Elders have played a prominent part during my ministry years. Foremost, of course, during my years as a parish pastor. (I served congregations in British Columbia, Alberta, Iowa, and Ontario). But then also when I served, for a dozen years, in the denominational Pastor-Church Relations ministry. It was there that I learned even more how important elders are to their pastors, and, broader, to their congregations.
Soon after I began that ministry, a development took place of which I had, initially, not seen the importance. I was regularly invited to lead elders' workshops. They became important experience to me. Many questions surfaced there. I made it a practice to always write them down. Still further along, I wrote little essays on each of those questions. All that, in due time, led to writing the ELDER'S HANDBOOK which enjoyed broad interest. Many councils gave the new elders a copy for their personal use. (Faith Alive also published a companion volume, the DEACON'S HANDBOOK, around that time.)
Following my retirement, I began a twelve-year volunteer ministry with Chr. Ref. World Missions. This enabled World Misisons to provide some pastoral care to world missionaries. My wife Jean and I traveled to most mission areas and conducted retreats for missionaries and national leaders.
Jean and I grew up in the Netherlands, spent several years in Canada and have lived in Grand Rapids since 1980. We have six children (of whom the youngest died in a traffic accident) and ten grandchildren.
The Office of Pastor Church Relations would have helpful resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you could check out my book "The Elders Handbook" (available to order here...view
Thank you Phil and Ron for your comments. Much appreciated!
In response to Ron, your remarks are well taken. Indeed, the care and services of Joseph around the first season of our Savior's...viewposted on: Joseph - Our Man
There are some basics here.
The pastor must divide his time three ways:Personal time. For those who are married: this will be a very important part of the family life. (Some pastors... view