Thursday, 3 February 2011

Becoming an elder...

God willing, this Sunday I will be publicly recognised and appointed as an elder for Frontiers Church Exeter. I will be joining a team of three elders, Andy Rob and Steve.

It is a very exciting time for me personally. I feel that God has blessed me hugely and is asking me to carry more responsibility into the future here in Exeter. Over the last month I have begun to feel more of a responsibility as we have faced various challenges as a church. I am confident that I can make a positive contribution for the team while remaining equally sure that I am on rather steep learning curve!

Paul writes to a young Timothy in the context of Church leadership to endure like a soldier, work hard like a farmer, and remain disciplined like an athlete. When I started leadership training two years ago, we were told that statistically not all of us would survive ministry. A few months later the guy sat next to me crashed out. Success rates seem to be around 30% due to the unique challenges and pressures of Church leadership. I am looking to work hard and find a sustainable pace for fruitful ministry in the coming years.  

This Sunday will be a special day for me. I'll be thanking God for all the work He has done in my life and I'm really glad that my family will be there to share the experience with me.

In the New Testament Paul and Peter outline the qualifications for Eldership within the Church.

1 Tim 3v1 -7 "The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer [1] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, [2] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of byoutsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil."

Titus 1v "This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, andappoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, [3] and his children are believers and not open to the charge ofdebauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, [4] as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound [5] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it."

1 Peter 5v1-5  "So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, [1] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; [2] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; notdomineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”


  1. Hey Stu,

    Well done mate. My wife and I will be praying for you and the family. I am sure God will carry on broadening your shoulders for the responsibility.

    God Bless you!

    Sean B - The Community Church, Honiton

  2. We have so much faith in you and have truly been blessed by what God has done through you already. This is just the beginning.......

    Praying for you, Chlo, Rufi and Jim Jam the second. There is no better man for this job. Thank you for all that you do. We are with you and are glad to be under your authority.

    The Salts