What Should Elders Do?

By Luther Bolenbarker

The work of an elder entails much. Therefore, let me try to answer the question.

Elders Should:

Check to see that the truth is preached;

Counsel with those of us having spiritual problems;

Encourage new converts;

Decide the policy the church will follow;

Propose a financial budget;

Listen to my complaints;

Teach Bible classes;

Praise those who do good works;

Spend time with the children;

Pray effective, fervent prayers;

Worry when someone quits attending worship;

Visit the sick;

Try to help people who don’t want help;

Investigate sticky problems;

Cry with the broken-hearted;

Manage difficult-to-handle people;

Sit through long meetings;

Model Christianity;

Greet visitors;

Conduct home Bible studies;

Catch a lot of flack;

Hear the appeals of preachers;

Look for new areas of service;

Wonder why they feel lonely;

Go and see the elderly;

Don’t sleep well at night;

Be involved in their community;

Work for a living;

Try to restore the unfaithful;

Counsel young couples;

Read and study their Bible;

Face special temptations;

Know they will be judged severely;

Smile when their efforts pay off;

Go on to the next problem;

Train others to take their place;

and 101 other things.

What should we do for the elders? We should.

Love them. Pray for them. Back them in their work. Defend them when we hear them criticized and be thankful that God gave them to us.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 17, p. 521
September 3, 1987