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Elders Basic Training- Part 1

Royce Snyman


Training for new elders that will provide an elder’s job description, how to work with the church pastor and local board, basic leadership principles, basic church organization, how to organize for church service, and more.


Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference




  • June 18, 2018
    9:30 AM
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Father in heaven as we begin our class or elders today we invite your Holy Spirit to bless us and to guide our conversation our study and may it be such that it helps us to do our work better for you and that we might be able to serve you in on or you by our responsibilities in the area we pray that your Holy Spirit will be in charge of what I say and what we hear and we thank you and he says. Well thank you for being here how many of you are brand new elders never been an elder before and you're just starting out OK how many of you are elders and never have taken even whether you're new or not but never taken any training of any kind in terms of being an elder. Some of you are kind of getting into it and figuring it all out and we're glad for that and our purpose today is to be able to give you some of the basics of being an elder Now I want to warn you that one I teach this class. It 1st it starts out very low key and it doesn't seem like it's much of an issue out but once we get into this class especially 2 days worth suddenly we realize that. There isn't a whole lot to being an owner and I don't want you to go away discouraged and thinking I didn't realize I signed up for that or get it I'm outta here don't do that this is an opportunity for you as an individual to grow in your understanding it's not unusual for the nominating committee to call somebody and say we need you to be an elder and you say what's an elder and they say all you gotta do is be on the platform once a month and call for the offering or something like that and then I can do that and so now you're an elder and you get are going to take a call out of the offering on Sabbath morning or to have a morning prayer and nobody ever tells you what the job is nobody describes it to you maybe your pastor never gives you any training and you're an elder for years that's what you understood was an elder and then one day you come to camp meeting and somebody stands up on a class like this and opens up the church manual to you and opens up some basic information to you about what an elder is and you say whoa I can't do all of that nobody on earth has time to do all of that. Take one step at a time and realize that this is a very special calling and that God does have a purpose for you you'll might have your horizon expanded a little bit but don't worry God is able to fill the vacuum in the space and help you as you are trying to meet all of those particular needs and issues that arise in your church that you are responsible for carrying out I'd like you to look at your notebook that I've given to you here your folder so you know what's in it again today is our 1st class this is one of 2 classes for elders our we will have a deacons and deaconesses training on Wednesday and Thursday if you are able to be a part of that I would like to encourage you to do that because part of your work as an elder is leading your congregation and leading your leaders and a lot of people have no idea especially our elders have no idea what deacons and deacons is supposed to do and we do the same thing there that we do here I'm good the celli I could use some of my materials like I forgot the elders handbooks some of those kinds of things I forgot to bring in here again thanks. I've encouraged you to do it so that you know what deacons and deacons is do and the Friday classes on managing theological conflict I say 1st of all welcome to the last days that we knew were coming but are here and welcome is not quite quite the word I want to use but I used a little tongue in cheek we are in the last days and we are encountering more and more theological conflict in the church and some of it is over minor things that are frankly and times not relevant other times they are over things that are very relevant and separating people from one another device being the church in creating problems you will face this in the last days our churches are facing it in these days we have churches that are dividing and members that are having to be asked to surrender their church membership because of this happening in the state of Michigan and around the country and there are some issues we'll talk about that on Friday but not today in this notebook folder you have a class evaluation which I'd like you to complete tomorrow after our last class if for some reason you're only able to come to the class today and you have to be an Hong Kong tomorrow and that may seem strange but we had a fellow that was here for the weekend Jim Howard and that's where he is today in China not on Kong but he's been on these. So it could happen I don't know it might happen to you but would you complete this and then turn it into morrow I'll ask for it as you leave behind it is some blank paper that you can use for taking notes if you would like if you happen to need more let me know and we'll be happy to get that for use today I have a handout for you it looks like this you're going to notice that it looks an awful lot like what's on the screen and the reason for that is because it is the slides because I know that sometimes. I want to take notes of what's on the screen and that means that it's here for you and there's space next to it that will also be helpful for you in taking notes so you should have plenty of space for that anybody need something to write in with not have anything to write was so my wonderful secretary this is Shelley ring staff are you those of you don't know her I think that's all and you know saying. If you bring some pins in then the Great I will give you a copy of The Elders handbook that looks like this if you have one already keep it and take it take this one and give it to one of your other alters that may not have it. If you don't have one of course it's yours and it there's a price on the back and that's not for you that's only if you're buying it from the eighty's so I am providing that for you you took the time to come to the class I want you to have it. Study material today is out of the handbook and is what we'll be sharing with you so there will be some pieces along the way our here the key right now to save a little bit of time we'll give it out to you at the. All right I think I've taken care of some of the housekeeping items so I'd like to get us started I'd like to start by talking about the elders call and qualification so let's talk a little bit about what God's expectation of is for you 1st of all to be an elder is not calling you just for the task of reading the scripture on Sabbath morning you are call to be an elder by God for a purpose it is a high calling all. One would call it the highest office in the local church now we don't like to think of offices as higher and lower and all of that but you have the most significant leadership responsibility in the local church especially from a spiritual perspective elders who realize that their calling comes 1st from God while most appreciate the importance and the seriousness of their leadership responsibility this is not just the nominating committee calling you asking you to do something once a month this is God calling you for a readership task in the church that involves serious spiritual responsibility for which God will hold you responsible