“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” ~Hebrews 13:17
Yield to their authority and respect their position. If you go back to verse 7 we see that these elders, these leaders, were the ones who had taught these Christians. They were the teachers. And they were living such exemplary lives of faith that the members of the congregation were told to imitate that faith. Follow the example of the godly lives of their leaders. Live like they’re living. And, yes, the elders are told they will have to give an account, not for the church finances or the proper use of the church gym, but for what they’re teaching and how they’re living their lives. And as the flock of these shepherds, we are to be open and accepting of their teaching and eager to imitate their examples.
But here’s the real thing. And here’s the crux of what we did yesterday at Legacy.
My concern with the elders is usually, “How are they treating me?”
And the answer, once I think about it, is always, “Better than I deserve.”
And the same goes for you.
You are more important to your elders than you know. They love you. They pray for you. They think about you. They wonder how to better serve you. They agonize over your soul. Every single day they wake up, completely aware of their limitations to perform the difficult task of shepherding a flock of believers, and it’s a tremendous burden. And they pray and they cry and they study and they grieve. And they pour their lives out for us. They sacrifice time with their families and work and vacation. They agonize over our souls. Did I already say that?
They would die for you. They would.
And yesterday we took a few minutes to pray over our elders. We drug our elders and our wives into the three center aisles and we prayed over them. The whole church. We got up out of our pews and walked over to our eleven elders (Jerry, wish you were here) and put our hands on them and our arms around each other and lifted them up to our God. Eleven big groups of loving brothers and sisters praying out loud for our Father to shower our leaders with his richest blessings of mercy and love and wisdom and strength. One of those memorable moments that I think was wonderful for our elders and for the church. Lots of tears. Lots of smiles. Lots of hugs. Lots of pats on the back. And a realization of the burden our shepherds carry and the church’s responsibility to help them carry it by encouraging them and making their difficult tasks a joy and not a burden.
Hug your elder today. Send him a card or an email. Love him. And try to make his job easier.
I’ve got very little to say about the Cowboys game last night since I just saw the second half in our hotel room last night after the opening keynote at the ACU Lectureships here in Abilene. Maybe the Eagles have a pretty good offense. Maybe the Cowboys defense is better than we thought. Maybe Aaron Rodgers is already done. I don’t know. I wasn’t really able to pay much attention.
The blogging will be sporadic this week. Hang with me. The “KK&C Top 20 College Football Poll” will be released late Tuesday night / early Wednesday morning.