Five years ago, if someone were to ask me what an “elder” was, they would most likely find a blank stare on my face. Sure, I’ve heard the word used before, but I didn’t think it was anything more than “the older folks” at a church. To be honest, I’m not sure that I ever remember seeing the word “elder” in the Bible nor did I know a single person that referred to himself as one. Needless to say, thoughts of serving as an elder were nowhere near my radar.
That began to change in the spring of 2009 during a course titled Pastoral Practice that I was taking while at PBU. Week after week we would focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (1 Peter 2:25). As I sat through each class, I was overwhelmed by what the Scripture had to say about Him: His love for us; His pursuit of us; His sacrifice on our behalf; His care and protection over our lives; His desire to serve us and so on. As I began to learn more about the heart of Jesus, God began to stir my own heart to consider others in the way that He has considered me. I could sense God placing a desire in my heart to consider serving His church as an elder… I was just clueless as to what that would look like.
My family came to Seven Mile Road Church in October of 2010. Being at SMR has been a huge blessing to our lives. We have loved belonging to a church where Jesus and His gospel is central to everything. We’re excited to be a part of a baby church where we can participate in the process of it maturing. We’re blessed to have a community where we can be honest about sin and are encouraged towards confession and repentance. We’re thankful that we belong to a body where we are constantly challenged to live life on mission. In being here for just over a year, God has quickly grown our love for the folks at SMR. And so now I begin this process of discerning whether the Lord may be calling me to particularly serve the people of our church as an elder.
I have several hopes for this season, but here are a few:
1) To be a better husband and father. I want to learn how to better serve and love Sherin and Asha. I am praying that this season will lead me to deeper conviction and greater joy in fulfilling my primary ministry to my family.
2) To build even deeper relationships with Ajay, Dennis, Joe, and Siby. I am excited to spend a year wrestling with, encouraging, challenging, and praying with these men. Over the past few years, God has been helping me to remember how dependent I am on others to grow spiritually. I look forward to having these brothers regularly speak truth into my life.
3) To grow in prayer. I want to be challenged to consider the heart behind my immaturity in prayer. I am hoping that God uses this season to remind me of my need for Him and the joy that is found in being in fellowship with the Lord.
Would you please pray? This is a process that brings me great excitement as well as anxiety. I’m unsure of what the Lord has planned for me during this year, but my hope is that this season of my life will be used to grow my affections for Jesus and His people.