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Elders Basic Training - Part 1

Royce Snyman


Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference




  • June 19, 2017
    8:00 AM
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Father in heaven thank you for a new day and a beautiful morning here in Cannes needing the pray that as we begin this class and in learning about the basics of being an elder I pray that 2 Holy Spirit will guide our conversation and that our time will be well spent as we seek to understand the purposes and the job description of an elder and how to carry that work out May your holy spirit guide as I pray and I thank you in Jesus' name. Or really glad that you are here and we're going to take a look at. Some of the work of an elder today I've given you a book that look a little notebook that looks like this and if you would take it I just want to show you what's there we have 2 sessions of elders training days of training that's today our this morning and tomorrow morning at the same time as and I'm doing a good elders training I mean a deacons training on Wednesday and Thursday and I don't know how you feel about it but I think elders should know what Deacon should be doing and to your elders or leaders in the church and that's the place you need to be are you supposed to be somewhere else where you supposed to be. But sorry and doesn't hurt you to learn how to be in 1. Alright. And. So we're going to have a deacon indigenous training on on Wednesday and Thursday and then on Friday I'm going to do a class that is talking about helping your church to grow as a leader that's part of the work of an elder as well and so we're going to focus on that so this is a leadership course and even though it has some different titles the parts for an elder actually carry through all week and I would encourage you to to participate and that So if you take this out this is what we're using for for today this is today's presentation tomorrow I'll give you that presentation here so I want you 1st of all the know what's in your notebook Also there are some blank pieces of paper underneath the class evaluation and if you want to take notes you can either take notes on the on the print out of the handout from the class or you can take it on The Book of you on the page notebook paper if you would like to do that if you need something to write with we have that too looks like everybody's doing all right with that and so that's. The material that I'm getting you to be able to work with all right Anybody got any questions. OK let's dig into what we're going to be talking about the 1st thing we want to talk about is the elders call and qualification. This material that I'm going to be sharing with you comes out of the elders handbook and we had a little trouble in the last year that there oh didn't seem to be an Elders handbook available they printed them and then they ran out and it's my understanding they are available again so if you don't have an elders and book and courage to go up to the A.B.C. and get a hold of 1 of those because I'm only hitting some of the highlights I'm not able to do the whole thing I'm able to use just parts of it and focus in the main items I want to talk to you about the calling and election of an elder 1st of all to be an elder is to receive a call from God It's not just your local church that's important but the real important role that you have is the role of being a leader in the church and that work is to be a leader for God and you want to make sure that that's your calling because there's nothing worse than being in a position that God didn't call you to when he begins to put burdens on you that you didn't realize were going to be something God expected of you and if you didn't really get that call from God then you realize the challenge that you have in terms of caring that work out God is the 1 who calls an elder to their responsibility. Elders who realize that their calling comes 1st term God will improve appreciate the importance and the seriousness of the leadership responsibility there is a tremendous responsibility upon the elder if you don't mind passing that sign up sheet to the back we had 1 more person join us thank you. So the Imp the work of an elder is a very serious task in some places not so much in Michigan and in some places in the world elders serve as assistant to the pastor and really that's the way it ought to be even in Michigan in the United States as well that is the work of an elder is to assist the pastor will talk a lot more about that later today and tomorrow as well it is a very serious responsibility and an important task the election of an elder after an individual who receives a call from a lord to do this and sometimes that call to be an elder comes through the congregation there are people who say have never thought about being L. or I don't want to be an elder I remember when I was passed during. 1 of my it 1 of the churches in this particular case the Kalamazoo church and while I was pastoring I noticed that there were people that I could see that God was would be able to use in Elder responsibilities but they were hesitant to take that responsibility as a matter of fact they were even asked to do it from time to time and I'm talking about different individuals and they backed off or said no or. You know or whatever and they just chose not to take that responsibility it's interesting to me that today 20 years later those individuals are elders. And what it sometimes does is takes time for the call the settle in is more than 1 pastor who resisted that call and went off as an electrician 1st or did this or did that and then finally realized wait a minute God's been calling me for years I've been running from this call and and now it's time for me to do that work that God has called me to do that several pastors in the Michigan conference that's their story and saw that happens even to elders and sometimes it's when they nominating committee selects an elder Wow I've really never thought about doing that while I'm mature and then they begin to realize you know I really have sense that God's been calling me to this responsibility and it's not because of a person's wealth or because they run a business or their importance in the local community they're being called to be an elder they're being called to a position of being an elder in the church for reason of their spiritual leadership and the opportunity they have to share they have no official position or authority in the church unless they have been elected by the congregation they are elected for life I should say they are deigned to for a life but not Elektra for life you understand on make sure I correct that and maybe making the mistake helps to clarify that. You're not elected for life you might be elected this year and not elected next year you don't have to be re ordained if you were elected the following year