If I Could Start Again as an Elder – Bill Siebert

If I Could Start Again as an Elder – Bill Siebert

If I Could Start Again, I would have better Bible study habits. There were many times throughout  the four decades that I served the Southwest congregation as an elder that I felt I was inadequate in Bible knowledge but, looking back, I should have had a better plan to study the Bible,  not just daily Bible reading, but more time each day in intensive Bible study; taken better notes while listening to the preacher; spent more time in memorizing Bible verses; and taken advantage of classes offered in the Southwest School of Bible Studies. I would have been more comfortable and could have offered better advice in many situations over the years.

If I Could Start Again, I would delegate responsibilities. This has always been one of my many weaknesses.  Too often I relied on an old saying, “If you want the job done right, do it yourself.”  I have come to realize that this was a shortcoming on my part because someone else could have profited if I had delegated some good responsibility to them.  I should have listened to Moses’ father-in-law Jethro as he advised him to delegate authority to others (Ex. 18:13ff).

If I Could Start Again, I would want a vision for the future. Too often through the years we get into a routine or habit of doing the same thing over and over again, because we are comfortable with whatever it is.  I would have loved to have had the vision of those men who served before me.  They had the foresight to look to the future and see the need for a school of preaching in our area. I should have learned to “think outside the box.” The Lord’s kingdom needs men of vision for the future.

If I Could Start Again, I would want to be a better counselor. I have found through the years that the best counselor is one who listens. Most people want someone to listen to their problems, and too often we try to intervene.  I have always tried to be a good listener and not try to intercede, but let the person talk and “get it off their chest.” If I could start again, I would want to properly counsel someone spiritually with their personal problems.

If I Could Start Again, I would be a better encourager. Here I’m thinking about encouraging men to develop their talents to serve in the Lord’s church.  I would have more men’s training classes to encourage and help men to serve in worship or as deacons or elders.  The Lord’s church needs more qualified men to serve as elders and training should begin at an early age.  Serving the Lord in the capacity of an elder is one of the better ways to help the kingdom.

If I Could Start Again, I would be more longsuffering with my brethren. As I have dealt with people (and I’m concerned here with Christians and members of the congregation), we have to deal with all levels of Christian maturity. We must be patient and longsuffering many times with our fellow brethren. We must be willing to go the “extra mile” and give brethren time to consider what was said or done.  Often this may result in correction, but many times brethren will begin to see themselves and their problem if given the proper amount of time. Patience must be developed and is absolutely necessary in dealing with brethren.  Amazingly, if only we would “wait on the Lord” and allow His providence to work, many problems that we face would be resolved.

If I Could Start Again, I would emphasize the Christian Life. I truly believe “the Christian life is the best life we can live here on earth.” Looking back over the years and observing the problems of both Christians and those non-Christians, I can make that statement with great confidence.  This doesn’t mean Christians never have problems, but in comparison to those in the world we have far fewer.  I have observed those with a life of service to God versus those with a worldly life of serving the flesh with all the temptations that bring eternal destruction and physical pain.  After serving the Lord for all these years as an elder, and as an older man who has seen many worldly problems among people, I can make this statement: “The Christian life is the best life.”  May we all strive to live faithfully to the Lord.