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Elders Basic Training - Part 2

Royce Snyman


Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference




  • June 19, 2017
    9:00 AM
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Good bye hurts with me please Father in heaven. Thank you for this opportunity this nice morning here again meaning beautiful sunshine outside. And coolness of the weather keeps us awake and we're just grateful for all that you do for us we pray that you will bless our training time today that your Holy Spirit will guide our instruction that you all help me in the words that I share and us as we listen and learn together today may your holy spirit be in charge of all that is done here we pray and thank you in Jesus' name amen All right well today we want to get into the 2nd part of this elders basic training class and I want to. Be able to share several things with you I mentioned that 1 of the things I want to be able to focus in on is. On the. Is on visitation because this is 1 of the greatest needs that we have in our churches and 1 of the least utilized by altars and so really want to be able to spend some time focusing in on that today and having some opportunity to discuss that a little bit more so. I want to begin though when it's going to do with deal with several areas today the 1 I want to have the most time for at least not to feel rushed with is the visitation section but I want to spend because this is a basic training there are a couple other areas that I want to spend a little time with as well and 1 of those is the elder in the worship service and be able to concentrate a little bit on that area because this is the area that elders are most likely to recognize they are responsible for it and to to be invested in it to some extent so I want to talk to us a little bit about that worship is and encountering with God. I remember as a pastor some young people kind of not really getting the idea of what worships all about for some people the idea of worship is coming into church and I sure hope the pastor is going to have a good sermon today I hope that there's going to be a nice orchestra playing and a nice choir singing because I want to be entertained and people won't tell you that. But they they exhibit that thinking by the way they respond to what happens in the church service they see the worship service the way Hollywood produces whatever it's for entertainment is to get our attention and to keep our US engaged and if it's not doing that then it really hasn't been what we expected it to be so maybe we're not going to come anymore because it's not meeting my needs you get what I'm saying now that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be providing a quality church service that doesn't mean that people that are doing special music shouldn't practice that doesn't mean that people are doing the scriptures shouldn't know how to read and what they're saying you won't get through their. They care you won't get through there are many jurors to then in. OK Well we understood they only had 15 people in there so we took some of the chairs because my next class has a lot so they all have to come back the door was open so you can get through that you take what you need. Need them back afterwards OK thanks. And it's our it's our it's our. So we're talking about. Worship is encountering God that really is what worship is all about we want people to be able to understand the purpose of worship but if we don't understand what worship is we can't help people to understand what we're ship ias And so that's why I'm taking the time to be able to explain this see worship is focused upon God it's not focused on the people when the children of Israel got together to worship together they were coming not to be entertained I wonder what God's going to do today I wonder if there's going to be a lightning bolt today so we can get excited I won you know that isn't what worship was about the people were coming for an encounter with God they were coming to be focused on God they were coming there to meet God to spend time with God they were coming there and when they came and God was there they were on their knees they were off they were prostrate they were they were. Coming before God with humility this was an encounter with a god the crowd who created them the God who led them out of Egypt the God who was the God of creation and and they realized what this was all about and so that was part of their whole experience. And Ellen White puts it this way she says the whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in the common business place should find no sanction don't take those don't take don't you want to take those you look at your hands right now now don't don't take those take the white ones and we'll get the white ones back OK. Sorry I just knew that you was going to want those dear unless you want to claim them for me. So what this is helping us to understand is this worship is coming before God and that is the experience they've gone once you and me to have and that's what you and I are leading out with in our experience in worship that's why we want the best quality we can provide because this is this is exhibiting God. We run into 2 problems today the problems that we deal with in relationship to worship services that many of our churches are small. Very small Ellen Ray you have a small congregation in Reed City Dan you're in Ann Arbor with that's a larger congregation you have more people resources to work with. Victor urine can I call you Victor. Or whatever. You're in Cherry Hill and you're kind of in between probably more the size of a read city and your resources are somewhat limited your the people that you have to choose from but that doesn't mean that the people that are there they're not performing but the people of the leading out can't be be prepared and doing the very best that they can because they're doing this for God we want visitors who come to church do not see Hollywood we want them to see sincere people prepared to serve God and to represent God in the church and the statement here is just reminding us of the fact that this sanctuary is the place where we meet God. And I want to talk about some of the aspects of worship right now 1st of all worship includes adoration that is we're coming to worship God to adore him to recognize who he is and this is done through expressing our adoration through singing and prayer. Some of our smaller churches have a hard time because they don't have anybody to play the piano any of your churches have that problem. You can have it it happens from time it's a you've only got 1 pianist you know and if they happen to go on vacation what are you going to do and you don't have anybody to be able to provide that and those are some real challenges along the way but prayer we can all pray. Victor I don't know if you're still kind of watching that thing for me I appreciate it I don't know what it's actually doing right now but you do you got the routine down so that's really great. So at any rate we want again to be doing the best we can in singing and prayer we are there to affirm God's goodness recognizing is worthy Innes and it also reverences his presence we that's why the saying surely needs to be a place that is reverent because God is holy and to be lifted up and if we are acting though it's a common place then we are taking away for the from the worship of God worship includes proclamation worship is a time for the proclamation of God's Word notice that there are several different aspects to our worship adoration comes in singing and prayer. Proclamation of the word comes in the preaching we are going to talk a little bit about sermon preparation a little later in our presentation today worship includes renewal it should result in someone having an experience with Christ with God and renewing their relationship with him we need to