by Robert Fraire
I was there at Bruce's ordination service last night. I enjoyed hearing Dr. Smith as well as Jack Jenkins bring us the Word. The two messages hit on passages central to the call of God on Bruce's life and I thought they were both well done. From where I was sitting I could see Bruce as he listened to the speakers. In both messages the men proclaimed Bruce's talents, his dedication and his loving service to the body at Lakeside. As I sat there listening I thought about a single aspect of Bruce's service that I want to expand on.
As I sat there listening I thought about how one of the truly hard things in life is to be consistent and devoted to ministry for a such a long time. The number of men who can deliver a great message from the word, or make wonderful, thoughtful decisions at a meeting are fairly large. But the number of men who can do those same things month after month, year after year dwindles dramatically.
To use a sports analogy. Every so often I hear about a new golfer on the PGA tour. The announcers will talk about his talents, his successes and his drive. This usually happens when the man wins a tournament and someone in the press will usually ask: "Can you challenge Tiger?" It is at those times that I laugh and think, let the guy win multiple tournaments over at least a couple of years before you ask him about Tiger! Tiger has demonstrated his skill at golf not only through individual tournaments, but more so by the consistency with which he plays.
My point is that the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 3:6 when it is describing the qualities of an elder:
and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.
The main part of this quality is that the man must prove over time that he displays these character traits. In other words someone could claim to be as dedicated and loyal as Bruce, but Bruce has 20+ years of leadership that prove his mettle.
As a younger elder, with young kids and only a short time of service at Lakeside, I looked at Bruce sitting with his family, and I thought; I want to demonstrate that type of dedication, that type of consistency to the body at Lakeside, if the Lord wills, or wherever He sends me. Now wanting to do something is fine, but only time will tell if I can meet the high standard of service set by Bruce. And for anyone reading this, strive to live your life in a way that demonstrates your character and dedication wherever the Lord has placed you, AND continue to do so till He returns or you are taken to Him.