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Elders Basic Training - Part 2

Royce Snyman


A Continuation of basic elder tasks focusing on how to do basic visitation (home and hospital), how to oversee various ministries of the church, basic principles of how to lead the church as a soul-winning organization, and more.


Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference




  • June 19, 2019
    9:30 AM
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Father heaven thank you for a new day a new morning an opportunity to be together and to study and to prepare to serve you in the best way that we possibly can as leaders of the church. Elders in seeking to assist the pastor in leading your way that your guide and direct us now in Jesus name. Are Right well this morning I want to mention something to you. To be perfectly honest I've not paid a whole lot of attention to this magazine but it is a resource and I think you might want to know about it this happens to be the latest edition of the elders die just feel free to take some back to your elders as well I have a whole box of them here and I'm happy to let that happen if you happen to want more or need more you can can take them here and if we come up short by all means we'll have. I believe that you can subscribe to this and I wish that I could tell you I know exactly about it but I haven't I'd love to have you check it out and tell me what you think about it any of those kinds of things but this is a quarterly journal for elders and it's nice to have resources I think it's like any other tool or any other thing that you have in your in your hands you have to determine whether or not it is appropriate for you and what you believe and so on so for the only reason I say that is because I've not looked at it carefully and you know there's a little bit of. Maybe a lot of it out there about different kinds of styles of worship and so on and so forth that I personally have concerns about and if that's being promoted by this magazine then I would suggest that you use your God given wisdom to sort that part of it out but often in these resources there are good ideas and source of leadership instruction and all and I encourage you to take advantage of that and get get the value out of it that is there or to back up from where we were yesterday and cover just a little bit that I rushed off of to make sure that you don't have any questions because we ran out of time and then I'll try to get us back on track I really hate to rush past some things. We talked a little bit up committee members there in the different kinds and I jumped on past that did you I don't know if you had a chance to go back and look at it but if you look at I can I don't know what slide it is but in your notes it's probably about. 5 pages from the back and it was talking about an initiator an elaborate or a challenge a challenger appeaser in an energizer. The different kinds of people that are on committees and it's just kind of nice to know that there are ways of thinking about how people function on committees Sometimes we get the idea of people don't function the way I function on a committee it's because they're all bad. And I'm the only one who's doing it right and sometimes we fail to realize that the value of committees is that you have different people with different talents different personalities and goes those are advantages to us because a balance is out of committee but if we don't realize what they're pro-choice are and the way that they think and what they're trying to accomplish we may seen them see them as antagonistic or opposing us when they may just be trying to draw out some other ideas and that's the value of of this kind of instruction and it doesn't seem that it matters whether a church is large or small conflicts within committees seem to happen almost naturally I don't like the word naturally but seem to happen just all too easily and so I want you to have that information so you know a little bit about it and going a little farther down it talks about the agenda and I discussed that last time opening the meeting with prayer and a brief devotional is valuable whether it's an elders meeting a board meeting or some other committing meeting I think most of you function that way already you committees function that way it's just bringing that up but every committee should have a secretary if it's a church board it should be the church clerk would be the sector that committee and those records are valuable records for the church board they're required records every church must have a clerk taking careful record of the meeting but let me suggest this official Chlorox minutes of a church board should not include every little detail discussed Did you catch what I said. Because what you don't need is a permanent record of banter back and forth you don't need that this is an ongoing discussion till you finally reach a conclusion when I 1st started pastor and I didn't realize that and in talking to conference lawyer at one point conference lawyer made it clear to me that the only thing that should be on those on those minutes are the official actions of the committee and they may be other things that you as a committee decide need to be on there that might quote not be an official action but it needs to be somehow registered there and that that is what needs to be included but could the actions there and you don't include who voted and who voted for it and who voted against it you food simply include the fact that it either passed unanimously or there was one dissenting vote or something to that effect just as you understand that part is that it's your question. And that's the way it's supposed to be and that's. Absolutely and that's a correct procedure process and the reason for Robert's Rules of Order or whatever process we use and that's the basic standard is because everybody can agree on that and that's the way you function on a committee and then that just keeps everybody from saying well you are minute be relating everything you know when you do it the way it's supposed to happen nobody is manipulating you simply functioning that way and that's exactly correct as John said if you pour the emotion on the floor and there's a 2nd then it can be discussed there are some things that you might be having a kind of a general discussion on that may not need a motion or one emotion at that particular point and you need to discuss but that you've got to be able careful of that so you don't get carried away. The agenda by the way keeps you from wandering out 1st of all not being on the agenda means you don't bring it up and having an open agenda were just people add on things if you want to meeting that all started 7 o'clock in the evening and finish a 12 Jews one that does use a process that doesn't include in the gender and that can be really an annoying type of thing so one of the things is that is always frustrated me about committee meetings is I cannot stand my words a committee where the chairperson does not keep that committee moving. Where they seem to when it hits a lag point the chairpersons kind of thinking a little bit about it and a couple minutes later says are right maybe it's time to move on to the next item the chairperson of that committee makes a lot of difference in how that functions how you get your work done when you get your work done and getting out of that meeting most of us have things our responsibilities in our life we want to do and the church is not the only thing we do and so it's good to keep that committee process moving ahead. The. One of the 1st items on the agenda it says in your material is the reading and accepting the minutes of the committee's last meeting that's true I think that's important because that gives you gives you an opportunity to review what took place at the last meeting the reason the caller keeps the meetings I'm talking about board right now or somebody to be a secretary on the on the board of elders and my suggestion is the head elder might want to be that person or an assistant elder who whatever you would decide but