If you have been in church for awhile, you will know that there is a “duty elder” who helps assists with leading the service. The elder will typically lead the Prayers of the People and receive the Offering. Other than that, do you know what the role of an elder is?
Did you know that eldership is at the heart of what it means to be Presbyterian.
All of our Presbyterian churches are led by our ruling elders and teaching elders. They are called by God to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance for a particular congregation and to follow that path sincerely, faithfully, and effectively. It’s one of the great strengths of the Presbyterian system that drew me to this denomination. I truly believe that when this system is working as designed, it makes Presbyterianism a great light amongst Christian denominations.
As the minister of Amberlea, I am the teaching elder in the church. It’s a role that I am honoured and love to fill. Along with the Session, currently made up of 10 ruling elders, soon to be 13, we create a team of individuals who together solve problems, seek answers, and look for guidance from the Holy Spirit. We try to keep the church on the right path, just as the world tries to distract our goals and diminish our effectiveness.
For me, it is a privilege to work alongside these faithful men and women. I can honestly say that there is a great sense of team work, respect, responsibility, and faith in Christ that we share with one another.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:1:
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed.
What I love is that Peter refers to elders as being witnesses to Christ’s suffering, which reminds me that being ruling and teaching elders in the church is never an easy process.
We are the gate keepers of the faith and are meant to be the visionaries of our churches. Elders are always looking at the bigger picture and what lies ahead.
If we only concentrate on the here and now, we will never reach the blessings yet to come.
These are anxious times for our faith, but if our elders at Amberlea and across the Presbyterian Church remain faithful to Christ, uphold His teachings, and live according to God’s Word, then we will not only share in Christ’s glory, but we will also be handing over a strong church for the elders yet to be ordained in years to come.
Please come this Sunday to witness the ordination of three new elders who will join the Amberlea Session.