Cover 2019-05-12

Ron Writes

Honoring Our Elders

I wonder if Moses was embarrassed to write, “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3)? That must have been hard, but I’m certain that God compelled him to write.

This month I feel I’m in a similar awkward position. You see, Steve Partlow and I have been serving as elders here for 20 years. We were appointed in May 1999. Steve served as a deacon for over 10 years before being installed as an elder. It’s been an honor to serve with him and I’m also thankful for the addition of John Jones some years ago.

As you can imagine, being an elder can be quite a challenge. It has been an honor to be a pastor here. The Bible says, ”But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another” (1 Thes. 5:12-13). If it wasn’t in the Bible, I would not speak of it. And I don’t want to imply that you aren’t doing a good job and I don’t want you to think I’m fishing for compliments. However, I do want Steve to know that I respect and honor all of his years of service and if he doesn’t already know it, I want to remind him that I esteem him highly in love. Steve often reminds us to keep it in perspective, we aren’t the Shepherd, we are just the little shepherd boys asked to come in and help. God has blessed me my entire life by allowing me to have a close association with godly men and to be mentored by such fine men. God’s wisdom is seen in having a plurality of men to serve as elders and not just one. I’m very grateful to serve with two godly men.

We are mere “jars of clay” (2 Cor. 4:7). As someone once wrote, “Brothers, pray for us”. As elders, we need your prayers. We ask that you pray for us that we can, in the strength of God’s might, manage the things that He has given us to do for His glory and for the good of our entire church. We are often weak and we need strength. We are sometimes confused and we need clarity. We are at times tired and we need energy to think well. Many times we are busy and we need time. Sometimes we feel pressed for many reasons and feel the need for relief. My point is we are men dependent on the Lord to do what He has called us to do in any good way at all.”

Thank you Steve for putting up with me the last 20 years.