Revelation 4:10,11a “the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God.””
“Eldership is an eternal office.” That’s how I usually begin the training classes for our new elders each year. It makes the candidates aware that by accepting to become elders in the local church, they are also taking on a recognized heavenly post. They are being ordained into something that is greater than life itself, and if they accept this Christian commission, then they need to know it’s for eternity.
Elders are the backbone of any Presbyterian Church. Ministers come and go, but elders normally attach themselves to the same congregation for most of their lives. Their commitment to the well-being of the church members, along with their Christian example, sets the standards and builds the strength of a particular church. If elders truly work as a team together, then there is nothing that they cannot face or overcome. The life and growth of a congregation rises and falls upon the leadership that elders give.
Each year, our church welcomes a new batch of people into eldership. For me, it’s one of the most humbling and exciting times of the year. Each elder-elect brings with her and him a multitude of gifts and experiences that can be beneficial to the work and ministries of the church. Watching them grow, seeing them adapt, and partnering with them in leadership are amongst the highest blessings that any minister of a congregation can experience. It is greatly satisfying to know that an elder has given three distinct and diligent years of service to the church. It is also wonderful to see that the ministries under their supervision and care have grown and deepened the faith of the entire church.
Perhaps your church is also in the midst of electing, appointing, ordaining and installing new elders. Pray for them each day. Welcome them into your hearts and homes. Encourage them to give of their best and support them in performing their duties. By doing these things, you will also bring growth to your church and deepen the loyalty of your congregation.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, throughout the nation, new elders are being ordained and installed in their congregations. Bless them for accepting such a noble commitment and enable them to build upon their gifts, so that their churches and congregations may be renewed and enhanced. Let them also advance the work of Your Kingdom in their communities and personally deepen their own faith to You. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.