Moderator Cynthia Bolbach: Calling all elders
“I’m just an elder.”
Have you heard someone say that? Have you said it yourself? Maybe in response to being asked to lead worship, or preach, or visit someone in the hospital?
“No,” you reply, “I couldn’t do that. I’m just an elder. Those are things the pastor does.”
Our Presbyterian polity doesn’t recognize the statement, “I’m just an elder.” In our polity, ruling elders and teaching elders (also known as Ministers of the Word and Sacrament) share equally in the governance and spiritual leadership of the church. Our calls to ministry encompass different functions and tasks, but we are called equally to ministry and to leadership in the church.
For too long the ministry of ruling elder has been diminished, equated with serving on a non-profit board of directors. Yes, the session does perform tasks like hiring nursery attendants and deciding whether the amount of insurance coverage is adequate. But that is not the primary task of the session or of the ruling elders who serve on it. ...
Nice column ... and I'll be at the Big Tent at the Elders Conference.