September 8, 2014

Helpers for the Odd Job

A teaching elder (AKA pastor) has a unique job that is unlike any in business or industry. Where else would a man be hired by a vote of 100 people or more? What company would require those with hiring privileges to pay the man's salary out of their own pockets? Would a legitimate human resources department allow the man to receive weekly performance reviews by people who walked in off the street? This pastoring is an odd job, indeed.

People in any congregation have potential to criticize the pastor they hired and rebel against his leadership. This scenario could be a recipe for disaster if God didn't provide human helpers for the pastor. In my tradition, those men are called ruling elders. In my case, they are on my side.

The Bible calls ruling elders to have good character (Titus 1: 5-9) and to do many of the tasks that the teaching elder does (I Peter 5: 2, 3). In the course of their duties, the ruling elders might be called upon to deal with insubordinate people. They may have to silence liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons. They are commanded to rebuke those who contradict sound doctrine. (Titus 1: 9-11) This is not an easy calling, especially when it is to be conducted willingly, eagerly and without a domineering manner.

While the average woman in the pew may not be aware of what ruling elders do behind the scenes, a pastor's wife does. She is well-acquainted with the loving and tireless sacrifices that leaders make for the good of the church and for the sanity of her husband. There is no better woman to thank a ruling elder for helping her husband with the odd job than a pastor's wife.

The Bible says that God appreciates the leaders' service to Him and will reward it. These men will receive an "unfading crown of glory" for a job well-done (I Peter 5:4). There is "double honor for those who rule well." (I Timothy 5:17) These men will be partakers in the glory that is going to be revealed. (I Peter 5:1). Why not encourage an elder to keep up the good work today?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I often think people in the church don't realize how much work their elders do. Thanks for highlighting their valuable service.


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