Being an elder is not a grief-laden existence of torment and controversy, but there are times when an elder’s duty ranks at the top of the ultimate-challenge list.
They deal primarily with Christians. One might think this is an advantage but, like law enforcement, the only time elders see or hear from some Christians is when something goes terribly wrong. Since elders “must give account,” we should ensure “that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17). A thorn must be removed or it will infect the body; don’t be a thorn.
An elder concerns himself with the doctrine of Christ. Paul told elders to “feed the church” (Acts 20:28). Further, they are challenged with presenting a palatable, robust diet. We must appreciate the eldership’s attempts to provide quality scriptural food for church consumption. Don’t be an anemic Christian; eat healthy.
Elders also have a charge. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10), however, elders have additional accountability, “for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account” (Hebrews 13:17). Because they love the Lord’s flock, they will employ discipline; support your local elder.
Finally, elders are to be respected. They are men; they have flaws and failures (Galatians 2:11). God knew that when He told Titus to “ordain elders” (Titus 1:5). The office they hold is a divinely-delegated, scripturally-sanctioned position of authority deserving respect and reverence, and our submission to them will factor in to our everlasting destination. Respect the authority of the eldership.
Let us support, encourage, and love our elders. Then, perhaps, good men will arise to “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).