for what you do or what you don't do it is a kinda being called a being a pastor the differences you are not called to full time paid ministry go anywhere in the world that God might call you to do as an ordained minister but you are called to serve God in the local church as the spiritual leader in that local church that means doing what Paul told Timothy he needed to do what Paul was told the scriptures were there to do and what Timothy was told he was supposed to do in leading the people of the church correcting them encouraging them cheating them guiding them being the spiritual leaders that God needs you to be in that congregation we're going to talk about the job description more specifically in a moment but right now we're talking about the calling calling of an elder starts with God calling you but the church also needs to recognize that call. I have had situations and even have today situations were people. People in the church men who believe that they are called to be elders who are pushing pushing pushing all a time for the church to put them and then as elders the church has to elect you to be an elder the church should recognize your call if the church does not recognize your calling it is not your job to force them to recognize what you believe to call be the calling of God that job. Himself to do leave it to him usually the least qualified individual to be an elder is the one who insists on being one because of God's calling you he will take care of a placement he will take care of the time when God is ready for you he will make that clear how this should not be elected because they already hold some position of importance in the community or because they have been successful in business or are wealthy people that are leaders in the church are called to be elders because of their spiritual leadership they may also have other leadership skills but they should not be called to leadership just because they have those skills. A lot of individuals don't realize this about being elected to being an elder but an elder is elected yes by the congregation but has no authority in the congregation and tell number one they are ordained and number 2 they are or. Called to by the organized church in which they are. Called to serve Now here's what I mean by that an elder when they ordained to be an elder in the local church are ordained for life that means that if you are doing for Ed in Michigan you don't have to be ordained in Alabama but in order to serve as an elder in Alabama if you are called to be. An elder in the Cedar Lake Church and you were again in the senior Lake Church when you go to Alabama you have no authority in that church and your nation only means that you don't have to be ordained again but that you do have to be elected by that congregation before you have any authority in the congregation that makes sense. Let's talk about the job description of an elder for a moment what is the elders job well the most important place for us to goes a war of God and then we look at the Word of God in the New Testament we find something similar to what we just talked about 1st of all they were appointed by the congregations as Paul went around from place to place he did appoint elders to lead those members and that in those congregations. The Bible in the New Testament says that the individuals who were elected to that position were done so because they were highly respected respected for their leadership and for their spiritual direction and what God was already doing in their lives not that when they were appointed to be elders that they suddenly became spiritual but that 1st of all they were spiritual they were recognized as such and respected for their spiritual leadership and then they were elected and appointed as elders in that congregation they gave a leadership in prayer and anointed the sick those were just some of the things that we see elders doing in the New Testament that's not all there were other things as well they also carried significant leadership and administrative responsibilities your Remember that when they are deigned deacons they did so because administratively they were being flooded with task that were taking them away from prayer and study of the word and preaching the word that they were being called to do something that somebody else could do well and that was taking care of the physical needs of the widows remember that story and acts they had administrative responsibilities and when they were encumbered with those administrators responsibilities they began to delegate those responsibilities to others so that they could continue to do the spiritual leadership roles that God's especially called them and that was to be shepherds overseers and examples. That man taking time shepherds a lot of elders sometimes forget that that's what they are called to be and overseers will talk as we go through this day and tomorrow a little bit what it means to be an overseer and overseer means to be helping the pastor in overseeing the various other departments of the local church in the work of the local church but we will talk about that a little bit more Jesus said to Peter Shepherd my sheep and Peter as an elder also taught other elders to do the same thing in spiritual leadership they should be recognized as. Should be respected by their congregation is already spoke to they should be able to speak Well now let me address this one for a moment because I've as a pastor over the years I've talked to people about being elders and they say yes I'm an elder but I don't preach I don't do this or don't do that I don't whatever but the job description actually includes that and the may encourage you that maybe you don't feel that you would be a good speaker or that you are a good speaker and let's face reality some people are better speakers and others yes and that can be very true and that can be a challenge for us but I also know that all of us can learn to do things we never thought we'd ever be able to do and some of you are in smaller congregations some of you are in larger Congress. And if you're in irons you're a smaller congregation if you are in or in Oxford or you're in a slightly larger congregation and and regardless of size some people are a fraid of the idea of standing up in front I know that seems strange if I'm about to tell you this but let me tell you that I'm a minister today I've been pasturing for 40 years and I'm relatively comfortable up front because I've been doing it for so long but I didn't start out that way when I started out in facing ministry I knew God had called me to ministry I started my education at Pacific Union College in college actually before that in Academy down in Southern California and they knew I was planning to be a pastor and they decided I needed to be the president of the seminar club and the seminar club was a club that would go around and would preach from place to place I had no idea what I was doing any idea my father was a minister I remember one of my classmates he got up and preach a sermon on Jonah I still remember that he preached on Jonah 50 years later I still remember it and the sermon that he preached was powerful I got up and I have no idea what I said after him and and I don't think anybody else remembered it either and I went to scoll age and we didn't start off with her with our. Class on preaching at 1st that came 3 years later but I had to take a speech class and in that speech class we had to give one minute speeches. And then they professor told us now the last thing you're going to do is give a 10 minute speech and I'm right I can't think for one minute let alone for 10 minutes my father came and