back into being an elder but when you're not a like did you are not an elder It's just that some pull Yes place question. If you remember. The good question they all answered simply because I don't think I really get into it later but at the process is when you are elected that means that you should be ordained and that should take place shortly after your election and shortly after you take office so in other words let's say the nominating committee process is going through March and April and May of the year so by the end of May The election is completed the Nominating Committee report has been accepted by the church and you are an elder in the church perhaps the officers actually take effect in July because that's a typical calendar for for a local church so in July you should be ordained it should be as early as the 1st Sabbath whenever the pastor is able to be there because sometimes that becomes a schedule scheduling issue or whatever but it should be done by an ordained pastor they should be doing that and there might be more than 1 or you may be the only 1 if that were the case and then you would be ordained at that time your day and then in the local church if you go to another church you know 5 years later you transfer to another church and somewhere along the line they elect you to be an elder you do not have to be ordained again you've already been ordained that's the election for life I should say that's a or nation for life to be election is only when you are elected by the church and then get that part of it right yes. To take a little bit of a biblical look at this in the New Testament the elders job description is outlined there somewhat briefly but still clearly they're appointed by every congregation as you look at the experience of Paul going from congregation to congregation he speaks about the fact that he appointed elders there and in that case they were working under the leadership of the Apostle Paul and he always made sure that there were elders there were elected to that congregation appointed to that congregation to be able to work there they are highly respected individuals that respect is out of their leadership ability and their spiritual experience and it's not necessarily because of some other thing wealth as we've talked about or whatever but the respect is earned from their experience they give leadership and prayer they are involved in and knowing TNG the sick these were task clearly were outlined in the New Testament and those individuals that were selected to those positions were individuals who had been recognized by the congregation as fulfilling those requirements in the New Testament they carried significant leadership and administrative responsibilities and they helped to oversee what was going on in that local church when there became problems it was their responsibility to find ways of solving them that doesn't mean they necessarily always solve them or did them for we know that when a problem arose in the early church in Acts what happened to the situation where the windows were not being cared for that in the way that some felt they should be they came to the leaders of the church the church. We need someone else to be doing this task and that's when they chose deacons and ordained deacons to carry on that work so in other words the leaders have to figure out how to solve that problem and if the church is big enough today they might have to say you know there's a specific need a year that's unique to our church and we need to go through a nominating committee process and have that person chosen to solve their problem because we don't have time and we shouldn't be spending our time doing that work because our work is to lead the church and provide the direction that is needed in the congregation they were also shepherds they were overseers and they were individuals who were showing and living by example how Christians should live that's why Jesus said to Peter feed my sheep and the Apostles taught the elders that came to to be under their leadership they taught them similarly of their responsibilities. I already mentioned the fact that from spiritual leadership perspective they should be respected by the current congregation they should be able to speak well now this is 1 of the parts that really makes some people hesitate to take on the responsibility of being an elder and we understand that there tends to be a certain fear level I've never done that before I'm not sure that I could although that's why as a pastor sometimes when I've noticed individuals that show the gifts of being able to be a leader and able to do the kinds of things including speaking. It's sometimes difficult to convince the person that they can do that and 1 of the ways that that can be accomplished just through training and sometimes people think well you can't learn but you know what what about people like me if I just stand up 1 day and start preaching there are some kids who did that and they were preaching at the age of 3 or 4 or whatever I don't know but you know maybe just to their friends or whatever they just started that way that was not my case and the 1st time that I really got into preaching was an academy and the 1st time I preached a sermon it was a very short 1 and I can't even remember what it was about as a matter of fact I remember a lot better the the the speech or the sermon that a friend of mine gave and then my own because he did such a fantastic job and and I just really had no idea what I was doing and that in spite of the fact my father was a minister so it's something that you can learn and I think that's important but it is part of the task of being a leader to be upfront and to be able to speak and to be understood into heard well also they should have consecrated lives that's part of the responsibility of being an elder This is a spiritual leadership role you're not a C. O. in a car and a. Big company you are a leader of people in the church and you are leading their spiritual at Tiffany's in guiding them in their lives and that's why this idea of spiritual leadership is spoken of here and is being repeated because that is what this is all about. Some people think that being elected to an elder is in order to be able to take care of calling for the offering on Sabbath morning perhaps having the morning prayer on Sabbath morning and other leadership responsibilities on the platform 1 Sabbath morning that is a minor part of being an elder What was the word I just used. What part minor part of the responsibility of being an album and I really want to stress that because that is where the role of being an elder comes into fruit to comes to fruition. Part of the work being an elder is to provide general oversight along with the pastor Now remember I told you a few moments ago that the work of being an elder is 1 of working alongside the pastor I even use the word assisting the pastor and whether it's here in the