(1 Thess 2.8)
I love the men of our church. They are warriors. They are courageous. They are patient and wise. They are men.
In most small congregations women get most things done. Men will chortle and chide like locker-room sophomores, but when it comes to prayer only the sopranos are heard. Men will bait hooks and load rifles, but the scabbard is silent when wielding the Word. Men will defend their investments like the Alamo, but slink into the shadows when the Gospel meets a back-alley thug. Men will love their toys with bright-eyed enthusiasm, but suddenly become tongue-tied when expressing love for their wives. Where in the world are the men of Christ’s church?
Well, I can tell you where a dozen of them are. God has blessed our congregation with gospel men. These are men of which I am not worthy. These are men who do not abdicate their God-given calling to be defenders, leaders and champions of Christ’s church. These are men who take prayer seriously and are not afraid of confronting sin. These are men who demand firm, square-eyed handshakes and bear hugs. These are men who lock impenetrable arms. Were I to become a tenth of what these men are I would be proud.
Like many reforming churches, we don’t yet have formal elders. While I cannot wait for that day, God has comforts me through the SHBC men. Most of them do not aspire to be elders (1 Tim 3.1). But, that’s okay. They are men who pray together, counsel together, and make sure I preach like a man who loves Jesus. And I’ll take that any day.
I encourage any pastors striving for reform in their churches. Get the men of your church together and fertilize their God-given seeds of leadership. Having men without having elders is much healthier than having elders with no men. And no, you can’t have any of ours.