renew our relationship with God every single day correct so when we come to a worship service we should not be surprised that this is a place to meet God and to renew our relationship with Him That doesn't mean that we've been so bad all week that we need to renew it or we've been so good all week that we don't need to do. The experience is that we need to come together and because God is there God is leading us closer to him and he's leading us to change we come there as Sooners hopeful he by the grace of God growing sinners sanctifying sinners day by day because we don't just study and pray and worship God on Sabbath day we do it all week long but we also recognize that this is a special corporate opportunity and we expect God to be there and he expects to bless us that's what he wants to do that brings renewal and change that's why I don't apologize on a Sabbath morning for calling people to make a decision to to respond to what has been shared because that is God's way through the proclamation of the word of leading us closer to him and he wants us to respond to him and we should be responding to him. This renewal comes through reflection prayer and meditation and it is also also a time of repentance it's a time for us to say Lord I am growing today I have I know that during this past week I've needed to grow more and I've made mistakes I've sinned during this week and I'm coming and I'm repenting to you and and this is a time when I am growing it's a time to experience the whole US and the peace of Christ some people come especially burdened when they come to a church service on Sabbath morning and they need to be encouraged and they need to be strengthened and they need to be. Led to a deeper and a more complete relationship with Christ and they should go home with peace in their hearts some people say I just don't like coming to church a sermon I hear always I am is how bad I am and all of that and you know there are times for us to know how bad we are but hopefully that sermon ends with how good Jesus is and how strong he is and how he wants to help us with growing in him we that's what we want to see happening or a. Worship includes fellowship sharing together in public worship give strength to personal Christian development. A fellowship is a time when we are able to encounter other human beings like ourselves with whom we can hopefully our friends. There's nothing worse we're a church is at each other's throats we're church members are angry for this reason or that reason and sometimes and frankly most of the time the things that they're upset about are things that are chest not important enough to be angry about somebody has gotten their feelings hurt because of the fact that they had. That they had a different idea about the color the carpeting should have been. They didn't like the fact that somebody came and took the soap off of the a sink in the bathrooms because that was really their job to be able to replace the soap in the bathrooms I mean it's that kind of thing that sometimes beaded people get upset about and it's the little things that don't are important but worship is about fellowship and and interacting together and having that corporate worship experience is to strengthen our personal development in relationship to the people that we are participating with worship includes participation that's why you don't want just everything happening up front but you want people singing together you want people praying in corporate worship we don't generally break up into groups and pray that's more a prayer meeting type environment or a Sabbath school type thing but nonetheless you want people in gauging and participating in that which is why many churches will have a time for prayer requests or are sharing praises that they want to share that gets them involved in the participation in the church service and makes our singing in our praying especially our praying more more inclusive and more involving fellowship together it's also includes participation includes leading giving people a chance to participate along with food and other words of year if you've got 40 people coming to see Sabbath school and church church in particular right now on Sabbath morning you've got 40 people but there's 2 people that do everything up front every Sabbath what's wrong with that. As nobody else participating now from an Elders perspective there's another critical part to this and it's part that I really want to stress at this moment and maybe a little bit more as we go through this and that is 1 of the reasons we're not getting more participation is we're not training people and that takes time and effort and maybe we don't feel comfortable in actually being a trainer but we can learn how to do that training does not have to be where like I'm standing up here today and I'm doing training and yes I'm I'm an ordained minister and yes I went to seminary and yes all the you don't have to be that to be a trainer you are a trainer because you are a leader in your church and your training doesn't have to be up front formal It can be 1 on 1 giving some guidance and direction about how to do something for example let's assume here that that I'll use your other name dude is a 10 year old boy and and he's growing up in the church and you want him to do the scripture reading and Sabbath morning but you know the last time do got up and he did the see the scripture reading he couldn't even find the passage in the Bible and then when he read it you know is only 1 line long but it took him 10 minutes to get through that I'm exaggerating years down and you're not sure you want to do it again train him. Take him aside and gently teach him how to do it and perhaps you know if he happens to have a. Christian school or have been to school right there the he's part of you can get work with the teacher and have the teacher work to train him there if it's an adult that you're working with they may need to be trained to on how the do reading and that's sometimes a little more threatening because you know adult an adult how to do that but sometimes adults need to be trained as well and they will do better and then enjoy it more if someone teaches them because sometimes people get up front and they they look down and they read the scripture reading and you can hardly hear what they're saying. Or it's so fast because they want to get out of there they don't want to be up there and sometimes it takes practice and ate I would bring somebody up on and sometimes it this is a good thing to do on a general basis because then you know people know you're not picking on them very few churches do this but it's not a bad thing to do if the people that are going to participate in the church service were to come on Friday night and rare earths what they're doing get used to the microphone and talking to the microphone instead of standing way back here away from the microphone but getting right up to it because you need to be close to it and projecting your voice out speaking loud enough no sense reading the scripture when it. If I'm the only 1 who can hear it what good is is the person standing up there and reading it so you by teaching them how to do it they gain confidence and they work through that process so singing praying giving the scripture reading whatever it is that we might be doing involving more people and teaching them how to do it in the best. Possible way and small churches can be especially good at this if you have young people they feel more comfortable in a smaller environment than they do standing up in front of pioneer memorial and there's more chance of participation I was my father was a minister and 1 of the churches my father Pastor actually in the those days the only other 1 juror was nice but it was a relatively small church and the church members took me and involve me in various things that were going on and that participation connected me with what was