What to record and why? These are perennial questions. Here are a few thoughts to guide a discussion about your pastoral elder team.
At a council meeting, we were talking about communicating a particular concern and decision to the congregation. That’s where it began. The ones who were dealing with the youth suggested that we put in on facebook. The ones with email thought that was adequate. The luddites suggested that the mailslots in the church were adequate. Everyone agreed that just putting it in the bulletin was inadequate: it is never read well enough.
Christians have always remarked that contentment is rooted not in the circumstances of our lives but in God who gives life. We would do well to ask: what is my source of contentment? How do the habits of my life display that I find more contentment in the Lord than a trip to the mall?
When a person chooses to live with God, there is a consequence. God chooses to transform her life. Knowledge grows. Faith increases. The fruits of the Spirit become evident. For all the differences between people, there is a similarity in the work that the Spirit does in our lives.
Every community has its habits. They are so ordinary that no one either questions them or names them. But for someone walking into the room for the first time they are the first encounters into a new world. What are you supposed to do as a first-time elder?
The church order has a number of articles that outline some of aspects of eldership. I have put the basic Articles of the church order in together for your information.
To be called as an elder is to take on a new role in your relationship to the congregation. It is important to reflect on your new role and face some of its demands and limitations.
In our just in time culture, just in time learning has come to work of elders. Very few churches have a program of preparation in which people are enrolled prior to their call to be an elder. Which means most elders start the work of eldership feeling unprepared for the challenge of the work. Learning needs to happen on many fronts. Just by reading this, you are seeking information and encouragement for the challenges you face.
This book was written to help church leaders guide others on their spiritual journey. The 19 brief chapters can be used for devotions at council meetings, where participants can examine their own spiritual growth and explore how to discuss topics with others.