REs are different from TEs.
Of course, the BCO provides that “Elders being of one class of office, ruling elders possess the same authority and eligibility to office in the courts of the Church as teaching elders.” (BCO § 8-9) But we also know that REs have a day job, while going to General Assembly is part of a TE’s job description.
For many TEs, General Assembly is a showcase of innovative worship styles, a trade show, several simultaneous seminary homecomings, and some parliamentary business.
If you’re an RE, its all business. Its unlikely that you will run into many friends. You’re probably more concerned about the regulative principle of worship than you are about “keeping it fresh.” And, most importantly, you’re making significant sacrifices to be there:
- you’re either losing vacation time or you’re not making sales if you’re self-employed;
- you’re not able to help put the kids to bed or otherwise help your wife with the burdens of family life; and
- you’re worrying about the mountain of emails, voicemails, etc. accumulating while you’re gone and that you will have to deal with when you return.