The Gentle Elder. There is no other kind.

I have just started reading Jeramie Rinne’s “Church Elders” a short book in the 9Marks Building Healthy Churches series. In his treatment of what qualifications there are for elders, exemplifying godly character stood out.

This is what Rinne says of being gentle. “Gentle.There is this famous Swahili proverbs that says, “When the elephants fight, the grass is trampled.” Likewise, when a church’s shepherds are combative and aggressive, the sheep get hurt. That’s why Paul described the qualified elders as “not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome” (1 Tim. 3:3) and “not arrogant, not hot-tempered” (Titus 1:7). Egotistical, domineering, argumentative, pushy, gruff, hotheaded, explosive overseers crush church members.”

We don’t have to look far to see this truth in action. Shepherds are put in place to protect, care for and guard the flock to maturity. May our churches have gentle elders.

Lord, fix my heart on you, that I may be gentle and rightly care for the people you have called me to lead and love.

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