Church • Devotion #1: Elders

“I don’t envy you guys.” It is a statement I have made to most of the elders of The River Church more than once over the last year. From navigating both dramatic and traumatic changes in the leadership of the church, to dealing with the financial fallout of those events, it has been no picnic. As I write this, we are facing a disease, COVID-19 that presents a whole new set of challenges that current generations have never had to encounter.

There was a time in my life I did not love authority. When we are young or immature, we do not want anybody telling us what to do or how to live. Come to think of it, I still do not all the time. That being said, I am thankful that the Lord showed me the need for such authority. 

One of the things I am forever teaching my students is the importance of learning not only from their experiences but the experiences of others. History gives us a clear picture of what leadership and what role our elders play in the church in both good and bad ways. 

The Lord has placed the leaders and elders of the church in their roles for very specific reasons. Like much of God’s plan, I wish I could figure out exactly why and what that meant for me, but then I guess it would not be much to do with having faith. 

When I learned to trust that those who are placed in authority over me were there for a reason, whether I liked it or not, things started to become a little clearer for me. Falling into submission and recognizing that we all have a part to play in this big thing God has laid out brought peace.

The book of 1 Timothy starts off by telling us that those who are leaders in the church aspire to a noble task. Not all of us are in, or will ever be in, that place. What we are called to do is trust that the Lord has led us to a place where the leaders in the church are constantly seeking God’s wisdom and guidance the same way that we are called to do in our own lives.If you find that place where God is moving, the church is moving in the same direction, and the leaders are seeking and trusting the Lord, put down those roots and buckle up as you are in for quite a ride because you will begin to see God move in some pretty incredible ways.

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