Most of the time, when men become elders, they have very little idea of what things are going to be like. What should they expect in meetings? What’s expected from them outside of the meeting room? What kinds of questions are people going to start asking them that they never would have heard before? What do you do when your thoughts are on the fringe? It can all be shocking at first, and it takes a little while before it begins to feel somewhat normal. I’ve heard a lot of men say it was at least six months or a year before it felt normal to them—even two years is common!
Typically, churches add elders in batches, and since a new batch can take a little while to adjust, they often assimilate into the way the group already does things, going with the flow while they learn to swim. Commonly being a part of an eldership is a moderating force on individuals, bringing them towards a center of thought. That’s mainly healthy and appropriate, part of the way the Spirit runs the church, but there is at least one by product of that process which is potentially negative.