got me for Thanksgiving took me back home and on the way home I said Dad I got a pretty I got us speak for 10 minutes I have no idea how I'm going to do that I have no idea what my dad said but I do know I got through that I want as a student missionary shortly after that I had to learn to preach there by the way one of the best ways to learn to preach is preach when you have to do it through a translator The reason I did is because while he was talking what I had just said I was able to think of what I was going to say next and there was no gap or Lagan time it's a great way to learn to preach what I'm telling you is when God calls you to do something he will fill the gap if he calls you he will give you what you need in order to be able to do it you do that your very best and I don't mean be lazy I mean you do your very best and God will take that and he will use it to His glory don't give up on. Have a consecrated life that is a decision between you and Jesus and daily walking with the Lord as he is guiding you in your walk with him and your consecrated to Him That means that there are some things that some people in church may do without guilty consciences but you can't do it because you are a leader you are consecrated to Jesus Christ he is looking to use to be an example to that congregation you also need to have spiritual leadership ability and that is part of your job description is to be that spiritual leader will come back and talk about how that comes out a little bit. Let's speak a little of general oversight the you have of the congregation and that is to keep a watchful eye over each activity and each department in the congregation many pastors will take their elders and organize their elders Let's say that if we can go back to Henri in Oxford and that particular congregation I think of it as a little bit of a larger congregation or Cadillac day there would be a larger congregation as well I know that pastors will take a congregation where you might have how many owners do you know. It's just one elder you and I must talk after this. How many how many elders do you have you've got 5 All right let me talk about vats for just a moment. If you've got 5 elders pastors will often take those elders and divide the congregation or the departments I should say up among those pastors maybe one pastor will be responsible for the children Sabbath school department. I guess what I'm going to say thank you. No that's where one of the elders will responsible overseeing correct me along the way if I get off the track or I don't know no no you know don't apologize I want to right on the tape so let's get a rope so one might be responsible for their children's departments and what they will do on Sabbath morning they might slip out of their class not all the time but slip out of their class and go and just check on those classes see how they're going there go down there and they go down to the Cradle Roll or beginners as we call it today and that classroom and they go and look and they're all those kids are and gauged with with what's happening there and the teacher I mean you know listen to what the teachers teaching and she's teaching good stuff and and helping them know about Jesus down there and it's wonderful goes over to the kindergarten class and. There's 10 kids and they run all over the place and where is the teacher the teachers not even in there and there's just chaos reigning in their class. Or has a responsibility to say wait a minute what's going on here I've got to help to correct things you might have to do something to meet the immediate I'll call it emergency I don't know why the teacher isn't there right now maybe she or she didn't get there that morning and didn't tell anybody or it may be that suddenly she was sick and had to run to the restroom whatever the case may be neat back to kill or need but then work with the leadership of the church to make sure that those kinds of things are being corrected there are times when our Sabbath school teachers are teaching something I would put on the border of heresy. We have a responsibility for knowing that and also correcting those kinds of things and it can happen even in the children's departments where they're not teaching them what they really should know they're teaching them things that maybe could be taught in any Baptist church they might even be using Baptist material and stead of material that the 7th Day Adventist Church is put out to lead our people in an understanding with 3 angels messages from beginners to adults so they can oversee the those children's apartments they can oversee the adults have a school somebody else can maybe somebody one of the Elders is appointed Dave in your church to oversee the Pathfinders in adventures and just be aware of what's happening there to make sure that good things are happening there and giving them support from time to dime doesn't mean being in all the Pathfinder meetings and all of that but it's giving oversight and recognizing what's happening there you understand what I'm getting at that's the kind of oversight that elders need actually to be responsible for that is actually a very good question what ought to happen is there ought to be an elder sitting on the Finance Committee if it's the head elder and you're the only elder I would encourage that to be the clay case if there is no elder on the Finance Committee then I would encourage the board to correct that problem and that there be an elder there you're the spiritual leader of that congregation and finances are a spiritual issue in a church yes. So I would yes encourage that to be the case. Absolutely good question don't hesitate to ask that's the way you get answers if I have them be happy to hear the involved in planning staffing training and guiding the entire church program I want you to understand what that means you think so far I hope you noticed there's a lot of things on here that you thought was the job of the pastor and only the pastor but no the responsibilities are the responsibilities of the leadership of the church the pastor overseeing is but you are helping to oversee the church especially if a pastor has more than one congregation you have the responsibility to make sure that those things that are happening in that church are being are being overseen are 1st and then moving the congregation along as an elder you want your congregation not to be a maintenance congregation do you know what I mean by that your role with the local church is to ensure that your church is growing and moving ahead for the work that God has given the church to do a maintenance congregation is one that is the same a year from now as it was now or 2 years from now the same as it is now it will be in 2 years if your church is not grown has not seen any change or worse yet has shrunk in 2 or 3 years you know who is responsible for that you are you the elders are responsible. No not the pastor yes the pastor too but as elders you should never allow that to happen and if the pastor is not helping the church to grow your role your leadership role says let's work together with a pastor don't tell a pastor what to do but work cooperatively with the pastor if necessary challenge the pastor in other pastors of wanting to be a maintenance pastor then call the ministerial department and talk to the ministerial director and say we're getting nowhere in the last 2 years we're not getting anywhere and if you want to know who that is just look at my shirt and you'll notice what it says right here OK says ministerial department so it's me that you would call or elder Peppers who is our associate in the ministerial the power and we'll be happy to