Having ministered to a number of churches I have, over the years, developed a sincere appreciation for Godly leaders, especially elders. There have been those whose leadership has been lacking and those whose spirituality has been neglected. There have been those who ruled with irons fists and those who had no rule at all. Then came the elders of the Minorsville Christian Church; my church.
I don't know about any of the "super" churches as to the elderships there, but I do know that the five men with which I am currently sharing ministry are men of deep faith, intense spirituality, wisdom and grace. They are men I can not only trust, but on whom I can also lean. They are Godly men of great vision and knowledge, men of compassion and understanding; and as different as night and day.
There's T. Wright, the elder statesman of the group. In his seventies T. brings the wisdom and patience of age and experience along with a dedication to teaching the truth of the gospel and helping those who need him. Then we have three men who are all about the same age as I am.
Leighton Johnson is an alumnus of Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee. He works for WalMart and is one of our teachers. His understanding of many situations is very simplistic and yet his knowledge of God is very deep. He seems to boil theings down to a basic understanding. He has raised children committed to the gospel and actively involved in their churches as he is in his.
David Clark, like Leighton, is also a Milligan alum. He has retired from his position as a state worker several years ago and began a business training show horses and showing them for their owners. He is a very serious and pensive student of both the Word of God and the kingdom of God. He has a daughter active in a mission in Thailand and another married to an Armed Forces pilot stationed in England.
Garry Hoffman is also an independent businessman. He and a partner share in a used car lot in Georgetown, Kentucky where I live. Garry is a gentlemen and another for whom the Word of God holds a very important place in his life. Garry is active in calling on people and helping them as well as he can. His son and daughter, both married, are actively involved in the Minorsville Church.
David Burchfield, the "kid" of the elders, works for Toyota here in Georgetown. He is a member of their management team and, like the others, committed in his faith, his family and his church. He is a student of the scriptures and of leadership attitudes and styles. His expertise has been a blessing to the church along with his passion for the kingdom. His children are still young enough to be at home but are heavily involved in the life of the church.
I am proud of my elders. They serve the church well with both dignity and compassion. They have learned well from the words of Peter in 1 Peter 5:1-4. "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away."
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