Elder?

Tonight I was able to pray over a friend who is leaving Louisville for Chicago to take a position at a church. His position: elder.

He’s 23.

He may be one of the younger people in the group, but his words hold such weight. When he speaks up, you know it’s going to be good. He’s always affirming but doesn’t leave you feeling better about yourself… he leaves you feeling better about who God is.

Just moments after a time of prayer where everyone was able to pray and lay hands on him and his wife, while everyone is still wiping away tears, he stands up and says he doesn’t want this to be one-sided. Then he gives us all a challenge to keep living in light of the Gospel.

He promised to be praying for us.

Who is this guy? Where does this wisdom come from? How am I his pastor?

A while ago, during a very emotional and stretching time for our community group, I gained a ton of respect for him. We were all sharing spiritual milestones in our lives, times that we look back on and see that God used then to shape us for now. After one particularly emotional story of loss, he softly said, “I’ll never forget that.” It was strange the amount of validation and comfort that brought to everyone in the room. But we all knew what he meant. It wasn’t about the story. It wasn’t about the tears everyone was wiping form their eyes. It was about the way God worked in the person’s life. How God had brought them through pain and loss and showed Himself to be true in the midst of suffering.

That same night, I gained an amazing amount of respect him as his wife shared her testimony. He discipled her. She loves him so much because of that. We were all speechless as we surveyed her love for him and we were moved by the way she looked across the room at him and said, “I love you.”

Is he young? Yes. Is he fit to be an elder? Yes.

We’ll miss you Joey and Faith. We rejoice for Chicago that they get you for now. We pray that God would continue to use you in mighty ways. We love you.

 

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2 thoughts on “Elder?

  1. How fortunate you are to know this couple and be impacted by their faith. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute and farewell message with the rest of us. It makes us all want to be better witnesses and encourage those around us. You have a GREAT community group!

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