In (Double) Honor of our Elders
The theme of this month’s Current and our Nehemiah sermon series is Multiplying Workers. I’m sure my fellow staff members and ministers are going to write some articles on how we need more people to step up as workers for the kingdom. We certainly do. This is right and good. But along with this I’d like to spend some time appreciating those who are already workers – specifically our present and former Elders here at Tates Creek.
1 Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the Elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor.” As church members we need to constantly remember this verse. These men not only volunteer much time to the task of leading Christ’s church, but also willingly take on a burden that many of us are glad not to have to bear. That burden includes guarding the doctrine of the church (Acts 15:6; Titus 1:9), providing pastoral care for members (James 5:14; Acts 6:4), protecting the flock from wolves (Acts 20:17, 28-31), preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; 4:13; 5:17), and leading in holiness and family leadership by example (1 Timothy 3:2-7; 4:12). The burden they are called to bear is a heavy one, and one for which the Lord will hold them accountable… and they have done this willingly. So, as church members, let us consider how we may give them “double honor.”
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.”
One of the ways we give them honor is by submitting to their God-given authority. This means trusting them when they make hard decisions about the direction of the church. It means not slandering them behind their back or constantly complaining about their work. And, it means being humble and always open to correction or teaching from them on matters of doctrine and holiness.
Church: join me in praying regularly for our elders and also expressing appreciation to these men for the burden they have taken on.
To our current Elders, as well as those who have served in the past: may God strengthen and bless you and your families. Thank you for serving us.