This week we hear from Gerard van Dop! Follow along as he outlines how long he has served as an elder and what originally prompted him to become an elder. We are blessed to have Gerard as an SDBC board member!
How long have you attended SDBC and how long have you served on the Board of Elders?
Donna and I started attending when the doors of the new facility first opened in 1988. Currently, I am serving in the third year of my fourth term.
What was it that prompted you to join the Board of Elders?
I was sitting in the back of a service, 55 years ago, one of seven young teenage boys, listening to a very stimulating preacher. He was great and serious, but oh, so humorous that our snickering became just too much. He ordered us all to sit in the front row to quiet down, and, leaning over the pulpit glaringly, he adjourned us, "How many of you boys are preparing yourselves to be elders in God's assembly?" I can still hear those words as if they were yesterday. This foremost exhortation burrowed into my being. I came to realize it was the normal aspiration and responsibility of any mature spiritual man to care for others in the local church and to be ready, when asked, to become an elder.
What is your specific role on the board?
In the past I have had numerous roles but, currently, I am responsible for interviewing and welcoming new members. As a nurse, I also try to highlight best practices in health.
What does it mean for you, personally, to be a part of the Board of Elders at SDBC?
I realize the significance of pastoring others when life challenges are both minimal and extreme since it affects current choices and the resultant eternal consequences. It takes time and study, care and prayer. It can be stressful at times but it is also rewarding and stimulating to see God working in others' lives.
Lately, due to mandatory social distancing, it has been difficult to build camaraderie as a "band of brothers" as we have had no meals together and our annual elder board retreat was suspended. Hopefully conditions will soon allow us to foster better interaction.
How does being on the board both challenge and encourage you in your life and walk of faith?
Being an instrument in the hand of a mighty God is humbling, fearful, demanding, exciting, and invigorating, often at the same time.
Four years ago, I had a near fatal brain hemorrhage but the Lord restored my health in an amazing fashion so he must have had more work for me to do. I love teaching God's word and watching people respond to it with conviction. That is both my greatest challenge and encouragement!
Please pray for Gerard as he continues to serve, love, teach, and minister to the church as an elder. You can click here to email encouragement to Gerard.