United States or in some places where a pastor might have 20 or 30 churches and that's not an exaggeration obviously the elders have to be assisting the pastor the church pastor cannot be there every week and the pastor cannot visit every home every month the pastor is going to be spreading himself very thin and the elders are necessary to provide the spiritual leadership and the oversight that the congregation needs so they're working right alongside the pastor. In the North American division This is especially. Focused when it comes to looking at the areas of the departments in the church name some of the departments in the church that you might oversee as an elder personal ministry is what else. Children's programs Sabbath schools and adult Sabbath schools especially 1 else. Treasurer what else. Did you notice that I just keep going on and on and the reason for that is because you somebody has to oversee all of the positions in the local church right all of the positions in the local church need to be over seen and we have some tools that help to provide the ability to do that and to help to focus the energies of the elders in looking over those responsibilities and we'll be happy to provide for that and provide that information this involves helping to get involved in planning and staffing and training and guiding of the entire church program whoa there's nothing that I said here that just simply talked about organizing the platform on Sabbath morning I'm talking about getting in there and really leading the church and getting that church going how many of you come from a church where your pastor has more than 1 church OK that was everybody and that is typical That's normal so the role of the elders in providing that oversight is a critical part of doing the work of an elder that means planning what does that translate to that translates to let's say for example we're talking about personal ministries if we're talking about personal minister is that means that let's say your church has 200 members X. a fairly large church in Michigan and they're not that you know they're There's only. I don't say a handful but there's probably about 50 churches or so that are of that size or about that area between $102.00 and chances are in that case that you're going to need to have you're going to have more than 1 elder you might have 3 or 4 maybe even 5 or 6 elders and you can spread out your responsibilities so 1 elder will take the elders that we have here is being a good representation of that 1 elder might be in charge of handling the personal ministries Department now that doesn't mean that the that is going to attend that every single personal ministries committee meeting or every time they get together and do that but the elders should be in tune with what's going on in that department maybe it's by going in visiting the personal ministries leader as part of regular visitation and saying all right how are things going what's happening what are your plans how they developing Can you give me a copy of the list of your plans so that we know what's what's going on. But there's also another aspect where you can be involved and that is at the beginning of the year when the personal ministries Committee may be doing some planning that's a good time to go and attend 1 of their planning sessions and to be able identify you might go into the personal ministries committee meeting and find they can't get anything going they can't get it figured out they don't know what they're going to do and they don't know where they're going that's why you are providing oversight along with a pastor and you're working with them now usually an ark churches here the pastor would likely be a part of that process but you should be a part of it too so that when the pastor isn't able to be there you are able to provide oversight and to be able to keep the church moving ahead if the church is not moving ahead in soul winning an algorithm and you're an elder in the church it's your fault you innocent. It's your fall why because you are the oversight provider for that local church it's not just because the personal ministries leader wasn't doing it is because you as an elder are not leading that congregation maybe that personal ministries leader needs to learn how to lead Nabi they've never gotten any training you might say you know you need to go and I'm saying. I should model this a little better than I am but I am making a point so I hope you will understand that but I would encourage them as an elder I'd encourage them to go and get some training from the personal ministries Department of the conference or maybe organize a personal training a vent in your district where all the personal ministries leaders can come together and maybe elder Howard from the conference can come and train them and provide that training and other words you don't have to do it all but you can seem with a need is and say this is what we have to do in order to be able to help our church to grow so when I say it's your fault I'm trying to make a point and the point is that you have leadership responsibility in your church it's not just the pastor it's your task and if you as elders are doing the work well and in an organized fashion 1 of us' responsible for personal ministries but that's a big task that elder might not have any other responsibilities for oversight but the other another elder might be responsible for overseeing the youth programs the person the Pathfinder program of the adventurer program and an eager beavers or whatever programs that you have or need to have in order to meet the needs of your young people all of those things may be part of what you are what you're working at and what you're able to minister to and you say we need to work at those you might need to go to the. Pastor and say I think we will need some help here Pastor This is an area of the church I'm willing to provide some some encouragement and leadership but I mean to make sure that we're all on the same page so you are helping to move that church to the next level the next step maybe it's an Sabbath school maybe the night the other another elders in charge of Sabbath school oversight and making sure that the adult Sabbath school is running the way it should and the adult Sabbath school is not going well that is your responsibility to say what do we need to do to up the game to step it up to get the leadership that we need to train the leaders so that they're doing their work or am I making my point all of these areas are the responsibility the planning the staffing the training the guiding of the interact tired church program is under your oversight and be able to lead with that part of your oversight is also do a demonstrating skills and over seeing the worship service and providing leadership in that aspect and this is the most common area that. And it's probably the most visible on Sabbath morning especially that they're involved