happening then kept me involved in the church and those simple things they may not seen as important but I look back at and I say you know I don't know if they did that on purpose or they were just being nice or whatever but that was the exact right thing to do so participation is very important remembering anniversaries birthdays and other special events is another way to show members that they are an important part of the church family now when it comes to these kinds of things and and we're talking about the worship service we do have to be careful that this doesn't become a secular type of event the worship service is not the place to be singing happy birthday to people all right you can do that at the potluck but you can recognize a person special anniversary or or even a birthday in a smaller setting by including that in the prayer time and thanking the Lord for that person and their birthday or the birthdays they've had this time and recognizing 2 or 3 people who've had birthdays you see you can do it that way and still make it worshipful and inclusive with people as well. Worship also deserves planning. I want to be kind but I want to be straight. I have been to some churches and I do not see those churches represented here today so I want you to know that I've been to all of your churches and I haven't seen that represented there that that I'm recalling at this point but I am thinking of a couple other churches that I've been to and when I've gone there to that worship service nobody knows who's doing what on that particular Sabbath morning OK. Nobody has a clue. The elder doesn't know the elders on the platform or if there are 2 or 3 elders nobody knows is on or the elder that was on isn't there and didn't call anybody to tell them they were going to be there the person who is supposed to take care of the Scripture they don't know that they're taking care of it or nobody arrange that ahead of time. Literally my wife has come back from some church services and told me you know I got up there and they were saying now who's going to do the scripture reading I'm talking about from the front on Sabbath morning who is going to do the scripture reading this morning a new is going to folks that's not planning and that's not honoring God and 1 of the reasons I'm making the point is that to encourage you never to fall into that trap number 1 number 2 I'm recording this and if it's used for a training purpose are really want to make sure that anybody who is listening understands that planning on God but a lack of planning is not honoring to God because God plans and God's organized and God knows what's going on ahead of time and it's not just his foresight it's because he is organized like we should be if we're going to represent him we want to do so in the best possible way successful worship does not just happen I believe there are times in our churches where practice like I mentioned earlier by the way of helping people learn to participate. Is also valuable to make sure that a good service process is taking place if you're making a change in the worship service and your elders are not used to it how about coming together on a Friday night and rehearsing it yes I know nobody it's hard to get people to come to church a little loan come to her saying but maybe it's because we haven't been putting enough effort into the whole experience I wouldn't be happy to go to a small sure. Church that's organized to know what they're doing and as opposed to going to a large church that has no idea what they're doing I'll be blessed in that small church because they are well prepared and they are sharing the best that they have and I'm getting a blessing from that experience successful worship doesn't just happen you need to plan it together if you are working as a group of elders the elders should be we're planning ahead for that worship service who's going to be here when are you going to be on vacation and how can we involve more people in this church service that's part of that planning process that needs to be done and working this out ahead of time the service must not just become mere routine in some of our cases especially in smaller churches because you know let's be honest there's only 2 elders and there's going to be a certain routine do it but we can plan ahead and figure out some things that wall to enhance that church service that Sabbath so it's not just me reading the scripture and me doing this or whatever we might even invite some special guest to come and do special music from a neighboring Jersey that will help with that takes planning to do that but that helps to bless your congregation with variety and it involves other people from other congregations as well you can't do that all the time but you can do it from time to time the worship service involves the coordination of the activities and the talents of many people and therefore it needs to be planned out so that everybody knows what they're going to do some people that are musicians for example get really frustrated when we're not organized and we don't know what we're doing and because we don't know what we're doing we don't know how to go about. When they don't know when to come in they don't know when they're supposed to do what they're supposed to do and they don't know if there are any idiosyncrasies if they're visitors about your congregation. When you have a visiting speaker Don't assume that the visiting speaker knows how you are service orders I go to. Could go to 190 different churches and companies I don't get to all of them and I haven't been to every church in Michigan we go by invitation so that's how that works and I couldn't do that in 3 or 4 years to be able to get around all those churches and accomplish that but let me tell you I go to a different worship service every Sabbath and they're all different they don't function the same way and I really appreciated when the elder takes me or the the group or even me aside if necessary and goes through the board with me and tells me when things are going to take place and what needs to take place there and whether we're standing or kneeling and just how we're doing that that's a very important part of that process and I recognize that much more from being on the side that I am coming in as a visitor than I was when I was pastoring and realizing I needed to make sure I was teaching everybody including the speaker who is the president of the conference who I think knows everything and knows all but does not know how service will and or service goes so these things must be planned out and we need to help everybody know what their part is and make sure that before you go up on the platform 1 last time everybody knows what they're doing and when they're doing it so it's well orchestrated and planned out all right any questions on this particular area before I move into another section. I want to see if there are any questions or observations OK let's talk about another aspect that includes this has to do with preaching and I just want to talk about this aspect of it because this is not a training class today on how to prepare a sermon but it is a brief introduction to this because I'm sure that the me ask you Have any of you had to preach a sermon on 7th. Array and did any of you go to the seminary and learn how to to prepare sermons OK so. What I'm sharing is some basic principles and can be of help to you and I would like to do a sermon preparation class at some point and that's kind of what I'm doing with the elder training now on I did several years of what I call basic training in a little bit more expanded form than what I'm doing now and then I'm trying to concentrate on some specific areas this year my specific area is redemptive discipline because this is a needed area in the church and I'm especially focusing on that next year Lord willing that I'm still around and we still have game meeting on the will we haven't gone