keep those records but you bring those records back at the next meeting to review them to make sure that what the clerk rode down is what actually happened because that becomes a permanent record and just recently I had a pastor asking me about a certain situation and I said well the only way you're going to know if that actually happened is by going back in the clerk's records and they he had to go back 10 years to try to find out if that action had indeed been taken and I can remember V.A. did find it or there was just a bit a brief mention of it but that can make the difference yours later about how you respond to a situation and it's it's just a reality I would like to tell you that I would like to encourage you to look at your board agenda you are the leaders of the church yesterday we talked about what you need to be doing in relationship to outreach and planning and so on after the corks report and the treasurer's report the 1st item on your agenda should be what. Right after those that item and after the treasurer's report. OK So you you've gotten through those 2 important items are what are the 1st what is the 1st item that should be on there it should be your master plan of evangelism you look at your church manual you'll find that the church manual says that the major responsibility of the church board is the planning of the soul wanting the outreach of that local church and what happens is if you make that the last item or only getting on there occasionally the major focus of the work of that board does not get done your spend your time talking about boilers that need fixing and plumbing that needs to be adjusted and carpeting that needs to be replaced and Sabbath school quarterly things that need to be ordered in etc etc etc You will spend all your time doing that and will absorb all your time if you want to and you'll never get to the most important thing is 9 o'clock already and we haven't even talked about so warning Well that's just table till next time you understand what I'm saying that's what happens to the local church but you are the elder or an elder on that board you want to make sure that is your priority and you're spending your time dealing with that and those other items might need to get a table to the next meeting or handle outside of the meeting in some cases unless there's an action that needs to be taken about the cost and and so on so just want to encourage you with more than. So sometimes it would be good to table it just so you to have time to talk about it but they pass it off with 2 minute discussion and then they say what we talked about right. Exactly. Exactly yes. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely and now I want you to know that this is something we tell our pastors and we speak about it frequently but that doesn't mean it always translate and action and we really encourage the elders to be providing that support and that leadership and I'll assure you will come in right behind you if there were ever any question on that because there's no other reason for your church to exist folks no other reason for your church to exist except you're there to win souls if that's not the 1st thing on your agenda after these other items that I mention Then your church is priorities are in the wrong place I can just tell you that and will continue to be that way as part of that of course don't let people manipulate any committee meeting board or otherwise and do that all right the last thing I want to mention from yesterday is the elder in the church as a church leader in terms of pack pastor elder team work together. Pastors are all different people they all work differently some pastors only have one church and most pastors have 2 or 3 almost all Michigan pastors have 2 or 3 churches one even has 4 that is not as uncommon as you might think some conferences and goading Wisconsin have churches 5 churches to a pastor and and others Illinois Well that happens in churches in this pastor's and happens to pastors and conferences where the finances don't allow to provide that many pastors and you know some if you go down to Florida OK you going to find a little different but even in Florida the face challenges where they use Lay pastors trained lay pastors to be able to cover that because of financial in a quality and being able to make sure that the churches are covered and have the leadership they need because of that pastors work differently and I'm not here to tell you how a pastor should work in every situation and every single situation some elders would love to hear from a pastor almost every day that's unreasonable I can tell you that's unreasonable some elders would like to hear from Pastor once a week. That's more reasonable head elder I'm talking about not the not all the elders but the head elder that may be more reasonable as long as those conversations are relatively brief where they're just touching base making sure things are moving on in the church but sometimes there are really busy periods in the church and he's got $33.00 churches and communicating with all 3 hours during that time might be tough one solution get all 3 on the phone at the same time most phones today have the ability to bring in multiple conversations the i Phone now as they go into 6 conversations of the same time in other words 6 people on the phone at the same time and it's a very simple process get everybody in have that conversation you cover the bases you move on at least once a month and you should have a good conversation not just at a meeting with the pastor about how things are going and issues that you name may need to raise and doing those kinds of things you are part of the team you are one of the team leaders in the administration you need to be aware of what God needs you to do the difference between a pastor an elder we talked a little bit about that yesterday and the similarities as well but I do want to the part I skipped over was what is the pastor's part and I am or am I now so you can follow in the I'm about 3 pages from the end under the section that says pastors part looks like this on the screen and it's the middle slide so it's about 3 pages from the back and when I say 3 pages 3 sheets because there's actually double sided so. They've done a difference so that everybody with me now. The pastors part is to train equip and motivate elders in all their churches. Because of the fact that a church pastor has a church pastor having more than one church it's good especially for training purposes to get all the O's together so you're not duplicating effort and that may mean that some hours you have to drive a little farther go to one of the other churches or whatever of course the elders meetings need to be taking place on a regular basis and the pastor should be calling for those and the passage also be providing you with resources one of the things I'm trying to do here is to provide you with some resources if you don't have a church manual or not and I ask you if you have one or not but if you don't have one upstairs is where you can get one you should have your own church manual you should read it and you should mark it up every 5 years the church manual changes the good news is only little pieces change. But it's good to know where those changes are because often those changes are of some kind of significance that's why they were changed and you need to understand that there might be a slight adjustment to process or policy that you would need to know about and usually those things would be identified and your pastor can tell you what they are right now we're between new manuals and other words in 20. $1015.00 was our last general conference session that's when they can be changed and the church manual did have some modifications to it and the newest version came out about a year later takes that long for that new manual to get printed all the adjustments to be career edited and so on if you don't have one of those manuals and courage you to get it and know what's in it also we gave yesterday the elders handbook and that is a is not the manual but it's helping to put together