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The Home Visit: Preparation & Guidelines

Home visitation allows the office bearer to encourage spiritual development among members of the congregation. I prepared the following materials for the elders of my previous congregation to use as a guideline in making home visits.

Elders
Blog
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The Elder and Lord’s Supper

According to the church order,  “The sacraments shall be administered upon the authority of the consistory in the public worship service…”  and  “The Lord’s Supper shall be administered at least once every three months in a manner conducive to building up the body of Christ and in keeping with the teachings of God’s Word.”  While not providing details, there is some direction... 

Elders
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Listening

Thinking before you speak is harder than it appears.  Conversation is by nature reflexive:  you speak and I reply.  It is dialogue. But how is it possible that as soon as you finish speaking, I can begin replying...  

Elders
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Waiting

Waiting is hard. Especially in our culture of instant gratification. Waiting is an incubator of our hopes and fears. Waiting is a profound act of trust.  We wait because the most important action that can be taken is not one for us to make.  

Elders
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Rumors, Maturity and the Church

Rumors are necessary for church life.  Fact is, we could never keep up with our friends and neighbors in church if someone else did not share information about them. .... Still... 

Elders
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Pastoral Evaluations and the Elder

There is no doubt that the process of evaluation can be helpful in the growth of a pastor and in the mutual ministry of pastors and elders. Yet, it may get tricky for a whole lot of reasons. Let me pick up on two aspects of the dilemma. 

Elders
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75 Years

As a congregation, we just celebrated 75 years of existence.  It was a wonderful weekend.  We ate together, worshiped together, laughed together.  It was very good.  

Elders
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Wise to Elephants in the Room

No elder will ever get through a period in office without facing the dynamics of family dysfunctions. Understanding these dysfunctions help us gain relational wisdom in congregational life. It essentially comes down to a few questions.

Elders
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Too Occupied to Notice

It is around this time of the year that the demands of community life add up.  From school to sports, social life to planning for upcoming events, from regular commitments to unscheduled sickness, the moments seem to press in on us.  There is a simple consequence.  In busy times I default to the urgent.  

Elders
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Death by Suicide

My husband’s suicide brought us pain that was and is immeasurable ... I hesitate to use the word “acceptance,” for how do we “accept” what is totally unacceptable?

Elders
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Facing a Troubled Congregational Past

This coming week at our fall classis meeting we will discuss an overture to make some changes to Article 17.  The request comes out of a concern for the ministry of the church: we have been given a ministry of reconciliation and yet in our practice of Article 17, reconciliation and healing seem so problematic.

Elders
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The Pathological Pursuit of Goodness

 Yesterday I preached on the parable of the prodigal – with emphasis on the elder son on the story.  This morning I read Psalm 1.  The two passages provide an intriguing intersection of ideas.  Psalm 1 celebrates the Law of the Lord.  It is a source of life and hope.  Such a life of righteousness is a place of abundance.   Yet the elder son who did everything commanded stands on the outside of the celebration of redemption.   

Elders
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Budget Crunch, Money and the Holy Life

Our use of money is one place where our spirituality gets incarnated.  Spirituality in our imagination is rather high-minded, mystical, and holy.  But money matters seem stressful, mundane, practical and –in these days of recession – discouraging.

Elders
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From Stranger to Friend

We are strangers to each other. We know each other’s names. We can sketch some truths about the other out. But more often than not there are secrets so deep and movements of the heart so hidden that we remain strangers.Hospitality is a way of grace. It is creating safe compassionate places to free the soul to become more human, where sinners are loved into wholeness and where the self-assured can become more Christ-assured.

Elders
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Community in a Lonely World

 "There are three activities absolutely vital in the creation of community.  The first is eating together around the same table. The second is praying together.  And the third is celebrating together.” 

Elders
Q&A
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How do you deal with a church member who wishes to marry a non-believer?

I would like to know how other elders/consistories have dealt with a situation where one of their active members have chosen to marry someone that is not a believer. How to provide discipline in matters such as that while caring continuing to show love and care. Especially when the person decides to go ahead anyway.
Elders
Discussion Topic
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Ministry Leader Appreciation

It is suggested that we give our pastors a sabbatical for a time of refreshment and study. What about the ministry leaders such as Cadet and Gems counselors, youth group leaders, Bible study leaders, Sunday School teachers, etc?

Elders
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Leadership, Respecting People, Motivation

Leaders need to be aware of our tendency to let fear and control undermine God’s intention to liberate and restore our humanity including such things as participation, taking responsibility, creativity, and the freedom to explore. How can we do this?

Elders

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