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A Wonderfully Diverse Uniformity

We ordained and installed 5 new officers at Grace Community Presbyterian Church on December 15, 2019.

It has been my privilege to work with and walk alongside these 5 guys for almost a year, as our process in training and study is that long.

We've done this five times now, in our relatively young and small church. Every time I am stunned by God's kindness in giving us men, gifted men, who are willing to shoulder the burden of ordained office.

This time, something hit me for the first time.

Among our officers, we have teachers, a school administrator, a pilot, a lawyer, a man involved in the insurance industry, a COO and CEO of a health provider in our area, a man who is supplier to car mechanics, an IT man for an oil company, an IT man for a multi-million dollar corporation, an artist and sign-maker, a man who does something with bonds, working with markets all over the world, a man who works in the construction industry, and a rules and regulations guy for BNSF Railroad.

Here is the thing; I could never, ever do what these men get up and do every day. I have no clue about their business, the tools and gifts required to excel in their industry, the people skills required to oversee people and to answer to their direct reports. In every case, each man forgets aspects of their career every day than I will ever know or understand about their line of work in a lifetime.

But...they not only know what I do, they do what I do, and often they do what I do better than I do it. They love, lead and minister to the people of Grace Community Presbyterian Church in ways that inspire me and give me something to aspire to.

Our elders are gifted teachers; so much so, learning from them exposes weaknesses in my teaching. As shepherds, they expend mental and emotional energy in meeting with our people, praying with and for them, and pointing them to Jesus. They make me want to be better and more faithful in my calling as I learn from them.

Our Deacons have such deep and compassionate hearts that they fill out the meaning of compassion that convicts me about where I fall short. Their commitment to steward their ministry and what that looks like day-to-day is a blessing and gift to me.

God has gifted us 10 men as ordained deacons and 7 men as ordained elders. If I tried to do what they do in their vocations, I would fail miserably, every single time. But, in every case, to every man, they do what I do and often times they do it better and more faithfully than I do.

They, all of them, teach me and lead me. 

God has blessed our church in calling them into ordained office. I've thanked Him for giving them to our church consistently over the 15 years of our life together. But what hit me for the first time in 2019 is the treasure they are to me as my teachers and my leaders. It is a privilege to minister alongside them, and to also sit under their teaching and ministry. We are a more faithful church because of them and I believe God is making me a more faithful minister because of them.

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