Hi folks. One of the elders was sent to our house to talk to me the possibility of being recommended as elder. He did not know however that one of the elders who is a friend of mine had already divulged this future meeting. I am so thankful to my elder-friend for giving me a heads-up so I could prepare and do a personal reflection.
When I heard the news from him, I had a mixture of emotions. I had some euphoric moments having the chance and privilege to serve as one of them. However, while I felt joy at the start, when emotions have subsided and I began to rationalize things, I came to the conclusion that I cannot accept the privilege = responsibility.
With numerous experiences I have read here from former elders, and based on my personal observations in our congregation, being an elder can just cause additional burden/stress:
1) An elder is expected to be always upbuilding, showing care, and supportive. Not only himself but his entire family should show impeccable character/behavior in the congregation. His family should be a model for the brothers. Problem is, I am just human, my family are all human. I cannot stand negative comments against me and my family just because I am occupying this lofty position or privilege. I know my personal weaknesses, as well as members of my family. I cannot be cheerful and appear nice all the time, let alone be a perfect example for all inside the congregation. I can act like one, but that is not who I am. A person cannot just always hide his real personality, including his weaknesses.
2) An elder has to carry weighty responsbilities in attending various organizational meetings - within the congregation, circuit, district. Add to these the sheperding work, and last but the most stressful - disciplining and disfellowshiping. During these committe meetings, there would be conflicts for sure. Since I am younger than most elders, how can I drive a point without sounding as being boastful or conceited? I have the tendency sometimes to really prove a point and be very assertive. If I will just have to submit myself most of the time and just obey as told, better remain with a lesser privilege, right?
3) As an elder, you have to defend always WT teachings and organizational arrangements. This one I cannot bear after realizing flaws in the WT teachings.
Hence, I have to just beg off from the elder's invitation. He asked me of scriptural basis for the decline. I told him James 3:1. (That elder is also close to me, considering he is also an older friend. I told him I am not emotionally prepared to handle additional stress what with the experiences of other elders that were made privy to me by my elder friend.)
One thing though I noticed during our brief conversation. He told me a number of elders of his batch have already stepped down, but some have re-accepted the privilege. I told myself, if he really was motivating me to accept the assignment, why he had to share this story? I felt there was some loneliness as he speaks. I can see thru in his eyes he is also burdened but could not express it in the open.
Anyway, I talked to my wife about the meeting. I felt relieved. I don't know what is going to happen next. I believe worship and serving the Most High is a personal one. I know only Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus Christ know what is best for me and my family. :)
Thanks for hearing me out. :)