with but you know this is only 1 of the task and it's 1 of many at the pastors request or in his absence they elder may also serve as a chair of the board or add business meetings as well that would be the head elder of the local church might be involved in this kind of work as well but only when the pastor requests it elders do not have the authority to call an elders meeting without the pastor knowing it. That is not risk that's not responsible and sometimes that happens in the subversive way in order to undermine the pastor and that irresponsible you need to work with if you're having to work with a pastor if you're having trouble with a pastor and you've got issues you need to address you can come to the Minister of apartment that's our task and we work with it and no we don't usually come in and 1 day talk to the pastor in the next week fire them because they weren't doing what they always wanted them to do this is a process that we work with with the elders and many times the issues that are being dealt with can be worked through without the pain of making moves and changes and so on other times it has to be that there are changes made. Elders are also able to be involved in outreach and should be and have a clear vision of the church's mission the truth of the matter is we've been teaching something in Michigan for quite a while a part as part of grow Michigan and you know that's the theme of our camp meeting that is part of that something that we have called over the last several years training center churches the training center church principles make it very clear that every single member every single member I say every single member is 1st of all to be a disciple of Jesus and that includes the elders and the deacons and deaconesses As a matter of fact the elders are the ones who are responsible for leading the school the training center church that Alan White told us all our churches should be a training school for Christian workers and we must be as elders we must be Christian workers ourselves we must know how to give a Bible study if we're going to help other people know how to give a Bible study we must be winning souls of we expect other people to be wanting souls we're providing spiritual oversight for the congregation we must be involved in an outreach for the congregation and help them develop a clear sense of vision for their mission. Part of the work of a local elder has to do with nurturing elders are not only overseers but they are shepherds Shepherds are under the pastor shepherds under the great shepherd Jesus Christ and they are working to provide nurture for the congregation they may be helping to prepare members for baptism if a church and churches are really functioning the way God wants them to you might be having a baptism every week or or a baptism every month or or or oh that's the way it really ought to be a people coming in and searching for truth and the pastor can't possibly get around to all of those so you should be trained how to clear people for baptism and know how to say wait a minute they're not ready for baptism and work with the pastor now until they are ready for baptism and be able to do that process preparing people for baptism providing special love and nurture for new members who are in need and we have a discipleship plan in Michigan using a discipleship Handbook How many of you aware of that are right that discipleship handbook is something you should be integrated into a group. Familiar with and have read through yourself and utilize ng as a tool yourself it's a great tool for helping to love and nurture the new members and every new members should have somebody mentoring them and going through the discipleship handbook as a part of their growth after baptism not necessarily your hand but definitely at the hand of someone who's been trained or learning how to do that work but you want to make sure every new member has that experience we know that new members sometimes drift away but a lot fewer drift away when we integrate a serious follow up discipleship process in their lives and when we just baptize them and ignore them is it any surprise that they leave. We want to help them make firm friendships within the church the church has discipleship Handbook has all of that kind of aspect of nurture built right in to the work of an elder. And I'm looking at my time in my notes and realizing we're going to have to speed up by quite a bit so here we go we're going to put the afterburner on a little bit small churches just some things that apply to smaller churches more than larger churches the elders need to take responsibility for almost all of the detail of ministration of the church yes I know you thought that was a pastor's responsibility but that really shouldn't be the pastor's responsibility and the pastor should provide oversight and provide a general direction that the elders need to be providing that leadership and smaller churches elders need to be prepared to preach often they need to plan to lead out on the worship service including communion if there is an emergency to do so but I will tell you that they are not ordained ministers in the Michigan conference that that should not be the practice and if you should request special permission if there's an unusual situation that's developed to do that and you can do that by calling me for example if for some if a some reason let's say a pastor is called Out of town and on an emergency basis has a family emergency is mother is dying in Florida and finds out on Friday evening and has to catch a plane that night and is making its way down to Florida and communion a schedule for the next morning you could call a ministerial director and it may be that I can change my schedule and get there or I can find a pastor who can come and has that's really the way this should work and it can happen but you do have the authority of you the head elder elected by your congregation to be the head elder I could tell you there's nobody else who can come and do that for you you're going to have to take charge of it and give it to you we can give you that authority to do that we might also call in chair of the church board or a business. Meeting in the pastor's absence at his specific request. Also only to organize and participate in the visitation of members this is an a very Nordic area of responsibility but a very critical 1 to the oversight and the spiritual nurture of members of the church this is a major responsibility for you as an elder and in smaller churches there is no reason why that can't happen your churches may not be that large you may only have 20 families in your congregation and over a year can you visit 20 families we're talking about less than 1 a week 1 family a week I mean every other week as a matter of fact of its 20 families also need overside oversee the evangelist and plans of the church need to be involved in the training of the congregation