Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Elder Training: Part I

To describe the training I went through, I'll start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!): the calling and qualifications.

Sometime during my time in RUF at Clemson, I started feeling called to be a ruling elder. I can't really explain it much better than with words like desire, pull, and conviction. It's much like when I just knew I had to marry Kristy - I was compelled. This is a spiritual office, and God calls us men to it as He chooses. For those considering a church office, this is surely necessary, and I'm sorry I cannot describe it more eloquently.

At any rate, once I had some sense of this call, I would occasionally look at I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 which describe the qualifications for the office. I confess I spent most of my time pridefully considering I Timothy 3:1. I also confess I used to look on these qualifications as not that hard to achieve. Husband of one wife? Check. Not a drunkard? Check. Not a recent convert? Check.

But when you seriously read this, not with a mind to bring the standards down to meet you, but to see them as God's high standards for the office - well, I got a lump in my throat. Self-controlled? Above reproach? Manage his own household well? Holy? Disciplined? I'm certainly not each of those things all the time (all the time? ha!). But then, as our pastor said, if you think you fully meet all those qualifications, you're not ready to be an elder.

At any rate, training basically started by considering calling and qualifications.

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