This post is being written primarily for the wonderful people who are a part of the Lewisville church of Christ. However, if you aren’t a part of the Lewisville church and would like to listen in, please feel free to do so.
As you all know, this Sunday is the beginning of our Elder Selection Process. Our shepherds have asked the Lewisville church family to take part in the selection of additional men to lead us. It is natural and fitting in a growing church that new leaders be added.
During our brief thirteen-year history we have grown from about 150 or so precious people who started this church to our present size of around 1100 people on our rolls. Some church growth experts will tell you that you need one elder for every 100 people. If this were correct we would need a total of eleven shepherds. Others would argue that this number is an inflated figure.
None of us can speak definitively about the exact number of shepherds each church should have and that number will probably vary from congregation to congregation. Whatever you think about the number, our elders certainly feel that they are in need of help in the leadership of the Lewisville church as we move forward. It is my belief that this is the most important time in the life of any church. No church can really ever rise above the men who are leading.
In this church we are blessed with a number of men who meet the Biblical guidelines/qualifications for serving as an elder. By the way, you can find these guidelines in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-11. I would strongly encourage you to read these prayerfully as you consider which men in this church you will nominate.
I would like to plead with the men in this church who are qualified to rise up for this moment and be willing to take the mantle of leadership. If you as well as your family are qualified and you are asked to serve, please give prayerful consideration to accepting this great work. The future of this church may depend on you.
The late and beloved brother Hugo McCord recounts the following from the life of the twentieth President of the United State, the honorable James A. Garfield. “No higher earthly honor can be bestowed than for fellow Christians to select a man as one of their overseers (elders). James A. Garfield considered being an elder a higher honor than being president of the United States. When he was elected president of the United States in 1881 he was serving as an elder of the Lord’s church in Hiram, Ohio. On the last Sunday that he was at services, before he boarded a train for Washington, D.C., he stood before the congregation and said, ‘Today I am stepping down from the eldership of the Hiram congregation to go to Washington to become president of the United States.’
Why did he think he was stepping down instead of up? Would he not receive a free house in Washington and a large salary as president? But as an elder he had received no pay and he had provided his own house.
The difference in Bro. Garfield’s mind was spiritual. As president he would deal with people’s physical welfare only, but as an elder his primary concern was to look after people’s souls. The work of an elder has eternal consequences, but that of a president is only temporary. A more important work than the welfare of a nation is to "keep watch" over Christians, for whose welfare an elder "will give an account" (Hebrews 13:17).
Yes, it is a higher honor to be an elder than to be president of the United States. But if one desires to be an elder because of the honor, his desire is sinful!”
Brethren, please keep in mind that we are not looking for perfect men; we are looking for faithful men. Our search is for men who will be faithful to the Lord, faithful to their families, and faithful to the church. Our desire should be to find men who realize that they are imperfect, yet in spite of their imperfections they are striving with all that they have to rise above the crowd and to live a life of leadership that is pleasing to God.
Sunday, October 2, I will be preaching a sermon titled, “The Prayer Life of a Leader.” The best leaders in a church, in a family, in a business, in government, in education, or in any other area of life are people who pray. In this lesson we will discuss some secrets to answered prayer in the lives of leaders. We must pray fervently. It is true that we should pray as if everything we do depends on God, and work as if what we do depends on ourselves. If leaders and followers will join together in prayer our work will be successful.
Dear Father, we pray for the men who lead Your Church. We pray that they they will be men of the Word, men of prayer, men of vision, men of faith, men who are humble, and men of compassion. We pray that You will raise up more Godly leaders in our day. We need men who shepherd our souls and feed our hearts. Dear God, we pray for young men that they will develop the heart of a leader so that future generations in Your Church will be strong. We pray that as a church we will select the men You would want us to choose to lead us as we seek to glorify You. In Jesus Name, Amen.