For our children, a stay in a hotel has many charms. The pool, of course, is at the top of the list. Hotels without pools fall into the “emergency only” category. Booking a room at such a venue is seen as a breach of paternal trust. But our children also enjoy the freedom to jump from one bed to another (before 9:00 pm) as well as the carb-overloaded cereal bins in the breakfast area. And then there is television.
We have a television at home and recently got basic cable, but we rarely watch anything that does not stream from Roku or spring from a DVD. Unless we have a hankering for big-pharma or big-auto commercials, we never venture past the evening news into TV land – except when the Olympics are on. But when we are at a hotel, we enjoy a small dose of cablevision, especially “Dirty Jobs.” While the show’s host, Mike Rowe glories a bit in the “muck and mire” aspect of each episode, I appreciate the heroic light he shines on those who work these jobs, day in and day out. But “dirty jobs” are not for everyone. It demands special people to work these special jobs. Despite the natural revulsions these jobs may inspire, each one is of value and produces something that makes our lives better.
As far as I know, “Dirty Jobs” has never done an expose on the work of elders in the church, though it certainly might qualify. A mentor of mine once declared, “working with sheep is a dirty business.” And, so it is with any helping and caring profession from the work of an elder, to a nurse or caregiver. But the value of this work extends far beyond the here and now, into eternity. For this reason, the Apostle Paul writing to his apprentice, Timothy, instructs him to instruct the church in regards to what type of men God calls into the work of elder and deacon.
Paul declares that anyone who sets his mind on this work desires a “noble task,” then sketches the qualities of elders as men who have been tested in life and leadership. They have a proven track record of living and leading consistent with their creed. But Paul’s instructions are not just for Timothy and an elite group of executive recruiters in Ephesus. They are for the whole church, so they may know what type of leaders to desire and how to pray for the leaders they have.
Join us this Lord’s Day, January, as we examine 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and consider what type of men are to be desired and selected to do the dirty job of shepherding the flock of God. We meet on the square in Pottsville, right next to historic Potts’ Inn at 10:45 am for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. We look forward to seeing you.