various processes good things in there like how to do a funeral how to do those kinds of things because sometimes elders have been called upon to do funerals in between pastors I know of that have gone and done funerals in between pastors gone and done annoying things services without a pastor they can do that no reason why you can't you don't have to be ordained to do a funeral it's nice to have those kind of things and then there's all other kinds of guides that are included in there and can be of good help another part of the pastors part is the curriculum of the church the church organization administration. And that by the way is a training a training curriculum. Understanding organization administration Church Growth care of new converts worship leadership preaching in visitation function and sharing of committees when talk about a little bit more of that here today. Respect invite them for special pastoral visitation spend time together support the elders family special attention to eldest children help them in their spiritual life this is the work of the pastor has the pastors part he should be giving you support a pastor who's thinking this process through carefully is going to put 80 percent of his time now that's a rough percentage I'm giving you to make a point I actually had a pastor just this last week tell me he puts 80 percent of his time into his elders as deacons and. The leaders of his church why is he doing that. And this cuz he's putting it into you to do the work and connecting them you're alright he's realizing that you are the leaders and he is wanting to train you he's wanting you to be able to be empowered and to have the experience and all the information that you need in the resources that you need so that the church can continue to grow and you he can spread himself out and spread him out self out with you and that's an important part of this that means pouring himself into supporting you use your family your children your spiritual life helping you through any struggles that you may be having at connecting with you as the elders so that's part of what's happening there. Let's talk then about delegation the pastoral stress that comes from a pastoral ministry is often because the pastor tries to do it all and sells. Himself working in the US trying to accomplish it afraid to give it to somebody else or maybe he has an elder or 2 says that's your job Aster not mine I like to encourage you to know it's your job to be involved in most of what pastoral ministry cannonball that's an involved at some point and for him to delegate to you is exactly what the pastor should be doing a long with responsibilities pastor must also delegate authority that means that I don't just tell you to do something I give you the authority to accomplish that correct nothing worse than being told to do something that you have no authority you accomplish it all right that's that just that's frustrating that's why the church and business should vote a budget that the church board can actually implement they have the authority to implement that according to the church manual but they can also have committees under them that are also authorized to spend that money and they shouldn't be micromanaging that process and for example the Sabbath school department may need $500.00 a quarter in order to be able to do their work so our authorized them to spend the $500.00 and then authorize the Sabbath school superintendent to have the authority to spend that money and when that superintendent brings that back to the church board and said I spent that money I have went up to my $500.00 and this is what I did with it and they said well you shouldn't spend it on that hang on you gave them the authority to do it and unless there was some major problem with what they did let them use their authority to do it instead of micromanaging in that kind of thing so that's giving authority orders. Absolutely absolutely the captains of ten's the captains of 100 all have authority to communicate keep communication going back and forth we live in an age when communication is so possible. We are all strung out with it is well we're almost over communicating and everybody else is communicating spam and all that other stuff to us I would like to suggest a rule of thumb to you and it would be good for you to have a conversation with your pastor especially if you're frustrated with the way the pastor is communicating or not communicating I don't believe that the pastor or any any human being should answer the phone every time it rains you won't get anything done honest you won't get anything done I don't think you should answer the phone every time the phone rings of a pastor's in a Bible study he shouldn't be answering your phone call he's right now concentrating on a spiritual battle between that person and the other person trying to understand what's going on he doesn't have time to talk to you on the phone because you need a phone number or because you whatever you understand what I'm saying so we have to be reasonable in relationship with that now personally for general business that's not critical not time sets of not an emergency I think it's reasonable for a pass to return a phone call within 24 hours. Within 24 hours my goal in my job is to return phone calls within 24 hours if at all possible I try to return texts that day I try to return texts that day notice I didn't say return text immediately. I try to do that as soon as I can and for e-mails I try to answer e-mails once a day if at all possible certainly within 24 to 48 hours now and emergencies a whole lot different but if I don't do that I'm going to get so many texts and so many e-mails and so many phone calls and that is part of my work and maybe part of the pastor's work and all but it needs to have reasonable miss to it and as I said yesterday empower your pastor to take a day off and know how to function with them and it may be your day off as well so they may have to be agreement that you just help the church not worry about that on the day off unless it's an emergency and they know the way to do it with me on my phone my message says is this is an emergency call him back immediately that means twice now I have a guy call me at like one on the 11 or 12 o'clock at night one night and he got my messages said if there's an emergency call me call me back immediately so he called me back immediately the only difference is I know this guy for about 30 years I know this guy and for him anything that's important to him is an emergency and that is anytime he calls me it's important to him so it's an emergency. And so I listened to his message and he said oh you said if it's emergency call back and then I found out what it was that he wanted and as I was no emergency. He wasn't dying and I was in would go probably had was certainly not going to be solved that time of night or it now that's all an exception not a rule most people are respectful and understand what a real emergency is and you can set your i Phones and all to actually screen calls and do that con thing in and then to let calls through when they come through the 2nd time so you get an actual emergency. Not for that I need to keep moving ahead make sure that the pastor team is evaluating as well as you go along the pastor should evaluate you you should evaluate the pastor and you should be comfortable with evaluation that's a little threatening I know because nobody likes to be told that they're not doing something well we all like to be told we're doing something well and that's part of evaluation but we can all grow myself included after 40 years of ministry I can still learn I'm still learning and I have people that sometimes you know make suggestions to me and I'm so thankful when they do that because I can indeed make improve our this talk about the elders part in relationship to this 1st thing you have to do is find time to work and that can be a real Liebig challenge I'd like to suggest to you that you need to allow 4 hours a week to do your job as an elder in some cases you may need more if you're using a lot more