Did you know that every new king of Israel was required to write himself a copy of God’s Law? Deuteronomy 17:18-20 states, “When he [the king] takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.”
At Orchard Community Church we are working on changing our leadership structure to be an elder led church. The leaders of the church have been studying, praying about, and discussing this issue for about a year now as we want to be sure we are doing this not according to our ideas but according to God’s ideas as set forth in His Word.
Today I am working on a process for assessing the qualifications of an elder candidate and to train that candidate to be an elder. There will be work involved for the candidate going through this process. There will be reading, discussions, maybe even some writing. It will take time and effort and will be intense. I find it challenging that the Israelite kings were to hand copy the entire Old Testament law by themselves before they became king. They had to know God and know His will. They had to understand what it meant to lead God’s people according to God’s ways.
I don’t think we’ll have our elders hand write a copy of all of Scripture, but reading and studying through certain key topics and passages is essential and it will take time and effort. Any less would not be taking seriously God’s call to leadership among His people.