in terms of stewardship and giving general oversight to the church finances as we said many times as part of visitation the elders can be teaching Now here's what I don't like and really discourage. The elders get together the board meets and the elders are part of that and they are talking about we are in desperate need financially we're getting no money coming in for George budget we not have enough to be able to meet those projects we whatever while that's why don't we go out and visit all our church members and ask them how much they can contribute. Never once have the elders been out visiting those church members in 20 years and the 1st time they show up at the door is not to teach stewardship but to ask for money is that a problem. So that's why there's a visitation that is and why but that is 1 of the benefits of regular visitation is that you already shown that you care about the people because you do care about the people they can't say you always show up whenever you want money and I've heard that and I'm subject suspect you have to and that's how you avoid that is not by just going when you need money that you go when they need help and that is all the time because you are helping to develop their spiritual growth and you are helping with the finances of the church in a larger churches there's probably a large team of elders the largest church and Michigan conferences pioneer memorial and I don't know if they've got about $60.00 or something like that and they they have more than 1 lead elder and all and you have that board of dollars even smaller churches need a board of elders even if you're only 2 or 3 of you you need to be reg meeting regularly and you all elders are members of the church board are at this next section is printed for you and I really am going to go through this section now 1st part I've talked about is your job description on dealing with it on a basic level and helping you to have some grasp of that piece I don't want anybody to go away overwhelmed and say wait a minute I didn't know that is what an elder supposed to do I'm going home and resigning. That's not what that is you take 1 step at a time and develop your skills and work your schedule out till these things become a part of your experience and get the training that you need this is a great place to start to be able to do that and by the way I'm willing to come to local churches and local districts and do training of elders I'm happy to do it I only wish I got to ask more to do that it does happen but I don't get enough of it because I know a camp meeting there's too many seminars and it's just not possible that all the elders are going to get here that could benefit from the training. So I've talked 1st of all about the job description now I want to talk about the organization of the church just to make sure that pieces clear in terms of what we function in and the way the church does work 1st of all God created the church of this is his creation this is his work Jesus came here in a stablished the Christian church and everywhere God Is it work there is an organization necessary in order to keep the church moving together people want to be part of God's plan but not part of an organization do not understand how God works I'm visited people as a pastor especially people that were interested in joining the church and they said you know I'm I'm really not interested in being part of a church why can't I just stay at home and pray and and so on and that's a great misunderstanding of who goddess. They they just want their own little bit of experience and they think that's all they need now that isn't all they need because that does NOT going to prepare a person for the return of Jesus a parable of the return of Jesus is getting to be a strong Christian and we become stronger by interacting with each other we learn from each other and we also become stronger by spreading the message together as a team and God works on that way he put this organization together to accomplish a task there are different ways of being organized and in the early Church days of the Old Testament there was the patriarchal system when the new. When they church because I mean when the church yes literally became a nation God's people were organized as a nation God would still have been their king if he would have allowed them and they would have allowed him to do it but when we come to the new church Testament church the church was a community of Christians and that was their method of organization and that is the method of organization that we use today and the Bible uses many images to represent the church it is 1st of all a group of Christian people a church is a group of people called out from the world that are learning to love God and also to care about each other like this little statement down at the bottom here a church is not a museum but a living workshop that's what is happening with the local church yes ma'am. Thank you I can show you on the video so they know who you are but we're good. I see you Heidi. So we're talking about what the church is and so the Bible also uses some other imagery we find the church is a group of Christians reaching out to the world that is the strength that we have we could be changing the world if we were not just centering in ourselves but reminding ourselves regularly of our responsibility and carrying that out to take the message to the World Church is also a place for the healing of the hurts of life and that's what a lot of people are needing today and a lot of people are anxious for today is to have that experience of seeing their hurts healed Jesus wants to do that and that's what their local church is for and the elders are helping to provide that direction and that support for church members and for visitors as well and that's what makes a difference in people's lives every church member receiving the Spirit of God also receives gifts from him in order to be able to minister to in the congregation and to those around the church has a mission of disciples reaching out the church is a hospital a place where healing is taking place and it's also the House of God where God comes with his to meet his people and where they can worship him. Some of the organization models that we find in the in the Bible in terms of how it functioned the Israel model was a theocratic nation where God was directly in charge and gave them almost daily direction cloud in the wilderness leading them from 1 place to another and that kind of leadership Paul's model is the body model and that is the idea of the fact that we are all part of the team together Jesus model eg. Dealing with the community of the congregation and being able to model that way but the bottom line is we all have a challenge in terms of the responsibility we have in reaching the world we are to go to every nation tribe language and people and this is a global multo cow cultural and multinational work that