Dear New Elder: 5 Encouragements as You Begin

Jeff Robinson | October 14, 2016

Dear new elder, 

I am encouraged by the work God is doing in you and through you in calling you to serve as an elder. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Anyone who aspires to the office of elder desires a noble task” (1 Tim. 3:1).

Noble indeed, but also dangerous.

I use those phrases “in you” and “through you” intentionally, for when God raises up a man for pastoral ministry, he never leaves him in the condition he found him. He cannot. God must mold you into the right instrument to wield for building his body. God has called you, and I am certain he is fitting you for the task.

I cannot improve on Paul’s words to a young elder named Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:6–16. Based on these paragraphs and various other writings of his, I offer five lines of encouragement for you.

1. Don’t be daunted by youth and inexperience.


God has called you. He will equip you and lead you. Just as a soldier learns the best strategies of warfare on the battlefield, so your seasoning will come in the trenches of ministry. Before long—through study, experiential application, meditation, prayer, failures, sufferings, and hard-won victories—you will grow into your vocation as a vessel fitted for…

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