time than that make sure that you're not neglecting your work whatever that may happen to be and your family as well but you should realize that this is not just Sabbath morning. And it's not just something that you can come to church on at at 9 30 in the morning and now get your work done a getting ready for the platform and those kinds of things no you need time outside of that to plan to visit to do all those kinds of things along the way you also want to maximize your pastor's strengths if your pastor is a strong leader then support him in that leadership role but every pastor has a flat side there are going to be some flat sides you need to adjust to and also shore up if if it's really working the best possible way you've got strength with he has weaknesses and if not try to find other elders who have those and strengthen them if you have a pastor who's terrible with administrative work then find an elder or who does have good strength that way and help them out John you've been administrator that's really a great person to have in a church especially if your pastor is not an administrator but the pastor has to not be threatened by allowing you to do administrative work for him and that's a good part of that as well and I have to move on here because on bogging down but I think this is pretty important stuff so that's why I want to make sure pastor your pastor. That may come as a surprise to you but pastors are subject to stress and occasionally they need to be told Pastor you need a break. You need a break. And there are times there may be times of a special stress where you may want to go to the church on Sabbath morning and say you know this has been an especially hard to months for our pastor and his family because his wife has been sick in the hospital and we're going to do we want to show how much we care about them by you know we're going to fix a day's worth of meals for them or buy them a ticket to tickets to Mackinaw Island so they can go and get away and and I don't say the hotel but maybe just tickets to get on the boat go spend the days of family you know whatever the case may be Hastur your pastor's family and you will find it will be beneficial all the way around. Elders can give pastoral sistas the pastor by accepting the or manatee being a loyal friend like Barnabas to Paul be a minister of encouragement be a good listener and be publicly supportive even if you disagree with your pastor on some particular things support the decisions that are made by the church board or by the pastor publicly so that people don't think they you are somehow divided in the way that you are functioning are you with me. And if you can't do that you need to do one of 2 things probably the 1st one is to call the ministerial director and ask the minister director for assistance in that and say I'm having trouble here now I may turn around and tell you you know what I don't know how to solve that problem because there is a clash here and he still is the pastor and if you can't manage that you may need to step down and let somebody else step in who can adjust to that situation and allow that to work I'm not talking about moral issues I'm not talking about any of those kinds of things in the past or stealing money or the pastors having an affair as what I'm talking about but if you happen to disagree about the time that you should have. Arrive a church and he says you should be there at $925.00 and you think you should be there till $930.00 and that's a major issue to you and you can't stand having that difference of opinion and you may need to step down OK if you can't handle that you would think understand what I'm getting at are a. Very destructive to do it otherwise. You don't want to be the pastor you want to be supportive of the pastor and that's your role and when you do that otherwise some good point thank you very much Pastor the pastoral family had a situation develop where there was a conflict with. In a church and in that particular situation I clearly could see that it was not just the fact that the pastor and the church member are having conflict one it starts to involve pastors kids we have to be sensitive because many times pastors kids want to get out of the church as quickly as possible because of the way they were treated by church members and they can understand why their father and their family would want to be involved in that kind of minutes for you when people treat them that way and we need to take care of our pastor's kids and realize that they are human just like all of our kids are we shouldn't be more expecting of our pastor's kids than anybody else if one of those kids is rebellious then love them anyhow and realize that they are growing and learning along the way. I've seen this over the years I'm a pastor's kid my daughter's a pastor's kid. And I've seen other pastors kids some who were treated royally and wonderfully and what a good if it was to them others who because of their are a little bit of a rebellious streak or maybe really. Were not treated well and they don't want to have anything to do with God or the church and we have to realize a responsibility for that elders part is also to. Help the pastor sometimes passers need counseling and help because they're human beings and most importantly you need to be praying for your pastor and pastors family just as your pastor is praying for you. All right there number other items there that I've touched on already and I'm going to move on to our screen this morning here and move into some slightly different issues do you want to mention anything else about what I just talked about or are you ready to head and he questions. That's a good question it's a good question. When you say ministerial socialism is the right way to do let me just tell you how we work in the Michigan conference the ministerial department. Director as 2 other associates West peppers is my associate and his major focus in the ministerial department side of his work is working with are an ordained pastors. We have 20 or so an ordained pastor in the Michigan conference most of them have never worked under a senior pastor which is not the ideal way to do this kind of training because of that we have brought in an associate whose responsibility is to supervise those an ordained pastors and that means meeting with them on a monthly basis or as close to a monthly basis as possible being their senior pastor holding them accountable with scheduling holding them accountable with training opportunities issues that they may be dealing with that need to be addressed etc etc It was an ongoing process taking place West peppers is that individual He's also the evangelism director for the conference that is another hat that he wears as well is under the umbrella of the ministerial department and that's his role and if you come to me I'll ask you to go to him in relationship to evangelism unless there's something I need to be involved all that has his role the other associate his responsibility is for our multiethnic ministries we have a lot of different ministries I should say church. Groups in the Michigan conference we have our Wanda Burm Ynys Korean. Indonesian Laotian our on. Rhodesia now Rhodesian Zimbabwean or you. Didn't exist for the last what 30 years or 40 years something like that anyway all these different ethnic groups and he oversees all of them because some of them are refugee groups and those refugee groups are growing significantly one of those churches over the last 3 to 4 years went from about 5200 members to 400. And that's the kind of thing that's happening and that means basically pasturing a church is what that involves with in that particular situation all right the answer to your question though is this we have a personnel committee that meets and the per the ministerial department is part of that personal committee that includes the secretary of the conference the president the conference and the treasurer of the conference together with those in this job are we are the ones who appoint pastors to their locations. We have about we try to keep pastors in the church for 