help to find ways of encouraging that process to make. Gains in your church rather than being a maintenance congregation planning what does that mean planning means at the board meeting talking about plans for the future plans for evangelism where what do we need in terms of staffing who don't we have here that we do need do we need somebody in the children's department where we already have a have a leader down there yes but there are 20 kids down there and one leader we need somebody else down there you worry about those things you pray about those things you look for those kinds of leaders you train to prepare people to be those kinds of leaders that kind of thing that you're doing a lot of people say well we don't have anybody in our church we might have 100 members coming but we have nobody who can fill that position where you've got a 100 people in that church maybe you need to be training some of those people training people to take the place of elders training people to do these various tasks along the way. This is the work of an elder aren't I'm getting labor down here so I need to keep moving. General oversight along with the Church includes demonstrating skills in worship leadership did you notice that nothing that I've listed so far had anything to do with Sabbath morning in terms of being on the platform on Sabbath morn. That is because your responsibilities are much broader than that but it does include the worship service and the issues that relate to the worship service yes you do want those things the worship service to be vibrant and exciting I didn't say rock N roll that can be exciting but it doesn't respond to what God is calling upon us to be doing Yemen's training skills in worship leadership helping the service to go well a good church service is not one where you come to church on Sabbath morning and you say now would anybody be willing to have the call for the offering this morning would anybody be willing to do the scripture reading this morning that's not an organized worship service that's not demonstrating some skills in worship leadership those kinds of things are arranged ahead of time those people that are going to call for the offering and they're going to call for you might be you and they're going to have a scripture reading is going to be special music those are things that are organized ahead of time and they're put in the Bulletin one Sabbath morning and rather than and it be an emergency once somebody doesn't show up it should mean that's why it should be an emergency and not the regular thing I know that when I've gone to church as my wife also goes around and visits Jersey visits churches she often has done classes or sermons encourage congregations as well especially on women's weekends and she'll go to a congregation and find that what's happening in that congregation is that there's no leadership there's no organization nobody knows what's going on and the elders calling for everything up front on Sabbath morning to make sure that happens emergencies happen that's one thing and that's regular then that's not exercising leadership skill if that happens to be you and your congregation take it as rebuke take is a challenge this is a good time to begin to work towards changing of those things that the pastors or a caress or his absence you might chair the board I want to caution you with this. The church manual allows you to chair the board I encourage you not to push your way to being the board chair pastor needs to be the leader of your congregation and being the chair of the board is in the Porton part of that responsibility but of the pastor does ask you to do that or if you happen to be a hospital administrator and sharing boards is what you do for a profession and your pastor doesn't seem to even know how to develop an agenda then sit down and talk to the pastor and try to encourage him with that role rather than and teach him how to do that role and then if he asks you to take over that role for some reason on a more permanent basis you can accept on a temporary basis telling him that you want to help him to learn how to do that but be careful of taking over the church and taking on their role because it's sometimes side stretched sidetracks you from some of the responsibility God has given you as well and you want to make sure that you are helping to keep the responsibilities of the pastor in his. But you can and you can even leave out a business meeting of the pastor asked you to do only if a pastor asked you to do only if he knows you are doing it if you ever call a business meeting without him knowing about it or without the conference knowing about it you have by a late it has trust you have violated the trust of the conference and you are exercising the authority that you have been given in the wrong way you do not have the authority to or serve the pastor and this does happen from down the time when people get a little frustrated in or the board or the business meeting elders should be committed to outreach and have a clear vision of the church as mission you are called upon to be a 7th Day Adventist elder you are called upon to be a leader because you are 7th Day Adventist Christian you're called upon to be an elder because you are a Christian and the if you are a Christian you are surrendered to Jesus if you are a Christian you are disciple of Christ if you're a disciple of Christ you have a passion for the winning of souls if you have a passion for the winning of souls you're involved in soul winning yourself therefore you are qualified to be an elder you get all that I just say. You are called to be a disciple long before you ever called me an album and if for some reason you were called to be an elder before you became a disciple of Jesus I encourage you to go on your knees before Jesus and say Lord make me one cycle. With a passion for. The church will grow or fail because of your commitment your involvement your leadership role I'm going to come back to this a little bit later part of your role is to nurture the congregation elders are not only overseers but they are shepherds shepherds know their sheep in order to know their sheep you have to talk to the sheep you have to listen to the sheep. And I understand shepherds know their sheep and the sheep know the shepherd's voice the Shepherd knows every lamb from one lamp to another you need to know your congregation through involvement with them we'll talk a little bit more about that in a bit prepare new members for baptism that's part of your work the paddy your church should be growing so fast the pastor doesn't have time to clear everybody for baptism so you're doing it along with other people who garner a Geisha and the pastors just lining up the baptistery and baptizing the people as they come through because of the work that you've been doing I believe that day's coming. I believe is coming and thanks to a strong tower radio we're seeing it even happened glimpses of what the Lord wants to do in this role you really want to know what God's about to do I know there's a lot of collapse of the Jews from here on this camp ground if you want to come this afternoon and are my class in the afternoon I'm talking about right since I think I am one is doing in Michigan and is going to do before he comes it's exciting what's happening but I'll tell you what the people are walking in off the streets literally because they're listening to strong tower radio and people are asking for baptism and many of those people are quote ready for baptism because they've been listening for a year to Doug Batchelor and other creatures on the on strong tower radio and they probably know more about what