Thursday, 3 February 2011
Becoming an elder...
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 v trustworthy: If anyone aspires to w the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore x an overseer  must be above reproach, y the husband of one wife,  z sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, a hospitable, b able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but c gentle, not quarrelsome, d not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity e keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for w God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may f become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of byg outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into h a snare of the devil."
Titus 1v 5 o "This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, andp appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 q if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,  and his children are believers and not open to the charge ofr debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,  s as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not t be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent u or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, v and disciplined.9 He must w hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in x sound  doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it."
1 Peter 5v1-5 "So I exhort the elders among you, m as a fellow elder and n a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 o shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,  p not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;  q not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 notr domineering over those in your charge, but s being examples to the flock. 4 And when t the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the u unfading v crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. w Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for x “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”