we must do good organization utilizes our resources in the best possible way we delegate authority and improvises also flexibility and the ability to evaluate and control the direction that we are going. Ellen White gives us some reasons for organization 1 is to support the gospel ministry so that the good work can advance the fact that we have 19000000 members in the 7th Day Adventist Church today is a result of God's blessing and the organization that he provided that's why the church has grown it has to carry on the work of preaching in where we are and into new fields as well to protect the churches and the ministry from challenges and problems sometimes they are people members of the congregation who if it weren't for the organization would would make it difficult for pastors even abuse pastors and would even take control of the church and the organization helps to provide the balance and the control that's needed for that and also provides for the holding of church property and for making sure that the word is published and and sent out a moment you look at this part on your own just getting a little bit of a different idea of how some congregations organized this is us down here in case you're wondering no it's not people it's not been a couple and it's not congregational we are working as a representative team working together the 7 they have this Church is organized with local congregations and the and then from the local congregations you have the local feel of the conference you all understand that in terms of Michigan you're a camp meeting so you understand how those pieces connect together there's also a union of conferences and in that lake Union which is what we're part of you have Michigan along with Indiana Illinois Wisconsin and the lake region there are 5 conferences in the Lake Union and they make up this union of conference churches in some parts of the world that might be called a conference might be called a mission General Conference then is the next level built up. On divisions in General Conference is made up of divisions and we sometimes speak about 5 levels technically you can say there's 4 because the divisions provide that and then there's the oversight organization of the divisions and explain a little bit of how that works the North American division has a president his name is Daniel Jackson he he represents us on the General Conference level but he's also a vice president of the General Conference so he's a president of the North American division or the president and he is a vice president of the General Conference so when the General Conference president gets his vice president gather all the division presidents are part of that and they come together and that's a little bit about how that works and how the integration and the connection is maintained on a world level could talk a lot more about that because it has some real implications for the issues that we're dealing with today but I don't have time to go onto it. All Testament had a delegation process from God to Moses from Moses to under the instruction of Jethro to organize and do it on different levels in the New Testament we find 70. People. There were 70 in the in the Old Testament in the New Testament they are possibles who are part of that and they cared for the overall teaching and planning and administration and evangelism of the church and generally these apostles were I turnt workers going from place to place. Elders were ordained they were lay persons they exercised their gifts and their leadership in providing strength and direction for the local church. Deacons are an important part of the organization and the leadership structure of local churches and they were and they are New Testament responsible for sick visiting the sick and caring for the needs of the congregation and they were also very consistent witnesses for Jesus Christ in the early church in our work today we have a church manual that helps to guide us how many of you have the new church manual if you don't have the new church manual make sure you go upstairs and get it every time there are reprinted which is every 5 years there are changes army. 2015 is the year and I can't remember what number it is at the church manual was reprinted in 2015 and there was a slight revision reversion that was left out and and I think that's in the ones that are printed now so if you don't have 1 go up to the A.B.C. and get a hold of 1 yeah would be it's kind of a reddish color I don't have an ear with me today kind of a maroon color but make sure that you do have 1 of them in there it is the work an organization of the Church of the pastors not been provided by the Conference or mission the officer Valerie is the highest and the most important leadership role in the local congregation the importance of elders is very clear if we weren't for the elders we would not be able to function in the North American division 25000 ministers 19000070 AD and as you can see we could not lead the church with just 25000 members leaving 19000000 people and there's 130 congregations do the math on that OK so you're role as an elder is vital to the strength of the sky of this denomination and for finishing God's work all right I'm going to move onto another section here I'm. Halfway through Can you believe that and I've got 15 minutes so we're going to have to keep moving I want to stress a little bit in the area of planning that the local elder needs to be involved in the planning process and helping with church plan and know where they're going and integrating in the members into the work everyone in the church should have a role everyone and as elders it is your work to especially find a work for those members to do I'm going to spend a lot of time on spiritual gifts this has been spoken of a lot I will tell you that it can be misperceived and it can be led in the wrong direction. Every Sometimes we think oh no but only people who should give Bible studies or know how to get bible studies who have a special gift of giving bible study the truth of the matter is the Bible isn't say if I give you the gift of witnessing then you should be a witness the Bible says that we are all called to be witnesses M.R.I. and we're all disciples therefore that should be the case the reason for the gifts is to provide strength in various other areas of ministry in that local church so I'm going to keep going past this area of gifts and I can you know you've got the notes there you can kind of work through that and realize that you want to integrate every member of your congregation into the work of the church and getting them involved and getting them committed and then they will be successful in your church will have a successful ministry but you want everyone to have a successful experience you want to help them find their role in the church through gifts and other tools there that are available if you need those in order to be able to