April 27, 2023 / by Adam Garey
When Joe Rich* had to leave the elder team five years ago because of a job-related move, I had the privilege of being invited back to the East White Oak elder team to fill his term.
The elders at East White Oak are tender-hearted men who seek to serve the people who come to our local fellowship—from long-time church members, to newcomers, to those who are engaging in the Pathways of Discipleship to strengthen their faith, to those who are struggling in various ways. The elders get involved in very personal matters of members as needed, which can be complicated and require a great deal of wisdom. In all, they seek to stay true to the Bible, to bring glory to the Lord in all circumstances, and to minister reconciliation where there might be division among people and/or between individuals and God.
The elders also oversee the East White Oak ministries and programs. This leads to more “church business” topics such as helping set budget priorities, approving special missions gifts, and deciding how to conduct our services (such as during and after our pandemic).
This sounds like work that is full of difficulty. Yet 1 Timothy 3:1 shares a “trustworthy saying” that “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer (elder), he desires a noble task.” Why would that be? Because the ministries of East White Oak are important to God’s work of building His kingdom. Because each person in our fellowship has a precious heart that the Lord seeks to draw nearer to Him. Because the Lord has blessed our fellowship with great resources to apply to His work. There is much joy in the ministry of an East White Oak elder.
Working alongside such humble and wise men is a privilege. The elders spend extended times of prayer about all of the topics above, and many more. These are joyous times of intercession and renewing of our own minds and hearts with a deeper affection for our Lord and the people of East White Oak.
Having now finished my term, I will pray for our pastors and elders, and I would encourage all reading this to keep them on your hearts as well.
* Joe was recently diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. Let’s keep Joe in our prayers that God might heal him completely from his medical challenges.
Adam Garey has been a member of East White Oak for 18 years. He is married to Danielle. They have four grown children and a daughter-in-law. Adam works in the Technology division at COUNTRY Financial. Adam has served as a deacon, elder, and ABF leader at East White Oak.
May OakLeaf Articles:
Serving the Lord Jesus Christ with our Spiritual Gifts by Pastor Scott Boerckel
Serving with Helping Hands by Jamie Somers
Unseen Service Matters by Candi Smith
Coordinating Connection by Amanda Andris
Serving the Church Through Singing by Andrew Thompson
Leaders Who Serve by Adam Garey
A Summer Investment in Children’s Ministry by Tonya Southwood
Profile of a Proven Servant by Andrew Woodman