to heaven and don't need it anymore. The truth is that I'd like to maybe 0 in on maybe have a somebody come in and do what a class on sermon preparation who's especially good at it. Yet teaching a class on that yeah and Mike did somebody like that might be a good doctor Holmes's saying every year is saying this is my last year. And by the grace of God The Lord gives him another year and we're grateful for it will utilize them as much as again but absolutely. That classes at $330.00. And that's at $330.00. It's been recorded so hopefully that is of some help but that's at 330 OK. I like to give you 8 rules for effective preaching the 1st 1 is if you're going to preach you need to know Christ it's that simple you don't have anything to say if you don't know Jesus as your own personal savior that is the root of preaching that may seem elementary but it's not you haven't got anything to give if Christ hasn't given it to you. It's it is it is. Nice let me put it this way there's an individual by the name of E.M. balance of you ever heard of him bounds if you never read any of his material he is out there you can get his books free online in terms of downloading them or you can buy them the relatively inexpensive paperbacks usually And he's written several books but his power in prayer is what a hugely powerful book and I reckon I've read it a pastors of read it give it to pastors to read. E M E dot com and other words initials e M. and the last word is the name is balance B. Oh you D. N. S. balance B.-O. U.-N. D. S. get it say it right here the oh UN D.S. and when you read him and he talks about the value in the importance of prayer and the experience there he talks about the fact that the experience of a preacher and the experience of a minister comes out in 1 in is in what he does when he has spent time with God in prayer when he has. A personal relationship with God that begins to come out of the prayer the preacher in the preaching a great preacher has to have a relationship with Jesus and I'm going to tell you there are some great orators out there who care and preach a mighty sermon without a relationship with Jesus but as it doesn't change people's lives and that's an important part of this so this is real preaching real effective preaching the kind of preaching that Jesus himself did or Paul did or people like Charles Spurgeon and other famous preachers in Christianity have have have the experience they've had comes from that inner experience with Jesus it is also Biblical preaching I had an experience as a pastor and I'm somewhat ashamed to say it because I wish I'd never had that experience that the elders of the church that I was pastoring of that particular time got me together we were having an elders meeting and 1 of the elders the head elder at that time especially complained and he complained about my preaching. And he complained about my preaching and he said we need to hear the doctrines of the church I had fallen into the trap of preaching about some of the society's ills and psychological solutions and philosophical solutions to problems and not concentrating on the Word of God and the teachings of the Word of God Now I've been eternally grateful to that elder who was willing to stand up so to speak to the pastor and suggested that change was needed. And I took that to heart by the crease of God I knew that the man was right and I needed to follow that so take my counsel and if you for some reason were to fall into that trap don't don't get in that trap in the 1st place your preaching needs to be burglary call there are different kinds of Biblical preaching there's expose a terrorists expository preaching where you get into the word and you take a passage and you just get everything out of that passage that you possibly can and and you know you can you say I don't know Greek I don't know all that but there's so many tools out there that will give you information and help you with that and and be a real big boost to what you're doing with that kind of preaching and you can get lots of that that's an expose atory type of preaching you know go to hell and why and see everything she says about a passage and and you know how to do that either there's there are. There's the what do they call it the. Is a specific word that's not coming in my head but there's a 3 volume index that Alan White has it's printed index you can also find it online and that index has all the places that are mentioned in Ellen White on a particular burst you can look it up by a passage and includes a scriptural index in there and you can find what she says on the passage you can find out what other people say and if you are able to get on the internet your computer savvy and you work with that you can get a lot of different resources that way there's also narrative preaching you know some of Jesus' preaching was more of a narrative style. There were times when he was telling parables and telling stories and sometimes go you know want to mix up your preaching a little bit and use a different kind of a style is narrative preaching that you can use but still biblical it's coming from the Bible and you're telling that kind of a story sometimes you can mix them up a little bit there's some expose a jury part of them or you're preaching a sermon and pulling out part of what's happening there from the passage and other times you're sharing it from a narrative way sharing it kind of in a story form I have a sermon that I do out of Hebrews Chapter 12 and I spend a little bit of time in the expose atory part of it in the 1st couple of verses drawing out what it is that Paul is saying there in relationship to that the that experience of. Finding that Jesus is the author in the finisher of our faith and and how these the words there tell us what it is that we're trying to know about this experience and then part of it is us telling a bit of a story about how I came to understand that passage more completely by personal experience that I had using that as an illustration but the Bible is the center of our preaching and people are being led into the Word of God If they don't ever have to open a Bible then our sermon isn't biblical All right so we want people to be having that kind of experience preaching relevantly In other words preaching to the needs of people today preaching positively not will negatively you can say negative things in a positive way and people will be happy but you can say negative things in a negative or and you can say positive things in a negative way where people say that was really depressing you want to be positive in your preaching. You want to prepare early you want to organize logically going a little faster now you want to speak clearly and you want to plan you now what does that last part mean let me just go through each 1 of these briefly prepare early another words don't wait to Friday night to prepare Sabbath morning sermon. You want to organize logically and other words you want what you're sharing to be going systematically so that it makes sense to people as you listen as they listen to you if you. If you don't think through how you're sharing what your New York you're trying to is trying to say to them sometimes it comes up all jumbled in mixed up I mean you can imagine if I were doing this presentation and it was didn't have any logic to it any flow to it you'd get confused you wouldn't know where we were you want to organize logically by the way 1 way to learn how to think that way and to know how to present that way Israel or the people sermons. And how many of you do use the computer how many of you do you use computer OK so you can get online and you can search the Internet correct Kaminey of you are used to doing that or if you get on and search the Internet a little bit there are lots of resources that are out there both administering sources and non administering sources where you can read people's sermons and just see how that