the Bible teaches than some of our members and that's the honest truth but anyway that's another side track you want to make sure that you're helping provide that role provide the special love and nurture that new members need there is a discipleship Handbook How many of you know about the discipleship handbook are right you need to have one you need to have read one. Sometime in the next month if you have not read it read it because you want to be nurturing those new members and you want to make sure that those new members are being nurtured with the new discipleship handbook and you can get that at the A.B.C. and get a hold of that way or ensure. Fantastic per meeting opportunity Absolutely thank you for reminding us of that an excellent opportunity new may help new members make firm friendships within the church and the handbook helps to nurture that and do that if that's not happening in a church go to the church board go to your elders meetings of your having elders meetings and discuss that with your pastor and with the elders Now let's talk about the job description that might be a little bit more specific for smaller churches we have Unionville represented here and let's see what were a couple of the churches I'm sorry what church where you shall be it's another one of our smaller churches. And as we are Adrian a company alright getting its feet back on the ground a little bit though the needs of pioneer memorial are different than those smaller churches those smaller churches need just a leader right please just give me a leader maybe do something along that line we take the responsibility for all almost all of the detail administrative work in the church when you are an elder especially the only elder the administration in that church falls upon you. You might want to say while it needs to be on the pastor's shoulders again I encourage you to read the church manual and realize that that's not what church manual suggests yes the pastor should oversee that but you should help that work to be done in your church especially if your pastor have 2 or 3 congregations you should plan to preach from time to time maybe even often you should plan to lead out in the worship service including communion if requested in an emergency or an explain that communion should be led out by an ordained minister. But if there is an emergency and the pastor were sick some time don't cancel communion because of that maybe call the minister all director and make sure that he's not available to come and that's me come and help you or do something like that I can't find somebody to fill in for you but if that can't happen it's better to be able to go ahead and you can call and share the church border business meeting in the pastor's absence wet at his request these are some of the things you may be called upon to do in a small church organize and participate in the visitation of members you will need to do that in a big church or a little church but you may need to do the organization of that as well as doing it that's part of your job description that's shepherding the congregation you can't help the members of you don't talk to the members you can't help the members of you don't know what their spiritual needs are you can't know what their spiritual needs are if you're not visiting them if you're not visiting them you are missing out on one of the responsibilities of being an elder in your congregation you also need to oversee the evangelist it plans for the congregation especially in small churches in helping that one an evangelist it meeting is going on you're not only there you're also helping to lead out those meetings and make sure that that's all happening you were involved in the planning anyway so that was happening there as well trained the congregation in a number of different things the congregation need to be trained training is the responsibility of an elder and elders job description but also training in terms of stewardship now I've had experience where I was training elders on issues of stewardship and stewardship by the way is not just money but it doesn't close the money. And one time I was training some elders on top of them what tithers used for and one of my alters who grew up in the 7 they have in this church whose father was also an elder did not know that the tide was not used to pay that white Bill. And that to me is just embarrassing you need to know all those things yourself and then also teach a congregation how those things fit together and how the finances work in the local church so that they can participate remember you might think well I can't require people to pay to you know you can't require That's God's job but when you don't teach them about their importance of doing that you're falling down on your spiritual Hans ability because God says that they will be blessed so you're cheating them you're cheating them of the blessing that they could be receiving if they were faithfully returning tithe ago but if you are faithful even though sometimes it's a little embarrassing or a little challenging not by chastising them but by nurturing them and teaching them they can receive the blessing that God wants and do it well and you have general oversight for the church finances and that can answer the question about finance and the. Enlarged urges you go to pioneer moral church in bearing Springs I think they've got like 60 olders or something like that well they need to have that number of elders they may have more hours and you have people come to church on one right and so it will be a team of elders and they'll be a 1st elder and a 2nd elder and then there might be leadership roles within that group of elders whatever's needed to be done but that will be happening in a large church they'll be a board of elders but there's a board of elders in every church and maybe just you. But it may be 2 or 3 of you it might be 5 if you have 5 elders in your church you should have be having an elders meeting with a pastor monthly how often how often manfully you should be having a meeting of the elders in the Pastor together on a monthly basis even if it is just to have you not as one of you you might have your meeting on the phone and do that I don't and particular encourage that but it may more be more cost effective if you are part of a district of churches and your pastor has like 3 churches I encourage you to get together periodical you maybe even quarterly to meet with the other elders especially if there's only like one elder maybe 2 elders it encourages you also it's very time effective but it also gives you a little bit of a vision for what's happening on the other congregations you'll come up with ideas you'll be able to pray together and support each other you Matt from might find it valuable to communicate from time to time with each other and say How's it going over there you might want to swap pulpits from time to time so that your members would hear somebody different you these are great opportunities elders meetings and I know I'm talking a large churches here because those born of dollars meetings are going to take place at Pioneer memorial village church or battlecry But if they're not happening in the smaller churches they need to be happening while a time for you to come Caray talk about the needs of the members you've been visiting the members this is the time to bring the pastor up to speed the pastor does his own visitation but as you're going around and visiting people you might come across something he didn't encounter a need that he might be able to address or you and he together might be able to address or should be addressing. All elders or members of the board