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How many of the CRCs in NA can say that their elders are doing a fantastic job of consistently caring for the people they are assigned to shepherd in their "district" (either a regional district or alphabetical). Are your elders making visits? Are they welcoming families/couples/singles to their own homes? How are they connecting with people so that they are doing what they vowed to do at their installation into office: shepherd God's people? 

Churches in the Chicagoland area are wrestling with these questions. It seems that the elders are afraid to visit; they are too busy or they think that the people in their districts are too busy; they are unwilling to ask the necessary spiritual questions necessary. 

Christian Service Ministries, a ministry of Classis Chicago South, is hosting a Roundtable Discussion on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 at 7 pm to address these questions. Anyone is welcome to come to this free event at Palos Heights Christian Reformed Church. The evening will be facilitated by Pastor Greg Janke (Pastor at Palos Hts CRC) and Pastor Rich DeVries Pastor at Calvin CRC in Oak Lawn). They have a passion for helping elders care in the very best, Biblical way possible for others. 


This response is several months after that September meeting in Classis Chicago South. It is my hope and prayer that all those in attendance underscored the importance of elder visitation. That's foundational to being an elder: loooking after the spiritual life of their members. If elders are too busy or not equipped to engage in an elder visit, he/she shouldn't be an elder ... or he/she needs to be equipped.

In the 'olden days', elders came armed with a legalistic check list: Do you attend church twice on Sunday? Do your kids go to catechism, Christian school? etc.

Today, the focus needs to be on one's spiritual life: how is their devotional life? How is their connection with God? How do they disciple their children? What is our connection between your Sunday worship and your Monday work?

I can't imagine a more important exercise for elders or for the families under their charge.



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