flows and you can teach yourself about how a servant in a sermon moves from 1 point to another usually we say have an introduction 3 points in the middle and a conclusion that's the kind of way that you want to move speak clearly I think that already speaks for itself so to speak and plan annually What do I mean by that think about how you're going to plan the preaching for the year if you are bored of elders get together and talk about how do we what is what theme do we want for this year what you know you're going to be preaching Ray you're going to be preaching during the month of January Ellen you're going to be preaching to the month of February etc etc etc 1 we plan our sermons out so that while our theme is going to be our salvation and Jesus. Offer salvation on the cross We're going to center on the cross so in January you're going to be focusing on that and February you that you're going to be on that theme but what part of the theme are you going to 0 in on that's a pretty broad theme so how are you going to narrow that down and if you plan it out right what grade does is not going to totally walk all over what Ellen is going to do or the other way around because you've thought about what aspects you're going to do when you plan it out in advance and if you do that with a pastor in the pastor says this is going to be the theme this year we want to talk about. During the month of January want to talk about stewardship and all its aspects. And but I can only pastor says I can only be here the 1st week that week Ray why don't you on the 2nd week you preach on this aspect of Stewart on the 3rd week you take that you see what I'm saying you plan in advance and then everything flows and it makes the diet that you're giving to the congregation more complete All right switching to another area here and there's some logic to what I'm doing but there is some interaction on different aspects of Elder leadership that I want to share with you so let's talk about the elder and church nurture and this as part of the visitation. Love and Unity our Christian requirements John told us we know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brother and he does not love his brother abides in death. LOVEN unity are developed by interacting with people the elder ones to be in the church nurturing the congregation nurturing the members and leading them to Unity Unity empowers the church. Acts chapter 2 says now when the day of Pentecost it fully come they were all with 1 accord in 1 place the Spirit of God in the latter rain was not in the early rain was not given until they were united and Ellen White makes it abundantly clear as does the Bible that the latter rain will not be given until the majority of God's people are united together and working for him. And tell that happens we are still here and the Spirit of God is not going to. Be able to avoid that because that is what God is asking of these people Christian love produces unity despite our differences and I'm going to keep going past that part in order to be able to facilitate the nurture in our congregations we as elders need to be involved in those attending our members the visitation of members can be vital to their spiritual nurture and growth and the lack of spirit of visitation and especially spiritual visitation leaves our congregations and our members weaker and weaker and weaker we are not helping our members to grow because we're not going out there and getting acquainted with them and helping them in their spiritual experience we're assuming that all of their spiritual growth is taking place on their own and for a lot of people we know statistically that's not happening we know statistically that probably is somewhere between. 10 to 20 percent of people are even reading their Bibles period and if you don't go into the church or into the homes and find out whether or not and you have to do that carefully so don't misunderstand me I'm not talking about coming in here in and saying I'm going through a checklist and and you know how are you studying your Bible every day no OK it's for you you know it's not what I'm talking about what I'm talking about is you go in a new visit and you become acquainted with people and you just in time you are able to begin to glean what's happening sometimes with the correct questions other times by just listening to them and finding out what's happening but to be you when you go in you visit not only can you find out where needed is but then you can turn around and supply that need and that's why this is so important to this process all keep going in and in and we'll come together in a moment this kind of ministry is 1 of the most effective ways that the elders and serve their people home visitation is important for your people because they need to know that you care enough to come now we live in a society today that has. Become a little bit reclusive and maybe a lot reclusive We people don't have to even go out of their home to get groceries anymore you understand that right and people are pushing that more and more I do have a Kroger's around you at all or a a Walmart or something like that I've noticed at the stores that down around me when I go to the Wal-Mart they've got these post these posts all over the entrance as I walk in about how I can call ahead of time and I can order this and I can do that because Amazon is scs so competing with these retail stores that they're taking away all their business and grocery stores are doing the same thing I can call ahead to I don't because that's not the way I've done it and I don't have need to do that right now but I can call Kroger's I can place an order with them or do it online and I can drive up in there put in my car and I'll drive away that's the kind of thing that's going on today and we can stay at home and not go anyplace and still live and survive church members are not as used to the pastor just dropping by and visiting or an elder but that doesn't mean it doesn't need to happen Dan. I'm going to say that for the recording here because that's pretty amazing then is sharing that his daughter has a washing machine and she can push a button on it when she needs to Turgeon in the next stage shows up on her doorstep while that just that's the way it is with our world today and our people are becoming more reclusive because of it and society and whole say we are mean are people I don't mean just our church people I'm gone what society has just become that way and we don't interact as much as we used to but as elders This is where gross takes place on our part as well as our members and we need to care enough to be in their homes now let's talk a little bit about visitation planning 1st of all it should be a part of the board of elders or the church board if you don't you know if you're small church and you do most of your work on the board you can do that as well and it should be part of the agenda where you're planning the visitation of the members this visitation can involve and should involve a deacon in deaconess and be in charge you can then they can develop an organization of parishes zones sometimes called that or various areas where people live if you're small or church you may not need that level of organization in the larger churches where you're more. More of a your demographic so more of a city type environment like where Dan is and you might have a couple 2 or $300.00 members you can plan various areas and chair pastors. Sometimes like to organize these churches there about why with a pat elder is in charge of that area and there's a deacon a deaconess that's in charge of that area and they visit all the members that are in that area their area of responsibility their parish sometimes use the term the we don't use as much because sometimes you're a little afraid it's too Catholic or something like that but it's it's and it's a parish is just simply group of people in a church that's