THREE THINGS TO AVOID IN THE ELDERSHIP
In order to keep a good, excellent, and beautiful order in the church, the elders should remember to avoid three things. First, each of the elders should not regard himself as higher, more experienced, or better than the other elders. This is fully taught by Paul in Philippians 2. To consider that you are superior or that you are the senior one will damage you and hurt others.
Second, the elders should not exercise any kind of control. The elders should keep Peter’s word in 1 Peter 5:5 and Paul’s word in Ephesians 5:21. First Peter 5:5 says, "In like manner, younger men, be subject to elders, and all of you gird yourselves with humility toward one another." Ephesians 5:21 says, "Being subject to one another in the fear of Christ." Not only should the younger ones be subject to the older ones, but also the older ones should be subject to the younger ones. The Lord Jesus said that He is our only Leader (Matt. 23:10). The elders should not "lord it over" the saints (1 Pet. 5:3). There is no lord among us but the Lord Jesus. Do not think that you are the one who can lord it over the whole congregation. That is absolutely wrong. Such an attitude, way of thinking, and practice are altogether ugly. We must avoid this. The elders need to set up a pattern by taking the lead to serve and care for the church so that the believers may follow (v. 3).
Third, we should not try to adjust people. I may be wrong in a meeting, and you may realize that I am wrong, but you should not adjust me in the meeting. If you feel burdened, you could come to me and have a nice fellowship with me. We may think that others are wrong, but we may be wrong. We may have misunderstood someone and missed the context of what they said. It is best not to adjust anyone in the meeting. Such adjustment kills the function of the saints, and it also kills the morale and the encouragement. Be very careful about correcting and adjusting others. If someone says something wrong, it is better to let it go. People will learn. By practicing to function in the meetings, they will learn how to function to build up the Body of Christ.
(Elders' Training, Book 11: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (3), Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)