Elders are called – not simply elected or conscripted – into a service for the Lord. It is a big job. I would dare say that as we approach Christmas, many elders feel that there is a mountain of work and only limited amount of time to accomplish it. Perhaps it is worse where I am.
It is a good time to hold an accountability session. We simply want to ask the question: how are we doing? Fact is every elder comes into the office and its responsibilities with the desire to do well. But life does not always turn out as we expected or hoped. Events –both expected and unexpected - in the life of the church change our well laid plans and vague hopes. Changes in personal circumstances can limit our time and energy for the work. Sometimes doing the work in more difficult than we first thought. Over the last number of years elders have frequently noted that making arrangements for visits is more difficult – member’s lives are busy. So how are we doing?
So we can ask ourselves some key questions:
- How many visits have we made? Are we on target or not?
- What other responsibilities have taken our time and energy?
- Have we prioritized our efforts well?
- Are there particular issues that we need to address?
- What are some key issues for the spiritual formation of our members that we ought to highlight?
- How can we help each other fulfill our responsibilities?
You can add your own.
The point is simple. If we are not going to be overwhelmed and give up, we need to hold each other accountability, focus our strategies and encourage each other in our work. In the next month, it would be good to spend some time wondering together about how we are doing. I suggest that the elders break up into groups of three to have a conversation that will stimulate and encourage us in the good work to which we are called. Share struggles, recommit to the task, and get specific about your intentions.
God bless your ministry.