5 years that's our target try to keep a pastor in church for 5 years in larger churches a little longer 5 to 7 years. And sometimes a little more than that. Sometimes a lot less than that and that depends on a lot of different dynamics but those are our targets OK all right here we go let's talk about the worship service and discuss a little bit about that Christian workshop is focused on God and Ellen White tells us that. Well let me bring this up here 1st forgot these slides are teared so I thought it was all coming up once worship is encountering God that is coming into his presence Christian worship is indeed focused on him whispering and laughing on whites isn't talking which might be without sin in the common business place she'd find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped I struggle with that myself because sometimes I come into churches and I'm you know it's a chance to be able to visit with people I have to be careful about my presence there you and I have to be careful about that because we're coming into God's house to worship together worship includes adoration expressed with singing and prayer it affirms God's goodness and recognizes his Worship I'm sorry is worthiness and reverences his presence. Worship includes proclamation is time for the proclamation of God's Word it includes renewal it should result in renewal it involves reflection prayer and meditation it is a time of repentance it is a time to experience wholeness and peace in Jesus I want to be. Upfront about some challenges I don't know how many of you are aware of the emerging church movement and some of the issues that have been connected with that but there are some ideas about worship and meditation and so on that have no foundation in the Word of God they border on mysticism and in some cases they are flat out mysticism they have no presence and crude no place in Christianity and they should not be involved in that meditation can be is a is a biblical Christian term but has been. Hijacked by the devil and his forms of meditation or like emptying out your mind and we should never empty our mind our mind should be full with the Spirit of God and if we empty our mind there's somebody who wants to come and take its place and we don't want that kind of situation so I will make soap for those parts a clear and that's not what we're talking about here worship includes fellowship sharing together in public worship give strength to personal Christian development. Paul made it clear in Hebrews Chapter 10 that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as we see the day a period worship includes participation in singing and prayer giving scripture reading or sharing our time remembering anniversaries birthdays and other special events in a is another way to show members that they are important to the church family might not be during the church worship service but it might be at a time when the people are gathered together perhaps a potluck so that those are not being forgotten the purchase the purpose of worship is something that deserves planning successful worship doesn't just happen the service must not be mirror or to mean routine it should involve the coordination of the activities and talents of many people and therefore must be well planned. If you have a small church you're going to have to use the resources that you had you may have no music in your church and you're just going to have to work through that but from time to time I encourage you to look around at other churches and maybe invite someone to come and do special music for your church to enhance that worship service and do it be involved in that I see churches doing that on it's always a good thing when I see that happen but also develop the talents within your church you may have children that are developing some skills and talents who can utilize them in an appropriate way make them part of what's happening and involve them if they can't sing involve them also in Scripture and prayer and and those kinds of participatory experiences in there but Plan ahead of time if you invite a child to do the scripture reading make sure that mom and or dad help them practice that scripture reading before they get up there you can always tell when a parent has helped that child and if they don't have a qualified parent to help them don't ask them without yourself helping them. I struggle with that. On with not letting a child. I think there's an appropriate thing for people to do at appropriate times and I don't think it's a problem to involve them in there I think it's an over over use of elders to think that only an elder can read the Bible. And the scripture I might reserve the morning prayer for an elder OK I mean that makes sense to me but there are other parts that need to be involved in that and I've had elders who've had that same reaction on the stand. Absolutely with training and if you don't do it why would they want to stay in the church they have no participation at. All. That's exactly right and part of the reason sometimes when you ask them they say no if they don't know how and what part of your work is teaching them how to be involved and they'd say listen like a child a young child or even an adult and say listen why don't we do the scripture reading together I mean maybe you might they might have said look I can't do that no I said I want to you come and do it with me together we'll do a response of reading with the congregation and I'll lead out and you can do the response of reading with the poor the poor the people and so they are now reading with everybody else they're not as self conscious that they're the only voice being heard and it gives them a chance to be up there was I didn't die when I got up there you know that's good. Let's talk about preaching for a moment how many of you have preached a sermon in your church OK how many of you are anxious and waiting for an opportunity to do that again if at how many of you wish you would go away and never be a reality All right 8 rules for preaching let me give these to you here and talk about them 1st of all preaching comes from the heart if you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ how are you going to tell somebody about what Jesus done for you so it has to start there preach Biblically that means you preach using the Bible. All right the bible is your focal point the bible is your your your text book the Bible is what you are trying to communicate to to the people preach relevantly In other words how does this apply to their life today that will help them want to listen to what you're saying because it's not just what you're saying but how it applies to their life that makes a difference preach positively you know sometimes we get into the Word of God and the board of God has a lot to say about how we should live and so on we need to be able to talk about how to live but we need to talk even about the negative things in a positive way that make any sense we need to accentuate the benefits of doing doing things as well as the benefit of not doing things and realizing the positive nature Now me I'm a collaring and I am naturally somewhat pessimistic All right that's not a great combination so I have to be extra careful about what I'm doing when I'm sharing the word of God especially in areas that necessitate change and so on be positive learn to smile that's that's a hard one for me he hunger for hate I just Anyway don't go there with that but anyway be positive and think positively prepare early if you prepare your sermon on Sabbath morning your people are going to know it you may get away with that in an emergency but of that's the only way you'll ever do it it will be showing your content in what you share organize logically speak clearly or you know organize logically basically they say have an introduction 3 points and a conclusion. And sometimes you know people will get out in 45 points whatever I'm saying the idea is make sure the things flow from one thing to the next you start with an introduction often a story something that gets people's attention draw is them into a sermon