Elders and Members Keeping in Contact

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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.

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Lou, while I agree with your every word of encouragement to the elders, I find it I it interesting that you choose this subject from your previous posting about the declining membership of our denomination.

I find that many of "those people" who don't feel warmly a part of the fellowship, are not a member of a small group, don't attend adult Sunday School or Bible Study, don't invite other members over to their house socially and usually don't hang around much after church services.

Each of us as members of the Body have a responsibility to reach out to one another and your instruction to elders is spot on, however, if we want to be "included" we also need to be actively engaged with others, we need to be accessible and available. It's like the old saying, "if you want friends, YOU need to be a friend.

Community Builder

Jim, thank you for your remarks.

My excuses for my late response.

More observation and research need yo be made. Has it been established that those who leave have a history of non-participation? Whatever the answer, congregations will profit from a ministry that focusses on creating an atmosphere of togetherness, congeniality, and participation. The second half of your comment actually establishes that ideal. It seems to me that a ministry thus designed and practised will contribute toward keeping more members with the church. And it will draw new member to the church. 

I wonder what theexperience of pastors around the continent has been.