correct. All elders are members of the church board it's part of the responsibility they're now in a church like Pioneer their board would be too large of all the elders who are members of the board so in that case they might be only a few that are assigned to be members of the board so that the board can actually function you ever been to a meeting with or 60 people and try to get any work done it's a little bit of a tough job all right I need to really screw along here I'm going to shift now from job responsibilities to church organization this is just a little bit of a review of how the Church is organized and church responsibilities are organized I'm going to do this fairly quickly before I move up would you offer a job description and call you have any questions about those areas I'm assuming you're asking along the way in the just pausing. Here. I really appreciate you coming back to that one of the slides have that word on there but we really talk about it and it really is an important task and responsibility that's why you are the spiritual leader and that why you should be an elder because of your spiritual leadership not because of the fact that you might be happen to be the mayor of the towers something like. So great thank you very much a spiritual example her congregation are right the church is God's idea he is the one who created the church and he is the one that is at work in the in the church in its organization God is a God of organization you're aware of that right and the church should also be organized small or large some churches will forever be small because they don't think about growing up and they don't think about what it takes to grow they don't look to the future you don't just automatically grow you don't go from being 10 people to 100 people just by sitting there and hoping that it's going to happen there has to be a strategy in a plan by which you're doing that and that's being compromised prayer is at the center of that always at the center that the work of the Spirit of God is there but organization is there people who want to be part of God's plan but not part of an organization do not understand how God works he put together the organization so that it can accomplish is task you can imagine what Cap meeting would be like if it weren't organized in this camp meeting functions because as soon as camp meetings over we start planning for the next Can't me and that's no exaggeration it's a matter of fact as we're putting things away one camp meetings being down there thinking about how they're going to get all that stuff back out again to set up a camp meeting next year and then we have regular meetings throughout the year when we talk about how to get ready for the next camp meeting it's on constantly going same thing happens in local churches. In the organization structure from the beginning God's family was organized with a patriarchal system the nation was a nation under God and the church is a community of Christians gathering together the Bible uses many images to represent the church as a church is a group of Christian people gathering together churches a group of people that are called out from the world learning to love God and to love each other notice the statement at the bottom it's not a museum but a living workshop and some of our churches are museums tragically so. The Bible uses other images such as it is a group of Christians reaching out to the world inviting others to come in it's also a place for healing for the hurts of life I hear some interesting things just recently I last week recently got a phone call not a home call I met somebody who told me about how they took some non agonist members to another cabin as congregation not their own and this person on Adam is to happen to be worrying something around their neck that I was the star of david and one overly zealous member came up to that lady and said we you should be wearing that that's a devil symbol and you should be wearing that what is the lady say to her friend after that I'm never going back to that church why would she want to go back to that church they're supposed to be coming there to have the hurts of life healed not to be condemned for something like those kinds of things. The Lord takes care of condemnation when things need to be taken place that order or church is a mission it's a hospital and it's the house of God God Father in the people or a shoulder in the models in the Bible in the Old Testament was the Israel model was a theocratic model Paul spoke of it as the body Jesus model was a clear a community of people getting together how do we meet the challenge of our world today and it's a huge challenge because in Revelation 14 God tells us that we are to go to every nation tribe language and people and Mark tells us we are to go to all creation it's a global multicultural multinational work that God has called upon us to do and how do we go about doing it only by good organization of resources delegation of authority flexibility evaluation and control we need to be working together to meet those needs the local congregation is an extension of the some of the amnesty church in the world God's reasons for going to zation according to Ellen why did to support the gospel ministry to carry on the work of preaching in new fields to protect both churches in the ministry from unworthy members action for holding church property to publish the truth via the printing press we are stronger because of us putting our resources together correct. Nothing is a better example of that than a camp meeting imagine being in a small church like irons and never having gotten out of that congregation and you think that all the 70 M. The churches are like that and they're only how many people you have coming on 7. $25.00 people and only $25.00 people and 70 M. is Jerry and then they come here that you know maybe they wore a baptized in the church and never gone to camp meeting never seen it they come here and they find 2500 people more in the sanctuary Whoa the eyes open don't they when they begin to see that we're stronger because of it we're not a papal system we're not in the past couple system we're not a congregational system we are a representative system we work because we work through representatives when they can situ and see a meeting takes place in September of this year you may not all be there but there will be representatives from your congregation there and you are able to express your opinions through those representatives and that's how the church works on the local level it works the same way there are levels of organisation in our church just in case you're not aware obviously there's a local congregation then there's the conference and I'm only doing this this way because it's illustrated of not of authority and power but of how we are communicating with each other you may think the president has more power than anybody else the president only has as much power as you give him yes you can take him out as well as put him in conference Union as the next level the union in this case in the Lake Union there are 5 conferences Indiana Illinois. Wisconsin the lake region and Michigan gone from 5 conferences make up the union they are 9 cunt unions in the United States and then then there's the division and the division is made up of. The General Conference is made up of 13 divisions and those divisions expand around the world and the General Conference is the organization that holds in the gether the divergent divisions are only a 7 day a part of the General Conference is not the General Conference then the divisions the divisions are the General Conference that makes sense and the