Kingdom Elders are called to rule in the Body of Christ. God's will is God's rule.
As with all the things of Christ and the Kingdom, God's will must be done God's way - in love, wisdom, accountability, transparency while upholding the free will of others.
Hear what Peter lays this out in his first letter to Elders and the "Flock of God". As "a fellow Elder" he says:
“The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, cast-
ing all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world,” 1 Peter 5’1-9.
Remember what Jesus said to Peter, the "fellow Elder"? “Feed My lambs” - “Tend My sheep” - “Feed My sheep" (John 21'16-18).
The writer to the Hebrew Believers also gives some thought-provoking words for Believer to think about:
“Remember those who rule over you,
who have spoken the word of God to you,
whose faith follow,
considering the outcome of their conduct.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever,”
He further exhorts:
“Obey those who rule over you,
and be submissive,
for they watch out for your souls,
as those who must give account.
Let them do so with joy and not with grief,
for that would be unprofitable for you,”
To summarise, those who are true Elders will:
- speak the word of Christ,
- be examples of faith,
- be open to questions about their conduct,
- hold to the simplicity that Jesus Christ is always the same,
- watch out for the souls of the Lord’s People,
- behave in a way that mirrors the Lord's way of ruling.
The lordship of Christ must be the ultimate rule over all in love and submission to one another with willing hearts.
Matthew 12’20 lays out the Lord's own disposition and the disposition that all Believers should have toward one another:
“A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench”.