We are blessed with seven wonderful elders here! They span in age from 48 to 81, are of varying backgrounds, personalities, and skillsets, but collectively they reflect God’s wisdom for a plurality of godly men shepherding the flock. With the magnitude of the work and workload here, I cannot help but stand in awe of the great job they are doing. To watch men like these, I’m reminded of the powerful good done by apt, able elders. Far from an exhaustive list, they:
- Show Hospitality—They open their homes freely and frequently, getting to know the sheep.
- Keep Track—They make it their business to account for the sheep, knowing they will give an account for each of them ultimately.
- Cast Vision—They do not lead from the rear; they thoughtfully, decisively get out front and show the way.
- Greet Visitors—They care about our members, but they are constantly focused of who’s new around here.
- Contemplate Problems—In the spirit of Solomon, they are presented with and must decide often complex, hairy matters…in real time.
- Faithfully Pray—Listen to men pray and you get a pretty good idea how practiced they are. These men are devoted to it.
- Show Heart—They aren’t afraid to demonstrate their care, concern, and love. We see it in their passion, their tears, and their involvement.
- Manage People—Sheep are also of differing temperaments, needs, problems, and levels of maturity. They deal with “all kinds.”
- Consult God—How exciting to see overseers humbly searching for and submitting to a “Thus saith the Lord.”
- Balance Time—They do all of this while being competent employees, conscientious family men, and character-filled Christians.
- Set Direction—They are tone setters in a basic way; What they emphasis, we will make important. We hear their voice, in the assemblies, meetings, and private conversations.
- Make Mistakes—Despite sometimes unreasonable expectations from some, they are terminally human and inevitably subject to imperfection.
- Follow Jesus—They are good shepherds walking behind the Good Shepherd. They want to serve, please, and imitate Him. Ours do a fantastic job of that.
Have you seen what a great job these men are doing? Have you taken the time to stop and let them know? Many churches veer from the straight and narrow path because of ungodly elderships. Thank God for the shepherds at Bear Valley!