president General Conference overseas then the North American division president is a vice president of the General Conference so that just helps you understand how that role works and they are connected at that level the Old Testament speaks of a delegation process we need to learn to delegate the more your grow the more you share your responsibilities. God was the leader in the Old Testament under Moses Moses under him and under him there were others Jethro counseled him that he needed to expand it so he had captains of 10 captains of honored captains of 1000 he had people divided that way in order to be able to function with that large group we should be doing the same based upon our particular situation and they're also 70 men of qualification in numbers 11 in the New Testament the older elders were ordained Apostles were again the elders were ordained as well I'm moving right ahead now you've got the notes there on just covering something you basically know anyway they exercised their spiritual gifts in the local congregation they were lay persons they provided a ministry that gave strength and the direction to the local church as well. They are doing deacons the deacons responsible for visiting the sick to care the needs of the congregation they were witnesses as well by the way that's just a basic clue to what the deacons supposed to do deacons are ordained to their work did you know that they are not ordained so they can take up the offering and I sure can take up the offering they are danger because they are also spiritual leaders in that congregation doing the work that God has called the Bowmans there and they are also disciples that's why they are witnesses and local law officers are very important to the work of the local church the church manual says in the work an organization of the church of a pastor is not been provided by the Conference or mission the office of Elder ranks is the highest and most important in that local church there are approximately 25000 ministers available to serve more than 19000000 members in the 7th Day Adventist Church and 130000 congregations I like you to do the math on that 25000 ministers 130000 congregations now where using the number 20000000 members somebody has got to be helping in here on the work isn't going to move ahead and that's why we have elders only through the faithful ministry of local church leaders can churches not just maintain but fraud All right let's talk about the church elder as a elder leader for a few moments talking about planning Biblically the church is a slumbering giant waiting to be awakened the Bible plan is that everybody in the church should be doing something that's why you know that the General Conference initiative is T.M.I. that's not too much information that is what. Total member involvement. I don't want to get you off the wrong track total member involvement elder Howard who's in China right now to spoke to that on Sabbath morning talked about T.M.I. that's an initiative that's valid here as well as a World initiative we all need to be involved in that's a great book that the G.C. is put out called Total member involvement in get at the A.B.C. is Spanish in English and I hope they have the English version here very important and valuable book it sensual it's this thing using our spiritual gifts you can you do the wrong thing on spiritual gifts don't fall into the trap of saying Now everybody can give a Bible study Everybody can't witness because they don't have that spiritual gift everybody is called to be a witness for Jesus they may do it in different ways but we're all called to be witnesses so be careful how you use spiritual gifts I'm not going to spend any more time on this just recognising that people do have different skills and they can contribute and I'm going to leave it at that in relationship to doing that many people can develop their gifts more than they do including elders learning to preach that's part of the how that works I'll let you look over that issue of spiritual gifts a little bit more there are materials available in a number of different sources in order to be able to do this to me the bottom line is this train members in their chosen ministry go and visit your members when you visit with them if I ask them what can they do in the church if they are doing anything they are already doing something find out what they need help with to do it better. And train them how to do that if you don't know how to do it find somebody who does bring somebody in a resource of its health ministry you need find somebody who is willing to learn and bring Vickie Griffin in to teach how to do it or somebody else locally someone from the church is around you have the skills in that area maybe a medical professional or somebody gifted and talented in that area and help them have them come and help you functions of church leadership is to train members to use their gifts conduct regular training sessions a quick members in their use of their gifts every church should be a training school for Christian workers Alan White Susan Christian service chapter 5 every church should be a straining school for Christian workers that is your church should be a training school for Christian workers they all need to be in wouldn't call training members to accept ministry from other members as well that means that sometimes our people say the pastor doesn't come and visit me or he didn't visit me last week it didn't count when you came the week of me when an elder came that week and visited me while at. Isn't that supposed to be how we are growing together is it only if I get a pastor by a pastor visiting me that I'm recognized as being important that's not what this is all about yes pastors should visit the members yes that's true but would the elders need to be teaching members that this ministry is uninvolved ministry of everybody the deacon visits them accounts of an elder visits them it counts it counts because it's showing caring of Christ from the body not just one person it's not just a finger pointing out or helping their the mouth helping out is the total body helping and working together plan annually with your church have our own goals work together I encourage you to have a business meeting where you have a potluck and have everybody come out at a business meeting planet and talk about your plans for the next year instead of calling a business meeting and hoping that out of 150 members 2 will show this is total number involvement is total member planning organizing being involved to help to get the work done. We encourage you to plan for the church our outreach and so winning plans your plans by the fall of the year as a leader of the congregation you are responsible for helping that take place you are helping the congregation to do its work and we ask every church every company to develop and master plan of evangelism and turn it in by October 25 No I didn't say the pastor is supposed to do that the church is supposed to do that in the elders are at the head of that I'm going to hit this part real fast because I want you to just think about the process of planning and how it develops number one you want to make sure that you get input from the entire congregation have a planning agenda where people are involved in this process what are we doing where we go I What are we want to do to get where we need to go speak about evangelism nurture use facilities campaign schedule how do all these things play and fit into our plan don't just dump this on the pastor and expect him to do that work as a congregation to get all these pieces filled in and how everybody can be involved in that process have a master plan