A New Podcast for Elders

Stephen Tracey

The OPC is served by hundreds of godly ruling elders—1,103, to be exact. Their work is vital for the life and liveliness of the church. Thinking about ruling elders, David Dickson said,

What a noble army for the Prince of Peace . . . If all these elders used their office well what a network of Christian influence would be woven around all our families! What a harvest of blessing in every generation would be gathered in from our beloved land! (The Elder and His Work, 1–2)

The CCE believes our ruling elders do use their office well. Expanding on the excellent work of Ordained Servant we desire to continue to equip and strengthen every ruling elder and hope this podcast will be of use to the church.

The OPC Form of Government reminds us that “Ruling elders, individually and jointly with the pastor in the session, are to lead the church in the service of Christ” (emphasis added). Leading the church in the service of Christ involves:

  • visiting the people, especially the sick
  • instructing the ignorant
  • comforting the mourning
  • nourishing and guarding the children of the covenant
  • praying with and for the people
  • particular concern for the doctrine and conduct of the minister of the Word to help him in his labors.

For many reasons, this can be hard and sometimes discouraging work, perhaps increasingly in our times. Yet ruling elders are one of God’s gifts to his church. As Samuel Miller reminds us, “the ruling elder is Christ’s officer. He has a right to speak and act in his name” (Essay on the Warrant, Nature and Duties of the Office of Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church).

The podcasts will be released on the fifteenth of each month. Please listen to our first podcast, “The Gift of Ruling Elders,” with Stephen Tracey and CCE president Dr. A. Craig Troxel, available at https://repod.opc.org.

The author is pastor of Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine.


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