that I'm sharing right now our one of the things I do is I to ask them the question how many books are there in the world. That kind of gets their attention a little bit and then I went to Google it and there are 200 some odd 1000000 books according to Google they don't really know but they proposed produced an algorithm to be able to figure it all out and they did all that well that draws people into what I'm doing because I'm going to talk to them about what's the only book you need to read in order to be ready when Jesus comes and that's the Bible's that's what I'm talking about but then I progressed through and talk to them about Jesus' parables that illustrate why we should be reading the Bible and how to study the Bible and so on so forth work logically speak clearly fox. If you can't be heard when you're preaching why bother Do you understand what I'm saying if you're reading the scripture reading and you read it or. You don't get up to the microphone. The question is Why are you reading it. Because you're the only one who can. That's not going to help and you have to teach people how to do that I know that it's it's scary to be up front but I will tell you that nothing is worse than being scared and and saying something that nobody hears but being scared and being heard helps to overcome that whole problem so make sure that you can be heard and that you speak clearly enough to be understood you with me. That's right they're gone they're gone and if you're if it's a sermon you know they've got 20 minutes or 30 minutes to not hear you so plan annually plan with your pastor annually for what the sermons are going to be one of the best ways to do it is a one pass was telling me recently he plans a serious and he plans a series and when he can't be there the elder or elders Fillion in that series so they already know what they're going to be talking about months in advance and they know their what their parts going to be in that series that they're doing maybe is on the 10 commandments and so you're going to preach on the 10 committee the 2nd command because the pastor is going to be gone on the day when they're going to talk about the 2nd Commandment and that just keeps the fall going and makes it easy and keeps it well organized or I don't want to talk about nurturing the church a little bit let's talk about that. Love and Unity our Christian requirements how many of you heard elder Kelly's sermon on Saturday night I think it was. That if you didn't hear it go get it if you heard it listen to it again that was powerful reminding us of our need to be connected and bonding together was on Saturday night wasn't it was that set and I was that 7 morning Saturday night one Saturday night OK I enjoy it so confuse the 2 but. Yeah. Absolutely what we need right. It's a time when we do need to be unified as a good team for us right now but love and unity are Christian requirements we know says 1st John 314 that we have passed from death to life because we love the brother and he who does not love his brother abides in death you and I have a responsibility to help unify our churches and the only way that we unify is by connecting with each other and elder Kelly made that clear he talked about the experience of. Scott O'Grady who was shot down and how he wanted a team not just a bunch of people thrown together to come and rescue him that's quite a powerful story by the way accepted to now on the day of Pentecost and fully come they were a wall with one accord in one place that's got to be the way it's going to be in these last days and we're going to see God finish his work in us. I am going to be talking about theological conflict on Friday and managing in that and it's related to that whole type of issues and how we have to try to deal with it because some of the basic principles also apply there so we'll talk about are there. Absolutely the elder in church nurture Christian love produces unity despite differences the fire of Christian love dissolves the dross of class hatreds racial clashes social ruptures and minor theological controversies one of the valuable things that you are appointed to do and yet in our churches most on and the most neglected task of elders is visitation. And how Alou you know I'm glad you do but a lot of people don't one of the reasons they don't is because they don't know how to do it. And that's part of the work of a pastor is teaching you how to do it that's where a pastor need to be pouring himself into the elders and in the deacons of deaconesses who also need to be visiting or it can talk about that in the next couple of days with the deacons the deaconesses that is part of they were part of their responsibility you as leaders should all be visiting those church members on a regular basis and I don't mean every week I don't mean every day but have a regular schedule at least annually preferably quarterly depending on the size of the church and the number of leaders that you had. Let's talk about that for a moment a visitation of members can be vital to their spiritual nurturing growth they may not be growing spiritually because you're not challenging then you need to be going in there and helping them I don't say rebuking them and and abusing them I'm talking about helping them to grow that discipleship handbook that we talked about yesterday Dean said it's a great tool to use for prayer meeting but it can be a great tool in the person's home as well and taking them through that they may not be growing spiritually because like we know that most of the happens today do not read their Bibles on a regular basis OK we know that the general public reads about 4 times a year and our statistics in the Agnes Church are beginning to reflect that same kind of statistic are people are getting lazy too busy society's demands and all of that FIND OUT of your people are studying their bibles don't be abusive in the way you do it you know go and visit their home but don't just find out about their new car or the new floor they just laid down or or something like that that may be OK for an initial visit when you're getting acquainted with them you never talk to them before you don't know them very well that's important but go visit them again and ask them how they're doing spiritually How's their spiritual journey How's your daily routine experience with Christ how can we help you with that do you have a daily Bible study plan course you don't have one of your own is a good time to get it going in the back of that handbook is a great Bible study spirit of prophecy study plan together is what I use. And I've been using that same basic program for many many many years and I repeat it when I get done with it I started over again occasionally I will take a break and I'll bring in something else I need to focus in on because I want to keep my time fresh but teach people how to do that I gotta keep going this kind of ministry is one of the most effective ways that elders conserve their people home visitation is important for your people because they need to know that you care enough to come and don't get disappointed when I was a pastor 40 years ago my 1st church my one of my older said people don't like people pastors in their homes anymore well OK that may be true but just because they don't doesn't mean they don't need. The process is when I started ministry or even 40 or 50 years ago a passive Goodspeed wind up knocking on a door one day and opening it all past or so glad you came how nice of you to stop by and visit you do that today and they say why don't you get an appointment 1st Couldn't you call 1st we need to do a lot of that that's OK but if you can never get an appointment then you got a concern and there are ways that you can handle that and work through that if I have time I'll try to give you some illustrations plan your visitation that's the most important part of this it should be part of the board of elders or church borders and boards agenda you should be talking about how you are going to visit your quarterly schedule who's going to visit new and designate that if it's a larger church have