really what it amounts to or a zone or whatever you want to call it. But you can organize that way and it's very affective and very easy to do visitation by appointment is probably the most critical thing you have to do today just reality and that is because people are so busy if you want to waste your time and go around trying to knock on people's doors and have to 1 of 2 things happen most likely the knock on the door and they won't be home or number 2 you're going to knock on the door and they're so busy that you're coming to the door is really very inconvenient and they're just not expecting you the home isn't clean as they'd like it to be They've been so busy they just got home after being gone for a week and they're just trying to get the groceries away and and clean you know take care of laundry they've been needing to do and you're in you're really interviewing with them I don't want to tell you that you may also be coming in what the time when they're watching their favorite television program or whatever and that kind of situation and and. Yeah all kinds of different issues going on so at any rate you don't want to not make appointments today that's really important but if you organize your church and you start developing a process members will become used to you doing this please. We got to find a balance and that it's a good question Ray our Preta just to make sure that it picks up on the recording Amat is. How much do pastors feel they need to invest in the order they think is just the elders responsibility I'll speak to you from the ministerial departments perspective and I don't want to speak to individual pastors because I don't always know what they want to do but I do know that when we. When we move pastors especially new young pastors we try to remind them and I you know I try to do this we've had so many moves lately I probably haven't told some of them but there are some in specifically that I've told them that you want to get out there and visit those members as soon as you arrive that should be your 1st priority your number 1 task try to get especially in smaller churches try to get every member visited within the 1st 3 months and we encourage that to happen the pastor needs an ongoing process and that's where the elders come in the elders need to be involved in a visitation on the long term on a regular basis because visitation that. That accomplishes some of the things that we were talking about back here. On this level these kinds of ministries that we're talking about here cannot take place unless it's over an extended period of time you or your visitation your 1st time you visit you're getting acquainted with people if you've never visited before they happen to be new members. The next time you do visit you want to be zeroing in on spiritual things you it's not just a casual visit you know like How's your car running is the washing machine that you was broken last time fixed that's OK for conversation starters and for finding out how people are but you're a spiritual leader and you want to be emphasizing the spiritual things which we're going to talk about in a moment but the issue going out and visiting them is over an extended period of time that's why the elders are needed to be part of that because you span the gap between pastors You know we don't know when when your pastor is going to take a call the California in and do that now we do know when we're going to move a pastor but sometimes we have to do that even a little more of a short term and you keep the consistency going by your visitation process so it needs to be both. Both working together and I hopefully the pastor and the elders are visiting together with each other from time to time as well as separately so that that ongoing process could go on so it needs to be both in a good appropriate balance and have Pastor The ideal situation is the 1 pastor 1st arrives that within the 1st 3 months to a year depending on the size of the church or number of churches that they have that they're able to get out and visit all those members and then for the rest of the time they're there they're trying to go out and visit on a regular basis just to get around and and meet the members but they need the elders to be involved in that process so that point all the Nelson used to say it this way. When I 1st get there I want to visit everybody after that if I show up at your door it's because I need you to do something or you're in drill. So that that's a that's an interesting way to put it I don't want everybody to think that bit you're showing up to give them a job or or you're in trouble but back sometimes the way it works out is that. Yes Yes exactly yes. Absolutely that regular visitation that continues to develop that relationship and I'm not talking weekly and I'm not even talking monthly but you do want to get to a point I'd say quarterly in a church your size if you can get around quarterly to your members or do least once a year and then specifically when they might be a special needs that arise OK. Absolutely. Absolute the end that's really important I don't want to cut you off is that WOULD YOU AN EXCELLENT I encourage visitation by twos all right especially married couples that is an ideal way to visit an elder and his wife visiting or or an elder and her spouse her husband as the case may be in your case you have. You have Lady elders in your church some do some don't that's all I'm saying. But also deacons and deaconesses that we had before an elder can go with a deacon and. Elder can go with a deaconess but now I'm explain what I mean by that sometimes that's deaconesses your wife some the elders have Deacon Deaconess wives you can still do it as an elder if you are married in the deaconesses not your wife you can still do it but this is how you I would do that you meet them at that house OK you don't get in the car together but you meet them at that house and you can go in and visit the that family this is especially helpful in smaller congregations where you don't have to repeat all resources to be doing what needs to be done and then maybe a single mother needs to be visited and you don't as a nail elder feel comfortable and shouldn't feel comfortable in visiting that that single mother and you need a lady to go with you but your wife's not available and time is important in getting to that particular home so there are ways to be able to do that and still accomplish that so very good at that and we go through visitation format here with you today 1st of all prepare. And by that just have an idea what you plan to do when you go there some people think that I don't know how to visit and so I'm not going to do anything because I don't know what I'd do if I got there and I'm not very good at sport of the moment and saw yet but you can plan and it doesn't have to be long some people think the visitation I plan to go there for an hour what I'm going to do for no please don't go there for an hour if you want them to know you're going to go away and then they can you know the next time you come you're not going to be there for $45.00 minutes or an hour or 10 hours or whatever and that you can leave and if people are trying to get you to stay especially the 1st times you visit try not to let them keep you there because you want them to know that you can and will leave so that they don't feel like oh I don't want him back here again it took him took us 2 hours to get him out of here and you know so you know what I'm saying so prepare with what you're going to do. Something bad that is very common is exactly true sometimes is a genuine need on a 1st visit were really you need to take that time but sometimes it's better actually say look I really didn't budget that amount of time for tonight but if you don't mind how about if I come back on Wednesday night or Thursday night and we'll talk about that particular issue and I'll budget an hour for that UNAMA time that way