ACTS IN 90 DAYS
A reading for Monday, July 27, 2020: Acts 14:21-28.
"And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe."
The reason I am Presbyterian is because of the trust our denomination places in our elders. Many churches have lay leaders, but in our tradition it is the elders that truly manage and lead a congregation. Clearly pastors have a role to play in preaching and teaching and offering pastoral care, but it's the elders that are the backbone of a successful congregation.
As we can see from our reading today, this is not a modern invention at all but a Biblical principle running all the way back to Paul and the first churches of the Gentiles. Paul and Barnabas traveled from city to city gathering a group of Christians to be a church. Once they were confident it was established, they moved on to another city leaving a group of presbuteros or elders in place to continue the churches work.
As the world continues to change and faith communities of every size and denomination struggle, one helpful way forward would be to continue to place our trust in elders to lead. Thanks be to God.