The times are increasingly challenging to navigate as elders in the church. What an opportunity to let the Spirit of God go to work through you and the Lord’s body!
We could all possibly agree that the shakings going on in the world going is evidence of satan knowing his time is short. He is making noise through the spirit of infirmity, fears of all kinds &, more recently, a spirit of accusation and offenses. He first distracts & then divides.
The virus-pandemic knows/knew no social boundaries regardless of who you were are; we were all under the same pressures of confinement, inconveniences, maybe even job loss. Now, with the enemy’s strategic shift away from virus to the breakdown of society, your role as an elder and a voice for God will be challenged. Emotions are high to make society increasingly irrational, and families increasingly divided. As we’ve said for years, so goes the church, so goes the world.
So how do you proceed as an elder over your church fellowship? Your responsibility as an elder is to serve God first, and then the flock. Scriptures are our instructions on how to supply a safe place, a safe space of gathering. The world shut down in it’s response to the virus because it only knows health from 2 dimensions - body & soul. In the same tone, the world is shutting down again because it is living on a God-less, humanistic gospel. The church - living out the Scriptures - has all the answers! We are still here on the earth to bring God’s grace and influence. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds!
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” - Ephesians 3:10
Secular outlets are putting pressure on Christian leaders to except a humanistic gospel of equality. Why should we not except it? According to the Word, we live our lives much higher than humanity’s efforts. Scriptures instruct us to live by the Spirit of God, with all His fruits and His gifts. The social messages of ‘reconciliation’ sound similar; however, they are standards below those required by God.
The Scripture’s standard of reconciliation is not focused on genetic or social-economic differences. The world’s focus on (Insert Whatever People Group You Want Here) Lives Matter is a humanistic one. Loving your neighbor as yourself is of great importance, but not at the expense of the 1st part of the greatest commandment. Love God and obey Him. He is the reason why any of us exist. He wants to restore & reform society through His social rehab program - the church! Defining the kingdom of God is critical in these days, and the Word must be guarded. Secular voices are twisting key characteristics & definitions like ‘love’, ‘reconciliation’, ‘peace’ for their social advantage by accusing believers of not being those things, yet excusing themselves.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” - James 1:27
It is proper to be a voice of righteousness and purity, but don’t lead a charge against the political world the way John the Baptist did. That’s what the enemy wants you to do. John died on a hill where God was not leading. John attempted to reform an audience that was not his to take on. The Scriptures tell us the fatherless and widow are the brokenhearted, abandoned, and rejected. This is our audience.
Be careful as an elder not to make political battles a spiritual entanglement. Jesus avoided conflicts with the government so He could complete His purpose to reform the church, even to the point of persecution. Even His disciples were frustrated with His ‘lack of attention’ to the political climate they suffered under. A spirit of religion is bating believers to tangle in the wrong battles these days, so those believers become ineffective and spotted when the Spirit of God is ready to move.
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” - Colossians 4:2-6
Be prepared as elders to have an answer from Scripture to respond to the quick shiftings in society. The Word never changes and has wisdom for everything going on financially, physically, and even socially in the world. Exhort the local fellowship to be the flavor of God’s character, creating a thirst for the kingdom of God to come through signs and wonders, and on mission to preserve faith in the earth.