parishes or areas that are responsible geographically or by members names or whatever you want to do to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks assisted by a deacon or dignus could be end charge of a Perry zone which is what I just mentioned visiting by appointment can double the effective use of your time and I can tell you strategies of being able to do this so you can get a lot of visits and at the same time do it geographically so you go from one to the other don't cross from here to there to there if you've got a big city that you work in or a large geographical area in the country plan your time so that you can get from one to the other in a in a good time in and try to get it done in one evening in the month. Why don't you want to send me the link to their morning outer OK find it and then what I'll do this is one of the ways I want to use that and that list that I got when you signing in I will pass it back on to the rest of you and you can use it if it benefits are fantastic appreciated here is what to do when you visit number one be prepared when you go to have a reason to go there don't touch go and knock on the door maybe you want to bring a book by folks don't make your 1st visit we need more tie we need more church offerings don't make that your 1st visit I know some churches who have to elders haven't visited in 40 years in the 1st time they go and visit his ask for money. You know what they may slam the door in your face and I got to tell you if they do that they probably deserve it all right that was a little cleric response to that. That is just what we need to keep in mind OK Be a friend in your visitation be friendly with him read the Bible have a Bible verse that you want to share with him if you're going out one night in that particular month visit the families take the same bible world verse with you want to leave them with you after you get done visiting say and I want to leave this bible promise with you from some. 109 and here's a wonderful promise for you I want to encourage you with you and then close with prayer ask for Bible interests I mean by prayer questions or our prayer requests as they have is what I'm trying to say and then pray with them it's a very simple format be friendly with them but in your friendly time also realize you are their spiritual leader the 1st time be friendly the 2nd time be friendly and a spiritual leader you might want to take a book and say I'd like to encourage you to read this book maybe it's an exciting book get a hold of. That the. There's. The Sabbath day ox or whatever it is I can. Absolutely get a hold of that book taken around to your church members the reason I become that one is because it's such a not correctable story and it's easy to read and people who don't even like to read will read it. In a 7th a ox is what I think it is OK So all right so you've read it see so take something like that with you ask your church to invest a little bit of money you're an elder in the church if you want to pay for those books that's fine but if you can't afford it ask the church to put in some money so that when you go visiting you're sharing something with them along the way and when you get done praying What's the last thing you do leave go away OK time to go home don't stand in the door talking for another 45 minutes people get the idea they can't get rid of you they'll never get want you to come back oh I hope he doesn't come back I would say the ideal visit especially the 1st visit is 15 minutes I would tell people Look I'm just coming by briefly I'm only going to be there 15 Be careful that people really start getting to talk so you know what can I make another appointment and come back as I got another appointment later this evening don't let them suck you into that trap because if you do then they will even though they were the ones asking the questions all the time they will say I couldn't get rid of you even though they were the ones that were doing it so adjust your time and manage your time OK. It will help along with that as well. Absolutely by the way if you haven't gone through your ice training and you can work your schedule out to do it as an elder in you would be tremendous that arise I mean a manual training you would be greatly benefited it's Emanuel rises our original program that he went through so the last thing is right but don't sit in the car out in front of their home writing some notes about your visit but make just brief notes there are even apps that you can use your church may have a computer program where you keep track of things keep confidential things confidential Yes. OK but keep notes that you remember if you didn't know the family in the kids' names write the kids' names down so that you've got that next time you come by you'll remember their kids' names what a wonderful thing shows that you really care about them all right I'm going to talk about counseling right now but I'm going to do it in a very general way because I'm rapidly running out of time I'm going to give you a rule of thumb when it comes to counseling with people I'm going to tell you that as you go out and you visit you're going to run into people who have emotional problems and sometimes it's just a spiritual problem that needs some basic spiritual counseling the same counsel we give to pastors I'm giving to you you're not a trained counsellor you're not a licensed and you're not experienced in doing that you may be an experience Christian and as a Christian father or brother you have things that you can share from the Word of God that in can can can encourage them but if you cannot deal with whatever tissues they have in one to 3 visits. You need to refer them to someone else a professional counselor who we tell the pastors the same thing you cannot meet the need that person has in one to 3 visits refer the Michigan conference on the Michigan conference website Mr dot org has a list of professional counselors from all over the state of Michigan they have been screened that they are Christian counselors not necessarily 7 am this there are enough of them that A list was prepared by my wife who is a trained counsellor my wife will not counsel your people over the phone she is not licensed to do that. Ms dot org And the you look under there are resources I think it's under member or services and you look under ministerial when you go to the ministerial page it should show up right there it says a counselor counselors list I wish I'd done to go there and show it to you for that reason I'm going to skip over this except to tell you that all people that care can counsel but realize your limitations counsel is just simply saying from your experience and from the Word of God Maybe the Spirit of Prophecy what you know that can address those problems prayer study the Bible and those kinds of things can be very helpful but they don't solve all problems when they're different and here OK John. The Me I'm really glad you brought that up when you do visitation I encourage you to do it in 2 so that helps to address that issue some single ladies will be a little uncomfortable especially don't know you or know you well that to mention up at the door your wife is a good source for that another source of that if that's not a possibility because of the nature of the situation or your situation whatever it might be that's why you have deaconesses in your church and I have done visitation by saying to a deaconess I would like you to meet me at so and so's house at such and such a time they go in their car I go in mine I meet them there we go into the home together we're minister ing to that person and then I leave and she leaves in their car so that there's no issues along that line so the strategies you can use Marvin. Absolutely. Absolutely there are resources there are video resources there are classes that you might be conducting that's one of the reasons you visit by the way when you go when you visit let's say that you went out your visits Let's say you all my alters are right you go out and you visit in your in the home to come back to an elders meeting Marvin says