On Becoming an Elder
Acts 14:23 – And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Last week I was ordained as an elder at my home church along with another man. My parents were there, my kids were there, my girlfriend and her kids were there, and a church full of friends were there. It was humbling. The part that was the most humbling is when I looked around at the group of men laying hands on me, I realized just how deep and wide their ministries and spiritual fruit goes. Our head elder is such a tender and quiet-spoken man of faith whose ability to mentor other Christian men is amazing. We have another elder who is an itinerant pastor at a church about 40 miles from us. Another man runs our recovery ministry. And that is just a couple of the men! I could go on about the rest of the nine men who make up the elder council, but it would be nine stories of the same….strong men of God who have blessed me over the past 10 years I have been attending CCF.
Revelation 11:16 – And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God
Along with the elders, another man was ordained with me as an elder. This man is older and his knowledge of the Bible and his heart for God is such a blessing to me. I look at what people have said about him and his spiritual fruit and think to myself, “Wow! How do I fit in to this group?”
One thing is consistent with all these men. They have not let the title of elder become a reason to say “I’ve arrived.” The servant hearts of these men is so evident. Their ability to speak Christ, love Christ, and bring others to conversion just amazes me. I blessed to be a part of this group of men.
After the service, during the altar call, the other new elder and I were standing together at the front of the church talking when a mom walked up with her 12-year old daughter. The little girl came up to us and said, “I want to give my life to Christ.” I melted.
Acts 16:5 – And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
The wide eye innocence in this girl’s eyes and her fear of coming forward reminded me of how I felt when I was 12 and gave my life to Christ. She was in tune to what we were saying to her. As we prayed and asked her to repeat what we said, I could see in this little girl the fear melting away and being replaced by peaceful confidence. Again, I remember that feeling when I was 12 just following my conversion to Christ.
The little girl brought her friend with her. I saw the mom and the two little girls a little later after the service and she explained that the other little girl was inquiring about becoming a Christian. Again I melted.
God gave me a gift on Sunday. Not only did He allow me to become an elder at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship, but he showed me a glimpse of what happened when I was 12. He shared with me His heart for the children and showed me just what our church’s future will look like. It will look like this little girl. It will look like fear being replaced by peaceful confidence. It will look like the eyes of Christ.
After leaving the church, my girlfriend, parents, and 4 crazy kids all went to lunch and enjoyed each others’ company. We prayed. We talked. We tried to keep the kids from starting a food fight in the middle of Ruby Tuesday. It was amazing to just celebrate what God does in people’s lives to turn us around from broken and needing to filled and on fire.
I do have a prayer request for everyone. Please keep me, my family, and my girlfriend and her family in prayer as we navigate the future in Christ’s name. Please pray for God to protect me from Satan as He uses me in the role of elder. Pray that God keeps me true to the verses below. Thank you for the prayers.
1 Timothy 3:1-13
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.