Advice for a New Elder

| February 10, 2015

Our church recently recognized a brother named Mark to serve as an elder. To welcome him, I reached out to a few dozen friends who serve as elders at other churches and asked them to send me advice they would give to a new elder. Here’s the summary of what they would say to a young man who is stepping in as a new overseer.

1. Pray. (1 Sam. 12:23) 

Self-sufficiency will be your most persistent temptation. Trust in the Lord is cultivated through prayer. Pray for yourself. Pray for your family. Pray for the church. Pray with and for the other elders. Pray, and then pray some more.

2. Learn to listen. (James 1:19)

This was by far the most often repeated advice you were given. As a new elder you will likely feel the pressure to “prove yourself.” Don’t fall into this trap. Jesus has called you to serve, and the church has recognized this calling. Listen to the other elders, especially those who have served for a long time. During meetings, listen to how the conversations progress and keep your input succinct. Listen to the congregation. Be among them and ask questions. We learn most when…

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