they have “grown through” them!
The elders are men worthy of trust. None are perfect, but all are growing in their relationship with God and His people. Each of our elders is well connected in various aspects of the ministry. In addition, each has just accepted a special shepherding connection with six or seven of our staff members. While they do not “manage” staff, they do come alongside of them to encourage and pray for them.
Elders are shepherds. They don’t drive the sheep; they lead them and protect them. In our last meeting together, we all resonated with this quote from the Biblical Eldership booklet by Alexander Strauch: “Out of love, true elders suffer and bear the brunt of difficult people and problems so that the lambs are not bruised. The elders bear misunderstandings and sins of other people so that the assembly may live in peace. They lose sleep so that others may rest. They make great personal sacrifices of time and energy for the welfare of others. They see themselves as men under authority. They depend on God for wisdom and help . . . “
The writer of Hebrews says this: “Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” (Hebrews 13:17 NLT)
Please pray for the elders who serve with me: Cliff Bosley, Tim Jenkins, Kurt Leikvold, Roger Plank, Kent Sorenson, Dave Stoecker and Derek Weber. Each of these men is a greater blessing to me and to RMCC than you could possibly know!
I can hardly wait to see these men and many of you again this Sunday. Please go to your knees and pray for the elders and our ministry.