help you church planning on the local church in the leadership roles that need to be done 1 of the things that you need to be planning for is training nominating committee they normally get together and they say we need people to do this we need people to do is we need people to do this so they get on the phone they start calling people and they say would you please be willing to be a deacon Well I've never been 1 before that's fine all you gotta do is take up the offering on Sabbath morning wrong. But we're so desperate to get somebody to do the work that's the way we treat this as elders you want to be overseeing that church and leaning that church into an experience where OK if they if they need a deacon and they say I've never done it before then you need to work to train that Deacon a what their responsibility is which is why I said it's beneficial for you to come to a deacon training class so that you know what the dickens is supposed to be doing because the deacons are assistance to the pastors and to the elders in getting a lot of the work done including the visiting of church members that's an important role that they carry on all right I need to keep going with this but these are all aspects of developing this into a training school in the local church and being involved in the planning process you want to be planning annually don't just fall on what it was you did in the last 10 years and say That's all we're going to do your church needs to grow not stagnate and many churches are dying maybe your church is 1 of those churches that's if it's not growing it's dying and you catch that it's not growing is dying and I can tell you that in my years I've been in Michigan I've seen churches including churches I pastored that have plateaued and they're slowly dying because the same people are going to church there who are going to church when I was there IS that bad no the problem is nobody else is. And I'm overstating my point and I know that's not totally accurate but it's very close to accurate and those individuals that when I pastor that church 25 years ago are still the ones leaving that church are still the ones that are attending that church and they're just about the only ones that are there they're now 25 years older than they were and in some cases they are very quite elderly and means the church is literally die because the church is not growing All right so that's part of that and now on Friday we're going to have a church on helping your church I mean a class on helping your church grow and we'll talk more about that but that's where that whole idea of planning and figuring that part of it out you can read your notes watch the slides real quick here's what we're going to do you want to evaluate what you did last year and then get involved in where you're going here are some items that need to be included in your planning agenda you need to also have a master plan of evangelism and the conference has an initiative in that regard and you need to be a part of that that experience and leading the church more on that and another class. I want to take you through a little bit of the issues of committees this is part of oversight of the church and you as elders want to know what the committees in your church should be doing and you should also be breaking up the various responsibilities so that you're able to see that committees are Christians working together this is fulfilling problems 11 where there is no council the people fall but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety committees help to keep us connected and I'm not sometimes people say well you are the minister rector you appoint the pastors and you fire the pastors no. Not the case at all we have a personnel committee and that personnel committee is overseen by the Conference executive committee to whom we report when we make any of those changes and they can they have the authority to change any of the changes we think we're going to make their safety in that committees purposes to be able to provide connection for the body in terms of its operation and providing group participation it's helping to make decisions at the lowest level possible that means simply that you don't want all the decisions being made by the pastor you want the decisions and the functioning of the church being made at the lowest level possible to keep the church organized and functioning and carrying that out committees can be terribly time consuming so you want to be organized and really nation ship to that you don't want to take the everything to the board of the board gets bogged down sometimes it can be settled at other levels how many of you have a church business meeting every year. OK So 2 said yes to that 1 said Maybe maybe not no other than the raises and it all you know we try. No and. And I I I'm going to repeat what you just said because that is a pet peeve of mine in our churches seem to be trying to go to this route of skipping board meetings and having only business meetings because they can't get people to come out or they're so small that it doesn't matter when you've got 5 people coming to church and your board is 5 people and I get that part but when you've got a 100 members in your church and there are 50 people coming to church on Sabbath and you have only board meeting on business meetings and no board meetings because you can only get 5 people to come to a board meeting anyway that means 5 people making the decisions 400 members No that's not appropriate and that's not the way to you need to work harder to get the members involved in the whole process all right so you need both. Business meetings should be. A minimum once a year usually 4 times a year. And board meetings monthly all right and I'm coming to that but that's in your notes here I just summarize that a little bit if you need more information on what they should be and and what they should be doing by all means we can talk I only have so much time to do this class today church board composition of course who makes it up the elders are all on the church board the head deacon head deaconess and then other individuals are provided by the manual they are elected by the church and every year at through the nominating committee or every other year if your church is on 2 year cycle which by the way I encourage 2 year cycle Guus the church an opportunity to actually get out there and be doing some things the church is chaired by the board about the pastor chair the board is Pat is chaired by the pastor but he can delegate that authority to the head elder if he chooses to do so that has to be done carefully and with counsel. There's more that needs to be said their responsibilities are for the nurture evangelism and maintenance of doctrinal purity in the church and you will know more about that come to the redemptive discipline class as an important class for elders and I've not taught that class here at Camp meeting before