A Presbyterian church of my knowledge recently asked for nominations for elders and deacons. One young man (but not young enough to be a novice), was viewed by older members as most suitable for the office of deacon. He had held that office in another church, and so was conversant with the practicalities of the work and the spiritual implications. There was no doubt about his gifts, and he would be an asset to the life of the church.
Howbeit, although a number of the members urged him, he felt in himself that he was not equipped for the position. On hearing this, I sent him an e-mail to help him in his decision, pointing out that if the church called him, then he should recognise their discernment and estimation. Also that he should not let a sense of modesty, or his own sense of inferiority, eclipse a corporate decision of more senior Christians. And that the new work being necessarily small, demanded from each member a total commitment and wholehearted employment in rearing up a testimony.
Whether the e-mail was helpful, I know not, but anyway he did assent to the call of the church, and is now one of the three new deacons. God willing, PCC will ordain new deacons today [Oct 23, 2011]. The same advice stands. Let modesty adorn the recipients of office; let the call of the church give the necessary assurance, and let the candidates give themselves body and soul, to the call of the Head of the Church. Nehemiah exhorts that the building of the city of God is, “A great work.” Enter then into the labour, for He is, “A great King.” (Ps.48:2).
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