by Devon Leesley
Elders are manifest by their character and their maturity in the things of God. They do not flaunt them nor do they wave a banner, “Look at ME!!” They are obscure servants that set an example. They support the poor; in fact, their heart bleeds for the needy. They are not given to avarice nor do they desire filthy lucre.
They are given to teaching and guiding not controlling and demanding. They seek not a pedestal or pulpit or podium. They do not take, they give, as all the body parts are taught to do, esteeming others greater than themselves. They do not wish for a personal following but they instruct others to follow Christ.
They deplore recognition and applause. They abhor presents and gifts. They shudder at the thought of any allegiance to them personally. They tremble at the prospect of favoritism being lavished on them by the “body”. Double honor is theirs for teaching well and their commitment to study but they would prefer to forgo that acknowledgement.
These are the marks of true servanthood and eldership. These are the fruits of the truly qualified leader. They look not for the lime-light but seek the Lamb-light as their reward. Nothing on this dismal earth appeals to them. Nothing can tempt them or buy them. Slander is their food and reproach is their mainstay. Rejection by religionists is their meat and their daily diet. To be accepted by the glitter and pomp and success of modern Christendom is anathema to their spirit.
Their joy is to be girded about with a simple apron and on their knees tending to the weary and the castaways, the unlovely, the forsaken, the unwashed, all those who are forgotten at the “church house” door, nay but rather are disdained at the “church house” door.
They quake at the thought of being called Master, Pastor, Reverend or Apostle. They prefer to just be called brother, a tender to the needs of others.
They know they have an everlasting bounty waiting in heaven, a reward they feel not worthy to receive, but still the only reward they desire is to hear from the lips of the only true Master, Pastor, Reverend, “well done thou good and faithful servant.” Their daily rapture is to see the children of men set free from the curses this earth imparts to its captives.
This is their very life; Others finding solace in the Saviour… Redemption in the Redeemer… To find their place and joy in Jesus… To be hid in Him and the stench of their own ways and inclinations and religious dreams burned away as the chaff they are.
Are you looking for a leader? Look hard and long for it may take a while before you come upon him or her, who has discovered this secret path of service. In fact they may not even be where you would expect them, for they are not welcome nor are they even given the time of day in most circles we call Christendom. They may not be comely. They may not have money (this latter being a prerequisite for acceptance in most “churches” for ministry).
They may not have anyone down here taking notice of their service, but heaven is watching with sheer delight in this lonely worker. Hell is raging because of the same. The ‘church’ needs them but they know not of this character, this simplicity of servanthood. Congregants may hear of these attributes preached on a weekly basis yet not take and handle them experientially.
I guess words are cheap as the saying goes. Hear it taught but see it not. How deceived can we be? How far have we fallen? How cheap have we made the gospel and the followers thereof? Then they ship this “fruit” worldwide to make others 2 fold the devils they are.
I say to the hirelings, “Let my people go!” I say to the folks, “Quit financing this farce that we have so diluted.” I say further to the folks, “pray that God would raise up these true leaders that are after His heart.”
Few there will be that can fit this bill. Few there will be that will dare surrender to this point. God help us!
Devon and Kathy Leesley
*Devon Leesley is a dear brother-in-Christ and friend. He is a writer, film producer, director and musician. You can find out more about his music here.