they know that you're in control of that timing and you can work through that process all right and be a friend that's part of what you're planning to do there you're just trying to get acquainted with them and know who they are as individuals and if you really don't know much about them find out about their kids in their family background and where they grew up and and just just whatever you can in a brief sort of a way. Make the Bible the focus and tend to share a bible promise with them before you leave that home make the Bible the focus in what you do you want to be able to ask Are there needs that they have that you want to you want they want you to know about and that you can be praying about that also gives you something to pray about right there with them as well as something to pray about when you. When you're at home and in your private devotionals this point I've already made the point a little bit but I want to make it again leave. All right leave planned to be there a short period of time and leave when you've parade once you pray you're gone you want the last thing for them to be thinking about is the prayer that you had for them and the ministering that you were doing to them at that particular point writes what is right mean keep notes of what you did that you don't want to be doing that you noticed word is its number 7 and zaf to you after you leave so you you have left your out in a car not in front of their house. You might drive down a few doors away if it's in a subdivision or wherever it's appropriate but before you forget and write down your notes it's helpful to you for the future and it's also helpful for your pastor to write those notes down and to know what that conversation was an occasion like you might come across something that's confidential and please don't tell the pastor they said don't do that and there are times when vats appropriate there are times when that's not appropriate but there are times when most of the time that is appropriate keep that confidence so that they know that you can be trusted with something that they're sharing with you and but the notes are very helpful You might even have to put down there they shared something confidential with me and it's just to remind you what they shared so if you're looking back at it it triggers your mind as to what that was. All right now this visitation part has another aspect to it that has a tendency to generate fear in the heart of an elder. And specially lay elders who have not been trained in this area and that has to do with counseling pasts or elders are afraid to get involved in visitation because they are afraid that they're going to get into situations that they can't handle because people have real problems and they're looking to elders for solutions and all of that is true they have real problems and they do tend to look at the elders in the spiritual leaders in the church for solutions to those problems so let's talk a little bit about counseling and what it is and isn't in an elder's context 1 of the reasons for which the churches exist does exist is to provide a place for troubled people where they can come and within the fellowship of believers find concern being offered to them by the membership of the church and they find strength and support for the problems that they're facing. Some people's problems are that they have never really had an encounter with Jesus they haven't been studying the Bible and they need to develop a personal relationship with Christ you are qualified to help in that area now you may say wait a minute I'm not qualified I can't even give a Bible study now you are qualified but if you don't know how to do that then ask the pastor to teach you how to do those aspects because you have a personal relationship with Jesus that was as we talked about yesterday a call to being an elder and the qualifications of an elder you are already qualified that way because of your personal relationship with Christ but you also may need to learn how to share some of those things were the people your counseling may be as simple as giving Bible studies to somebody that's counseling did you know that it's teaching people where the solutions are in the Word of God and that is helping prove to teach them as well or just teaching them how to do a devotional life how to have an avowed devotional life in their in their experience and by the way for Forget about it if you are not familiar how many of you know about the discipleship handbook and have 1 in your possession OK all right now at the end of that disciples have a handbook is an outline of a devotional plan and it's a great tool to use with members who need to develop that relationship which I'm telling you is anywhere from 3 quarters to 90 percent of your church go out and what's at. Said the book has a devotional plan in the bag. Which you can use to teach members how to have a devotional life which is the need of 3 quarters to 90 percent of the members of your congregation they're not having a personal devotional life on a regular daily basis they may be like the general public and like most Christians and like most 7th Day Adventist we know statistically they're not reading their Bibles every day they're reading and 3 or 4 times a year OK and maybe once a week if they're really on a good roll and so you want to be able to teach that and you want to tool to be able to do that all right but let's talk about some of the difficulties of counseling that come along there are people who need special care and we don't want to refuse them help they need more than just sympathy they need some attention that will help them to to get that help that they they need what we're able to provide and they may add some cases they're only seeking some but they and that's enough but sometimes people want somebody every day and I mean there are people like that will call you every day and that's not good either you have to have boundaries when it comes to this area elders sometimes become susceptible out of their kindness a lack of counseling expertise or training and because of their own egos they think they have to solve everything and have an answer for everything but that's not what God wants us to do and so here are some guidelines counseling involves listening I'm the kind of individual who likes to I'm constantly trying to solve problems in my head. And when somebody is talking to me I'm already trying to think ahead of them and think about what the solutions are that's not good I'm telling that's a kind of person I am and I have to work hard at learning to listen and germ our brain off long enough to be able to listen to I don't mean brain dead I mean so that I'm not ahead of them I'm listening to them number 2 we need to concentrate on solutions we don't want to just listen to them but we want to think about what are the solutions to the challenge that they have their challenge that they might be facing is they might have some financial challenges and the solution is they need to be trained how to manage finances and work through that the solution isn't usually to give them money. All right but once in awhile that kind of a need can arise and it can happen and it can be appropriate in some cases but you want to outline options for them in terms of solutions and you want to help them choose a plan which 1 is going to work best for them then you may have several ideas of what by to help to solve that problem but what did they think is going to be the 1 that's going to help them the best in the SE I'm going I'm being the Monday in but you can this can happen to you that a family that having ne struggling with finances they got 4 kids he works a only part time and he's disabled and and she's just busy taking care of the kids and they're just struggling with life in general that they need to get a car and they've got a little bit of money to be able to do that and how are they saying you know we've