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Elders, It Is Time!

The toughest job in the church is being an elder.  Well, let’s say it this way—when done properly, the toughest job in the church is being an elder.  It is tough because of the responsibility that it entails.  It is tough because of the accountability it requires.  It is tough because of the misunderstandings associated with it.  Many members of the church do not know what elders do, and so their work is often misrepresented.  Listen to prayers for elders, which often sound something like, “Be with the elders in the decisions that they make.”  Elders are viewed as the “decision-makers,” as seen also in the complaints members make about “the decision that the elders made.”  While elders certainly make decisions (and often very important ones), their responsibility is so much greater and eternally significant than that!

Elders, it is time to step out from the “decision-makers” status and be what God intended for you to be!  God’s elders are like Moses, who was willing to give himself and his own soul for the people of God!  God’s elders are like Jethro, who understood the need to delegate tasks to trusted individuals!  God’s elders are like David, who never lost sight of the importance of being among the sheep as a shepherd!  God’s elders are like Eli, who guided a young man in becoming a servant of God!  God’s elders are like Gideon, who went to battle with his men, rather than sending them out on their own!  God’s elders are like Elisha, who made special efforts on behalf of a widow!  God’s elders are like Ezra, who helped God’s people to know and understand His Word!  God’s elders are like Nehemiah, who helped God’s people to trust in the Lord and to see His hand at work in their success!  God’s elders are like the Tekoite nobles, who personally put their shoulders to the work!  God’s elders are like Jeremiah, who was never swayed by the cultural or political trends but faithfully demanded adherence to the old paths!  God’s elders are like Daniel, who spent much time in private prayer!  God’s elders are like Paul, who focused significant energy on strengthening the souls of the disciples!  God’s elders are like Barnabas, who sought opportunities to encourage!  God’s elders are like the Ephesian elders, who openly loved gospel preachers and gospel preaching!  God’s elders are like Philemon, who opened his home to the church!  God’s elders are like the author of Hebrews, who integrated himself with his readers by saying, “Let us!”  God’s elders are like Peter, who encouraged his fellow elders in their service!  God’s elders are like Jesus, who knows His sheep by name and they know Him!

It is too easy to fall into the mold of what others think an elder should be or to mimic the style of other elders.  What are needed today are men who will go back and be the elders that God designed for them to be!  It is time!