I've given some aspects of it but we're going to spend 5 days talking about redemptive discipline and how that can be integrated into the local church. Sponsibility is the church board also is involving the church finances the protection in the care of those properties the local church the departments of oversight and the coordination of the events that are taking place in the local church and perhaps providing specific committees in special committees for needs that that congregation may need to be caring for. The committee members as a committee member if you are an elder you need to be able to be someone who is an initiator who's helping to share ideas and have ideas but every committee has some people are really good at various aspects of this and not so good at others there are others who are elaborate as they generally can take ideas and begin to expand on them some people are good at coming up with ideas that they can expand the idea others can take the idea and go with it in some places some individuals are able to challenge on and seemed to be almost a nuisance on a committee because they're always challenging things but sometimes the challenges are very very very valuable members of that committee because they help the committee avoid making mistakes and some of those mistakes can be very serious there's appeaser in the Energizer more details of there but recognize that on committees people complain different roles by personality and by intention in some cases and providing the support for that church in that particular way if the church has a. Committee going on and there's new perhaps might be a committee chairman chairperson there you want to make sure that there are some steps that you take that there's an agenda that there's a way to open that prayer appropriate that a meeting appropriately with prayer in a brief devotional that there is a church clerk and a and in terms of a board especially maintaining the records there and know how to function as a committee how to move the committee and keep things moving ahead and the items that need to be done I'm going to keep going here because I want to get through this last section. The pastor and the elder are a team in partners in ministry Philippians Philippians chapter 1 says I thank my God every time I remember you in all my purrs for all of you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the 1st day until now the pastors assigned by the Conference the elders assigned by the congregation the elders ordination is valid for the contradiction the pastor's ordination is world wide both our leaders both are coordinators the church activities and in some cases youth ministers might have a more specific. Role there and they may not have been ordained to ministry and may be working in a specific capacity there. Is. OK That that what that may but byelection OK that's not what they intended to be what that means and it doesn't mean that that it is valid for that congregation versus the pastor who can go anywhere in the world in terms of holding that responsibility because he doesn't have to be elected a pastor a pastor doesn't have to be elected exactly that's the difference the election is the key part a good question thank you for asking and you give me just a couple minutes I'm going to finish this section of very very quickly and pastors part is to provide these a leadership functions including helping to develop the curriculum of the local church in these various aspects as outlined here but the pastor and the elder are also coordinating these things together there is a respect enough. In their function and support they are involved in pastoral visitation together they spend time together they pastors also helping to support the path elders family which should in vice versa be done also the elders should be supporting the pastors family special attention to the always church in the spiritual life these 2 are separate whole and we need to be providing that process the pastors providing delegation and leadership there the pastor should be communicating regularly with the elders and you should be doing the same issues be evaluation taking place where you're saying How are things going how is my role as an elder going past or and the pastor should also be asking the same basic question and that's where you find the elders part begins to kicks in kick in and provides the support for the pastor you can see the reciprocal nature of these roles you need to be able to find time notice the statement elders should probably not be elders if they see their work exclusively as a Sabbath morning responsibility the turn of the time frame that I use encouraging elders for is 4 hours a week you need to be able to commit 4 hours a week on top of your Sabbath morning duties. Maximize the pastor strength. And recognize that if the pastor has a personality understand what that past personality is and also realize that the pastor has a public responsibility or personality and terms of the kinds of things then you want to be able to access. The Lord I want you want to be able to strengthen those strengths and utilize those strengths that your pastor has and realize that every pastor has weaknesses along the way as well pastor your pastor. Give support to them Here are some ways that are listed in terms of giving that support support the pastors family and a number of different ways that are listed here your pastor needs care and nurture as well just as you do. And here are some of the things that are listed as I said that they would be supporting the children and empathizing with hurting pastoral families even pastors families go through divorces and difficult times most of the time that doesn't happen but those things happen or there lose their parents just like you want support when you lose a family member they need support when they lose a family member there needs to be special attention to that work all right I'm going to conclude with this counsel of Paul and that is now we ask you brothers to respect those who work hard among you who are over you in the Lord and who admonished you hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work live in peace with each other while we rushed through this a little bit giving you a little bit of a basic framework tomorrow we're going to get into some other aspects including the visitation of church members and I have purposely shortened the class tomorrow so that we can spend some time talking about visitation and the importance of it and how to go about doing that work so let's have a prayer as we conclude father heaven thank you for being with us today thank you for each 1 here and their role as leaders in the church their local churches I pray that as we conclude this time you will go with us and bless the rest of this camp meeting with your presence in your Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus. 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