Elder Interview: Tim Ells

“Who are the Elders of SSBC?”  I can’t say I’ve never heard that question before.  Our church is at the size where getting to know our Elders is not always easy:  there’s twelve of them and hundreds of us.  Yet God has called these men to be our shepherds (1 Peter 5:2), teachers (Acts 6:4), and examples (1 Peter 5:3).  We should know them!  Being a Pastor at SSBC gives me the privilege of rubbing shoulders with these godly men on a regular basis.  They are wise leaders and enjoyable to be around.  More importantly, they love the Lord, love their families, and love our church.  To help us get to know them better, I plan on asking each eight questions and posting their answers here.  Enjoy.  And please pray for these men.

EllsI spent a few days at Tim Ells’ home during my candidating time at SSBC.  Tim and Janet were not only gracious hosts, but kindly debriefed with me after long days of conversations and interviews.  Many respect Tim at SSBC – and rightly so.  Tim is a man of few words; but when he speaks people listen because he is wise.  What most impresses me about Tim is his love for SSBC.  This love Tim has is manifested quietly and courageously on the Elder board.  And it comes out in his behind-the-scenes service as a Growth Group leader, 5th grade Sunday School teacher, Connections greeter, prayer warrior for Sunday morning services etc.  Let me turn it over to Tim (and by the way, he’s not kidding about the frisbee throws; I am a witness)…

1.  How long have you and Janet attended SSBC?  What drew you to SSBC?

My parents brought our family to SSBC before I was born and I grew up in the church. My wife Janet started attending in 1981 before we were married. In 1989, we participated in starting North River Community Church in Pembroke, and in 1999, our family came back to SSBC.

2.  What is your favorite part about serving as an Elder at SSBC?

I really appreciate working together with other men who share a commitment to building the body of Christ here at SSBC.

3.  When was a time that God undoubtedly showed His faithfulness to you and/or your family?

In 1978-80, I helped out with the SSBC Sr High Youth ministry. During that time, the ministry grew from 12 students to over 100 meeting weekly, under the leadership of Youth Pastor Jim Nicodem. In 1980, Jim told me that he was leaving to attend seminary in Illinois, and asked me to keep the ministry on track for the 3 or 4 weeks it would take for the church to find a new youth pastor. That 3-4 weeks was actually 9 months. Not having been trained in youth ministry apart from watching Jim, and lacking leadership skills, I quickly realized my own inadequacy in that role. My full time engineering job at the same time required mandatory overtime. During this time, I discovered that God is absolutely faithful, answering my prayers for help week after week. God saw fit not only to sustain the youth ministry, but to increase it in size and spiritual depth. We serve an awesome God.

4.  What are three Christian books that have significantly influenced your life?

Three that stick out are Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis for it’s insightful apologetic arguments for the faith. Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence, taught me about walking with God in the day to day practices of life. John White’s, The Fight, was a great encouragement to me in developing the disciplines of my faith in God.

5.  What is God currently teaching you?

He is sovereign, and his Church is alive and growing all around the world.

6.  What is one thing about yourself that most people don’t know?

I can throw a Frisbee about a dozen different ways.

7.  What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy bringing computers back from the dead.

8.  How can the SSBC congregation encourage and serve the Elders?

Pray for us and our families.