never been really bought a car before how do we go about doing that well you can outline for them the steps you take in buying a car you can go to a dealer a new find a car that way or you know. The truth is I've got a car that might work for you and I don't need anymore it's 20 years old but a runs great and you might want a now I'm just I'm just pulling out some things out of the hat and you might say to them now which of these would work best for you what they'd say But I think I'd like to go to the used car dealer and see if I can find a car there that would work for us and work on payments I'd feel better about it myself if I did that than taking the car really appreciate you offering the car but that would work best for us and you might say well just make sure you understand it can be some financial ramifications of your decision and yes but I'm I as a matter fact I'm going to get a job in A and week that's going to be a full time job and that's going to help solve the problem so you just talking through those kinds of things with them aren't. You want to pray with them by all means you want to pray with them and then this is a very important area. Ellen White tells us that in the end of time people's emotional and mental health problems were going to get worse and worse and boy are they ever and that is so really true you need to know when to refer And basically this is the rule if you can't solve their problem and I mean that by helping them find solutions to the problem that they're dealing with in 3 times dealing with that particular issue refer them on OK that's what we tell pastors you can't solve their problem and 3 times then it's out of your area and you need to refer it on to someone else who is able to take that situation and deal with it. All right I wanted to spend more time in that particular area today I'm just about out of time and I knew that I that was a good possibility today. The last areas here that are part of what we wanted to talk about are small group ministries I'd like you to read through the notes that are there I think you can read what's on that paper fairly well might have to kill. Michael magnifying glass out for some of those pieces but there are quotations and Bible verses there will help you let me just hit a couple of highlights here small groups as Ellen White says in this quotation the formation of small companies the basis of Christian effort is a plan that has been presented before me by 1 who cannot err This is a good way to organize your church in terms of developing relationships and nurture and developing teams for witnessing and all kinds of things. Sabbath school classes are already small groups that exist in your church and you could utilize them outside of church aunts. And Sabbath morning you could utilize them as well as part of a basis of small group ministries in your churches there are all kinds of different ways of doing this and there's some great information and material on small groups the purposes of small groups and all these kinds of issues here that is the kind of thing that. That small groups can provide but there are I just don't have time to get into all this I really would like to. Be able to do them and take you a little 4 per ministry is a vital part of the work that you do and it's not just for per meeting but organizing a prayer team in your church for specific needs and to praying at per meeting you many times are in charge of per meeting prayer meeting is spoken of in our notes here as well and if you are looking for ideas of what to do for per meeting a little bit of an outline right here on a prayer ministry as you know starting on time study for no more than 20 minutes have some time for reflection testimonies and so on and then of course per meeting is for praying of all things and making sure that your prayer is relevant I'll tell you why when churches really begin to pray they begin to see huge changes I've seen churches that have gotten together and prayed about meeting students in the school and they get students in the school when they you know they some churches want to give up because we don't have enough kids if you pray about it the Lord can take and care for you can't solve and prayer is the way God solves problems we need to take advantage of that social activities are mentioned in here make sure that there are social activities going on in your church it's vital more important than many churches are recognizing today and people are spending less and less time together when you need to be spending a good rule is once a month having some kind of a social interaction and especially during the summer but I don't want to say not during the winter either because people get inside and they get disconnected and you want to have something going on by which you can do that the last thing I want to mention in your notes you have a long section on dealing with various departments in your church. I could say a lot about that and I'm not going to say any more about that today but to tell you that this whole idea of supporting the departments is important your clerk needs to be supported and encouraged with their duties and you need to you need to help them to understand how valuable they are just remind them you know maybe go visit the clerk and say we just want you to know how valuable you are to us how much we appreciate you come to every board meeting you are there and taking those notes regularly and you do great DA job of sharing those notes at our meetings you are you're on top of membership transfers and for all the people that are working in your church you want to be encouraging them and supporting them and also can mean that there are times when you are trying to encourage them when they're having some problems they're not getting the job done you want to be able to be supportive as well as encouraging that they need to continue to move the work forward and and if they need training then get a hold of the conference office if it's a treasure record that needs some specific training or the pastor who might be able to guide some of that process as are other departments as well the work of an elder. He's keeping that church functioning and moving ahead in all the aspects that we've been talking about from the spiritual growth out reach of the church the development of the ministries in your church and the needs of the spiritual growth of your church members through visitation you have a critical work to do in your church and I hope that these 2 days have been able to give you a little bit of a focus here if you want additional help don't hesitate to let us know at the conference office we're willing to come I came out to. Victor's church there at the request of the pastor and we did some training there I do it on district level as well where several churches come together and we organize and train that's a great way to get you all the out and help them and part part of that the training of elders to me is a high priority and I'll change my schedule to do it if I if I need to do that in order to be able to meet the need of the Field thank you very much for being here let's power heads and have a closing prayer. Or thank you for the elders that are here present today and thank you for all our elders in the Michigan conference and around our remnant church around the world we pray that you will bless them as they lead their churches and their church families I pray that your spirit will guide them and utilize them in such a way that they are able to strengthen the churches spiritually and also help them to grow. Numerically with disciples for you to finish the work I pray that as we go about our responsibilities and opportunities the rest of this day that you will go with us and Jesus' name amen. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio overs or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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