I just you know I went to 4 people on Tuesday night and one of them was just really suffering from depression having a hard time and doesn't have the resources to go to a counselor and so on and John comes back and he says the same thing I've found one to Dean says I found and you know. What is the elder team going to do to deal with this problem is a good time to say we need a class on Ned Lee's class on depression right and managing depression saw bats one of the reasons as you go around you realize the need you begin to address those needs OK I'm going to keep going to try to pick up as much as I can before we get done here you can look at these slides on counseling guidelines there and most important piece right here is know when to refer and I've already told you about that part of it I want to talk to you a little bit about small groups Ministry I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this but I do want you to know that Ellen White talks about small groups as being planned that God gave to his people and it's from someone who can't make mistakes who cannot bear small groups or a great way bible study function and there are lots of different ways of doing small groups and I wish I had time to do a whole class on small groups and all of that but I don't realize that that's a great opportunity start with your Sabbath school classes satisfy all classes sometimes they get together on Sabbath morning but wouldn't be great if they got together on Friday night or they got together you know once a month for fellowship or whatever great opportunities for those people to build fellowship in your church and to have that I'm going to let you look at those resources there I've got to keep going through this and work on that how many of you have had an experience with small groups and done that that's great I wish I had time to talk about it and if you have I hope they've been positive experiences you work on I want to encourage you to be a praying church. I think Marvin you said that you have a prayer time at your church how many of you have a designated per time other than term meeting but per a designated per time like on Sabbath morning some churches are getting together and having prayer. Yeah or proteins or whatever organize your church for prayer and on special needs especially bring them together have a week of morning prayer together people who can do that or evening prayer or do it over the phone but unite your church in prayer prayer is what needs to be happening prayer. Meeting by the way I encourage use elders to be there leading out or at least attending prayer as well per meeting and Per ministry starting on time having some study time no more than 20 minutes having some sharing time and then prayer per meeting with our prayer is hardly permeating it makes sense make sure the prayers are relevant don't know how anybody to be praying for 1520 minutes and dominating the whole time I want to encourage you in relationship to. Social activities is your church doing social activities you need to have time for fellowship in your in your groups and sharing together. And not in group your church churches that are growing and showing signs of life also spend time socially doing things together make sure they're good wholesome and appropriate social activities. Elders a supportive of other local leaders. I've already talked about this yesterday I'll hit it again there's a lot more here about how you might be able to support specific local leaders your cork for example how you might help the clerk local leaders play an important part in sustaining the morale and encouragement of various volunteer workers talk to your Korak some time and say How's it going. Do you like your job what could we do to help your job be easier say I sure could use a computer but I can't afford one you know maybe the church needs to invest in a computer for them or you know might not be the latest and greatest but something that would be able to help them at any rate help your local clerk with many of the tasks that need to be done the transfer of membership maybe making sure those kinds of things are being done the deacons and deaconesses That's why I encourage you to come to my class the next couple of days I know you've got a lot going and you might have a lot of things you want to attend and so many choices you don't know what to do with them but support your deacons and deaconesses go to a deacon and deaconesses meeting everyone is not happened in the last 30 years it's time for a deacon a deacon his meeting and help the head deacon head dignus to organize and get all the people there and be there at that meeting to help them especially if you're the head elder personal ministries another area I want to focus in on have skipped a few personal ministries you should be involved in outreach support the outreach be a part has one of the elders in your church should be part of the personal ministries Committee and the Outreach Committee of the church and helping do that that make sure that you have a leader there is really active and doing something and not just a day out personal ministries leader he gets up and reads a quote from Ellen White on Sabbath morning went to be great of our sadness Sabbath services included a personal testimony of some exciting outreach activity where people were learning about the gospel and are coming to church or whatever outreach in community service is your community service organization actually doing outreach or is it just handing out clothes. You understand what I just said in the question I asked Take a look at it and see is there Family Ministries going on in your church is there more women's ministries How is your Sabbath school going on I already talked to you about overseeing the Sabbath school as an elder and working with that stewardship at some point if you're visiting your churches members after you visited them several times one of your visits might include talking about stewardship in general and also about fighting Anshul responsibility to the local church and making sure your young people are involved in pathfinders and adventures and other activities there care about your youth make sure that you're doing everything you can to support the young adults in your church we're losing them at a massive rate one of the reasons is because we're not utilizing them in our church we're not making them feel that they need to be a part of this church and that they're important enough to this church all right all these ministries need to come under the umbrella of the elders and you need to be involved in supporting those organizations there are many other things we could be talking about the notes are in there to kind of JOD job you're thinking and deal with that all right folks on the at the end I hope this has been beneficial it's an introduction to basic. Principles of Elder responsibilities by the way I am willing to come to churches and I specially like it when districts will get together maybe as the pastoral district or as the other and and you can do that as well. And I encourage you to take advantage of of that if I can come and help you or get all know all about their elders together and do some training I'm happy to be able to do that and help to strengthen this way eventually I hope to have a video resource maybe over the next year developing a resource that you can use in training your elders as. Well all right let's have a prayer and then I'll let you go Father in heaven thank you for being with us so much to learn so much to do but we are so grateful that you help us to do our work and to do it to the best of our ability I pray that you help these elders as they apply these principles and these opportunities they look at their job description and look at what they can do in a realistic way to strengthen their church and lead out in their congregations bless them and guide them I pray and give us a good rest of this day Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio force 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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