Small church elders and deacons

by Elmo Evert
(Nieuwoudtville, South Africa)

I'm the pastor of a small church in Afica. I'm the introvert "don't want to hurt anybody" kind of person - which I know I should overcome now and then as Jesus also confronted falsehearted people.

Now, we have a system where elders and deacons serve for only a two year period and then others in the congregation are chosen. But because it is a small church the available number of people to choose from is limited. With the result that members of the church gets chosen who is not spiritually mature. Members who hardly attend church. Members whose life in society is not above board. When I point this out, the board says it give us the opportunity to work with these members. That it is a way to get them involved. Then they will attend church better. They say if I apply the Biblical verses talking about elders and deacons nobody will "make it" to the church board, because those standards are too high.
I disagree, but I never really stop the board - never say "no" and that's it. Always afraid. Just smiling and agreeing. And I always feel sick about it afterwards and guilty towards God. And the result is always a new board who will again not be able to make spiritually mature decisions - also not when it is two years later time to choose new elders and deacons.
What do i do to brake this evil cycle? Or should I accept the fact that people are not perfect - also not elders and deacons? What if I put my foot down and it leaves me alone? And if I do it, surely I'll be critized for being too perfect/holy for them "normal" people.

I am also afraid of God who will ask me one day how I lead this church. All this leads to anxiety inside me and it has a bad influence on the rest of my work.

What should I do?

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