Believing the Elders are Bond. James Bond.
Unless your church is the renegade Clint Eastwood of churches, it probably has elders. If you don’t think you have elders, you probably do, but they have chosen to keep their existence a secret until the appointed time. If you are aware there are elders in your church, I dare you to name one of them. Go ahead. Try.
A few weeks ago, all the elders at my church were up on stage for a forum with ministry leaders and volunteers. It was the first time most of us had ever seen them together. This was like discovering the man behind the curtain, except they all had proportionate eyebrows.
One of them stood out: The Chairman.
I had heard lore of The Chairman. For the past 8 years he has served in some capacity on the elder board, yet I have never met him nor seen him. He is a phantom, an idea, a legend. This was huge to see him so exposed, so out in front.
And then he spoke, and that’s when something even bigger became apparent.
At first, it was like hearing a sweet song you know but cannot name, a song which takes shape into something more recognizable, but is still below awareness until it finally crystallizes: by jove, this fellow is British!
Yes, that is, in fact, a genuine British dialect. He even crosses his legs at the knee. What? What’s that he said? He’s a tennis pro at a golf club? Well, one thing is for certain: this is no mere mortal.
It took me a moment to collect my thoughts. Are all chairmen British? Is this a rule in nondenominational Bible churches in Texas with coffee shops? Or is my brain misfiring?
But no. It is confirmed later by several sources, including the Holy Spirit that The Chairman is, and always has been, a transplant from England. Jolly good!
Then I start wondering other things.
Things like: is his Aston Martin parked in the circle drive next to the nursery check-in? Is he packing a small but lethal weapon that has been modified for Gospel-spreading work? Perhaps his sensible shoes and casual Dockers are Velcro pullaways that reveal an expensive tuxedo in which he can exegete difficult Bible passages. Maybe he has throwing stars stored in the lesser-read books of his Bible, like Nahum.
I don’t think elders mean to be international men of mystery. They probably go to their day job like everybody else, drive home, eat a little Hamburger Helper (without adding salt), then drive up to church for a four-hour meeting every other week like it’s no big thang.
Or do they?
Or do they emerge from their forest mansions in the dead of night? With freshly shaven jaws? Which begs the question, is your senior pastor really Judy Dench?
The world may never know. All it really needs to know is Jesus Saves. And the elders will ensure that happens using any means available but not limited to: pen bombs, card tricks, fast boats, tiny weaponry and devastating personal charm.
Can you name the elders at your church?
(For more great stuff from Julie, check out her blog at Wet Behind The Ears.)