of evangelism is already said got a little bit of a head a some myself there how many of you knew about the master plan of of and. Rest of you can get that plan in there and you can take it back to Alabama or and and all that they may not call her down there but you can have your own plan for your congregation and know what's going to happen. All right let's talk about committees for a moment the committees do have a purpose and a value or talk about that Ellen why I mean the Bible says where there is no council of people all but in the multitude of counsellors here is safety that's why we work together as committees we work together as committees because it gives us opportunity to share ideas and to make decisions know this this one thought here make decisions the lowest level possible don't always try to force everything up at the top or the pastors they only want to make a decision no authorize the committees to make decisions within their sphere within their budgets and so on so that the work can be done at the lowest level possible so that the machinery of the church can continue to move ahead committees can be very time consuming plan agendas and make sure those things are happening there don't take to the board items that can be settled at other levels business meetings should always be publicly announced 2 weeks in advance before that takes place so people can be there it is the highest ranking committee of the local church it's the only place where you can set the budget you should be having a budget every year determining a new budget and it should be voted by the church in a business meeting that includes all members of the congregation it is called and shared by the pastor or designated elder in his absence if it's necessary to have that meeting without the pastor it should be held. At the manual talks about even monthly that's a little overkill and churches in Michigan and probably United States you're lucky to have a quarterly but I encourage it quarterly and absolutely no less than annually. Should have a business meeting where you're sharing your plans Delia voting your budget dealing with issues and so on and so forth all right how many of you have ever attended a business meeting at your local church so you have a little bit of an idea what that's about and what it is I'm not going to talk a lot about the church board today this will be a great place we have a meeting tomorrow being talked more about that if you have some ideas or questions about that but I do want to remind you that you should always have an agenda at your board meeting so you know what's happening and things get on the agenda by being put on the agenda ahead of time not at that meeting so you can plan ahead for it was an emergency item then have the board vote to put it on the agenda the board is not its authority only because the church has a stablished the church board and has given them their authority. The church is responsible the church board is responsible for the spiritual nurture and evangelism and maintenance of doctrinal purity if you're having doctrinal problems in your church in your board is not dealing with it shame on them I mean that literally shame on. Problems that are happening in the local church should be dealt with by the church board and not ignored because you are ignoring the spiritual needs of the people in your congregation and you are opening your church to the invasion of the devil himself don't allow it to happen in your congregation a do it with love and caring and compassion work on it as boards of elders with your pastor and work through some of those kinds of things upholding the standards in the local church is the responsibility of the elders in the church board to make sure that those kinds of things are happening the church board. Coordinates the finances of the local church and make sure that those things are happening as well as a committee member you are an initiator you are you might have. And have ideas that you want to share some people are a laboratory is created by nature and enlarges why ideas and and present ideas on the board both for and against sometimes playing the devil's advocate and working through those kinds of things the committee member can also challenge so that there are ideas some pepper members are doing that aren't challenging along the way some are appeasers some are Energizers look those over and you'll see that something you know might have one of each on your board hopefully you have want to be age and not wall of one. And that kind of thing you see a little bit of the chair responsibilities that I've listed there and I'm not going to take a lot of time to do that because some questions we can talk about tomorrow I want to end the day by talking a little bit about the pastor elder team in the last minute or 2 that I have you are a team you are not a team you have a problem if you can't work with your pastor because you don't like your pastor you have a problem. If the pastor doesn't like you the pastor has got a problem because you need to work together to be a force for good in that local church Paul could say I thank my God every time I remember you that's the way it ought to be we should be thanking God for each other the difference between a pastor an elder a pastor's assign an ordained by the local conference for a pastoral district an elder is assigned a local congregation elders valid ordination Now I've already talked about that. But both are leaders both coordinate the activities of the church and young minister has not been ordained of the ministry should be ordained as local elders in case you have an elder law pastor like that make sure that take place pastors part is to be concerned about the curriculum of the local church in the accomplishing the various things that take place there the pastoral or team work through some of these by the way. Encourage your pastor to support his family and to be involved in that work and don't expect the pastor to be on call 24 hours a day yes it is a mini rephrase that. Don't you know what what I'm what I mean is this. Your pastor should have a day off every week if your pastor is not taking a day off every week chastising lovingly you know what I'm saying and also empower him say Pastor I'm going to put in the bulletin this week that your day off is such and such a day they all of the people can call me if there's an emergency during the I mean if there's some question they have during that time if there is an emergency have a plan by which the pastor response to that emergency plan maybe is a text from you or something like that just protect your pastor but your patches should also protect you. It's up to him. I will let that work out what works for him and the congregation the family and do that as well all right you can see those notes there I'm going to have to end here and I want to make sure you get a elders handbook we'll pick up from here tomorrow and go on to our next phase talking about the work of Elders thank you very much for being here let's end with a word of prayer as we conclude. Father haven't had Thank you for these elders and their desire to serve you I pray that you will strengthen them and encourage them and make them the leaders in your congregations that you want them to the I pray that as we leave this place now and go on with our day here in camp meeting to watch over us pray that you keep the severe weather way from us and help us to be able to enjoy our time of fellowship in the morning to Jesus in. 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 verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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