Elder Interview: Tim Reed

“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.  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 and their families.

Past interviews:        Eric Mello   Tim Ells   Jim Kleberg    Kent Forkner    Bill Haeck    Rick Coughlin    Rick Goodenough    Jim Van Arsdale

ReedsI got to know Tim Reed in two different bible studies in the first couple years I came on staff.  Now he is one of the newest elders serving at SSBC.  A few words I’d use to describe him:  humble; eager to grow; servant leader; reliable; family man.  I’ve heard Tim humbly share weaknesses and genuinely ask for prayer.  I’ve seen Tim listen intently and then offer thoughtful counsel.  I’ve heard Tim speak into difficult or confusing situations with uncanny insight and clarity.  I know Tim is regularly meeting with individuals for bible reading, prayer, and accountability.  It is also evident that Tim loves and prioritizes his wife and children.  Taken together he is a wonderful example for young men in our church – including myself.  Here’s a little more about Tim…

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

I’ve been attending SSBC since 1990. We moved back from Colorado about 9 months after we were married here. A job in Boston is what brought us back.

My wife, Sue, is from one of the founding families of SSBC–her grandparents were George and Helen Bennett. Her dad and mom are Gerry and Rindy Bennett.

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

This is just my first time serving as an elder, so I can’t really say. But what attracted me to doing this is the chance to be involved in discipleship and building up the church body.

We live in a time that’s increasingly resistant and hostile to Jesus, and we need to be serious about our walk with Him, both for personal growth and for reaching the lost around us. I look forward to the next three years to see how God uses me, and how God works in our church to strengthen and embolden the body.

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

There was a time in my life, professionally, that was very painful. I had just sold the company that I co-owned, and soon after, the new owners found a way to end my contract. God used this to reveal to me what an idol the company had become . He showed me his faithfulness and it was through that difficult experience I came to much more clearly the understand both my utter need for Jesus and his grace and love for me.

In fact, this time was also when I really “got” what discipleship can mean. I had hired Matt Dorn as a professional coach, but he really was more of a discipler to me. He told me that by submitting all of this situation to God, and by seeking Him in everything, I would look back on that time and see God’s goodness. He was so right! That “valley” became one of the highlights of my spiritual life. That’s where my appreciation of the power and importance of discipleship germinated.

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

Three books which have left lasting imprints on me have been the following:
The Pursuit of God, A W Tozer
Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby
My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers

5.  What is God currently teaching you?

A couple things are becoming evident to me and which I think God wants me to work on.

First, life is supposed to be intentional, not accidental. The apostle Paul was a great example of a man who loved Jesus and focused his entire life on preparing for and serving God, both in himself and in the church around him. I’m certainly no Paul, but I hope and pray that I will be a good steward of the time and relationships that God gives me, that I will intentionally develop my “God-focussed skills”, and that God will use me to bless and build up others, both in and outside the church.

Second, I’m also learning that it’s not enough to want God to make me a more holy person, or to more selflessly serve others. All that is good, and that’s basically what I just said that I’m learning. But I’m also learning if that is my #1 priority, I have it all wrong. My focus must be on Christ and on knowing and obeying God–for God’s sake and for no other ulterior reason. I’ve been convicted that it’s pretty easy for me to make even righteous things more important than God, and that I have a long way to go in setting everything aside in the pursuit of knowing and worshiping God.

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

Well, I think that I’m probably a pretty boring person, but something that most people don’t know about me is that I’m a closet red-neck. That may not be the best way to put it–let’s just say I’m a country boy at heart. I love the mountains (even more than the ocean) and I’ll always remember standing on the top of the Front Range Rockies watching the sun rise over the Colorado plains. Give me a pickup, a gun rack and a dog, and I’m set. That said, I’ve lived mostly in New England and New York since I was about 11, so I’m truthfully more a true Yankee than a cowboy.

7.  What do you like to do for fun?

Another thing that people may not know about me is that I have LOTS of interests, but with age comes wisdom and
discernment. So, I’m trying to focus on the things I REALLY enjoy, and those are: Photography, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Computers, Movies, Shooting (archery and firearms), Historical Fiction and Biographies… wait…

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

Pray for us. That’s the most important thing. And then let us know that you’re praying for us–it’s a big encouragement.

I’m new to the elder board and I am coming to realize that in a way, I’ve sort of put elders on pedestals. What I’m learning is that they are “just” men like the other guys in the church, and being an elder is not a sign that “you’ve arrived”. Our elders love the Lord, take their relationship with God very seriously, and are deeply desiring to serve Him, but they have struggles, hardships and difficulties like everyone else. For elders the stakes are pretty high, because God holds elders to a high standard and elders have a very large responsibility to care for God’s people. That’s why prayer is so important.

As the elders care for the church, in ways that are sure to be imperfect, the prayers of the congregation for the elders are so important. Please pray for holiness; for discipline and devotion to God; for loving, effective spiritual leadership at home; and for humility and faithfulness in serving the Church body.