by David Wright
It was the year 2000 when I was approached to pray about becoming an elder at Indian Creek Christian Church. My immediate response was surprise as I told the elder that suggested I pray about it that I would get back with him. To that point in my faith walk I had not considered myself a candidate worthy of such a role.
Then a second man approached me with a similar suggestion. He asked, “Have you ever thought about becoming an elder?” “Not really”, I responded. “At least not until a few days ago when another elder spoke to me. I am praying about it. I will also discuss it with some others.”
As my prayer about the matter continued, I asked a third elder about the idea of becoming an elder. He was likely the oldest of the elders at the time. He was also the easiest to touch base with personally, as he was at The Creek’s building each day. In his retirement years he was serving his church as a janitor. And, one day I asked if I could talk to him about an elder issue. “Of course”, he said “Yes, most certainly.”
I started by sharing with him that I had been approached by a couple of the elders about the possibility of me becoming an elder. He let me know that he was indeed aware that my name had been mentioned. He then asked, “How can I help you?” I told him that I had been praying and reading the Scriptures related to the criteria for an elder of the church as well as other scriptures specifically related to God’s call on our lives. “And, what have you discovered David?”
“Charlie”, I said, “I certainly can grasp that I may fit the criteria and I also feel that God may indeed be calling me. But, I can tell you without reservation, that I do not feel worthy of such a call, nor am I sure that I am prepared to take on such a responsibility. What if I make mistakes?”
Charlie was quiet for a few seconds. I could sense he was weighing his thoughts before they became his counsel to me. His first words surprised me. “You will make mistakes,” he began, “but you will not be alone. We all do. But, we will also work hard together to correct any that we may make. And, what I have found is that through prayer, fasting, dialogue, and a willingness to wait upon the Lord’s guidance, we will get more matters right than wrong. And, with regards to your concern about not being worthy: David, if we each waited for the moment that we are worthy, there would be no elders. Because none really is worthy. The only one worthy is The One to whom we dedicate our service.” After a prayer together, I headed to work and Charlie plugged in the vacuum cleaner.
Later that week, with Charlie’s wisdom taken to heart, I responded to the elders of The Creek at that time, “If you will have me, I am willing.”
Looking back over 17 years serving as an elder at The Creek, I am not surprised to say, Charlie was right.