The Significance of Godly Elders

Over the last 3-4 years our congregation has grown significantly. We've been so blessed. There have been a good number of baptisms as well as people moving their membership here. We need to be praising God for His work. With the additional membership, the workload on our existing eldership has increased. Rich, Russ, and George are dedicated servants with genuine hearts for the Lord and for the work here at Cornerstone. The amount of hours they spend in caring for this flock is incalculable. George and Rich are both in their third decade of service, having been elders for over 20 years. Russ is in his second decade, this year being the 12th year of his service. We should honor them for their hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to the Lord and the members of our church family. Because of our growth, we are excited to begin the process of adding additional elders and deacons to serve the family at Cornerstone. (See p. 2 of today's bulletin for details on who is being considered and the process by which they will be ordained.)

No work is more needed than the important work of godly elders. Paul called it a good work in 1 Timothy 3.1. And when their work is done scripturally, the presence of shepherds greatly contributes to the well being of the church. Think of how they contribute to the moral and doctrinal soundness of our congregation. They attend to the scripturalness and effectiveness of our worship and study. They encourage us all in our evangelistic endeavors, and serve as key motivators in all the areas of activity of our congregation. They facilitate peace and unity. To accomplish all of this is no small task. The difficulties and discouragement associated with their work can be enormous. H.E. Philips once said, "This is no little job, and no little man can do it." I like that. Their work demands the strongest and most spiritually mature Christian men. Think about it. Would Paul have described their character the way we did if just anyone could do this work?

Their work is serious. They have a number of wonderful opportunities to serve others. But they are also subjected to greater temptations and greater consequences for failure. Elders are uniquely accountable to God, Ezekiel 34.7-10; Hebrews 13.17. They are to labor in such a way as to be innocent of the blood of their brethren. They have to be ready to do the work God has prescribed, but also aware of how they will be held accountable by God. Again, it is a serious task they undertake. Elders watch over your souls and they are accountable to God, Hebrews 13.17b.

We should make their job joyful. Give them reason to do this with joy and now with sorrow, Hebrews 13.17c. There is no more rewarding work than helping people grow spiritually. Theirs is an honorable work. It possesses dignity and deserves honor. We should always be appreciative of the sacrifice of love these men give so that the work of this congregation may flourish and advance. We are so blessed to have so many men here are willing to step up and serve. Support and encourage them in their work. Give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and regard them very highly in love because of their work, 1 Thessalonians 5.12b-13.

Matthew Allen

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