I have had the privilege of working with many outstanding elders in my 12 years as an ordained pastor and, as I transition to St. Andrew’s Kirk in Nassau, I am thrilled about the pool of elders here. I’m not one who normally likes meetings, but I must say that my first elder’s meeting at the Kirk last Wednesday was enjoyable. The Session here is enthusiastic about the work at hand, and about the opportunity we have to promote Jesus Christ in Nassau.
Wanting to begin well, I explained to the Session that I would like to meet with every elder individually to get to know them and to hear about their hopes and dreams for St. Andrew’s. Once I’ve done that, I asked them if they would accompany me on some pastoral visits—at least for the first few months. Today I had lunch with one of my elders and, not only was he eager to accommodate this request, but he pledged to go with me once a month, for the next 12 months, to visit folks connected to the Kirk.
I know it is early, and I suspect that some of my cautious colleagues will remind me that this is the “honeymoon” stage of my ministry here, but I am quite confident that this group of elders “is for real”. These folks continue to exceed my expectations and have demonstrated at several turns that they are up to the challenge presented by congregational ministry.
As I read Peter’s description of elders in his first epistle, I think of the Session I now have the pleasure of serving with:
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:2-4)
To the Session of St. Andrew’s Kirk—thank you for being up to the challenge!