Preachers are weird. And we are strange. Foremost we are susceptible to immaturity...even into our later years. Yet, we survive...or should we say that the church survives us?
Wade Hodges has written recent posts (http://www.wadehodges.com/) revealing his struggles that go along with such a role. I see it in myself; inadequate, immature, and vulnerable.
Elders are major players as to whether preachers make it. There is not a contest between the two roles. Each is God-ordained and God-called to fulfill specific obligation as well as opportunity. While some elders tried to kill me off; it was other elders who would not let me die.
Oddly, I am grateful for both groups. Looking back I can see I was advantaged by the fire-storms of the former which served as training ground to beat some of the nonsense out of me. (I didn't feel so blessed at the time.) The latter, though, from day one at Memorial might not tell me I was great but did assure me I would make it.
A preacher will hear plenty as to what is wrong with him. This experience magnifies why he must hear of the approving factors from his shepherds. We will grow. I can't say we will ever grow all the way up; but we will grow. We are slow weeds....so give us time.
Elder patience is also elder vision. When they can see that adjustments are surely needed in their man but possess the awareness of what he can be, confidence arises in within the groomed one to keep trying. My personal failures are abundant and embarrassing. Yet, I get to engage in the most exciting work on earth because within every set of elders I have had, someone dared to believe in me.