Several readers commented on my observation that the CRC is losing members. Some very good suggestions were made.
One reason for leaving mentioned more than once was: so many members don't feel warmly part of the fellowship of the congregation. You as elders can play a helpful role in that respect.
As soon as your are installed an elder, begin concerted efforts to get to know the people of your district. Here are some steps.
- Upon becoming an elder send an introductory letter to your members. Mention that you are available to them at all times, especially for a visit.
- Set up a simple administrative system: list details about each family/single member: names (including children), details of work, health, etc.
- Begin a program of visiting your people. Visits happen only when you make appointments. Show genuine interest about their well-being. Pray with them. Keep notes of details the members entrust to you. Enter them into your administrative system.
- Around church, at the services, and other get-togethers, be on the look-out for your members. Ask how they are doing. Perhaps comment on a detail of your last visit. Be especially alert to illnesses and problems with which they may be struggling. Keep track of details, remember them. Keep reaching out to your members!
- Make prayers for your members an urgent personal concern. Let them know that you are their prayer-warrior.
One huge challenge the CRC is facing is: keeping the young people with Lord's service. So, know your young people and children, know their names, the schools they attend, seek them out around the worship-services, tell them that you are their district elder and a partner in prayer.
The Lord bless your work. Yours is one very important function in church life.