God saved me at the age of eighteen in my first year of college. I had grown up in the church and I had a general sense of love towards God and faith in Jesus, but it was in my first semester at college that sin became a burden to my conscience. Over the course of that year I found a joy in repenting from sin and turning to faith in Jesus Christ. I sensed a new affection for God, a new desire to live a holy life, and an awakened personal commitment to Jesus. I had been, as I now know, born again.
Four years later I first sensed a call to eldership. I was reading 1 Timothy 3 and I read, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” I was working in industry at the time, but the verse stirred my heart. I wondered to myself, “perhaps it would be good if I aspired to be an overseer.”
This thought remained with me for several months. The most significant barrier I could see to becoming a leader in the church, however, was my lack of training or ability. After only a year of being married and working in Minnesota, Caroline and I decided that we would leave Minnesota and pursue theological training at Phoenix Seminary. We hoped that I might someday be equipped and called to be an Elder and perhaps, in God’s timing and will, to be a lead pastor.
We arrived in Phoenix in 2015 and began attending Church on Mill shortly thereafter. In that time, I’ve had an increased sense of the call that first began back in 2014. God has used verses such as Hebrews 13:17, Colossians 3:16, and Acts 6:4 to remind me and affirm the initial sense that God might be calling me to eldership. When the Elders invited me to consider eldership here at Church on Mill, I prayerfully and gratefully pursued the opportunity.
Eldership is an intimidating calling. Those who pastor the church will be held accountable by God for how they cared for the souls of people in the church. I would covet your prayers and input if God would be calling me to eldership here among our local body. Even though the calling is intimidating, I find joy in the prospect of praying with and for each of you, teaching the Word of God, guarding sound doctrine, and worshipping God as a fellow member and pastor in this body of believers.
-Anderson (Andy) Clare, Elder Candidate