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|January/February 2013, Volume 10, Issue 1
We return again to the topic of lay elders in this issue of the Journal. (Check out the last one here.) This time we take up the matter of elder relationships themselves. A lot of guys become elders and are surprised to find the relationships with the other brothers require care, even forgiveness.
“What? I thought they were all supposed to be godly?”
Well, hopefully, they are. But still…
You don’t become a “band of brothers” just by showing up. You need to face battle together, as well as work through all the disagreements and sins that arise along the way. My friend Matt Schmucker often observes that more apologizing happens during our elder meeting bathroom breaks than at any other time he knows. It is a consecrated commode.
An elder’s first priority is the sheep, but shepherds who don’t know how to love one another compromise their ability to serve the sheep.
To get us started, Bob Johnson explains how he, as the senior pastor, tries to build unity and love among the elders. Michael Lawrence, Greg Gilbert, and Walter Price all address the tricky issue of the lay elder/staff elder dynamic.
Then Eric Bancroft, Matt Schmucker, Nick Roark, and I turn to the elder meeting itself. How can we build unity and peace amidst the challenging dynamics of group decision-making? Finally, Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright take us in a slightly different direction by considering the possibility of bi-vocational elders planting churches.
— Jonathan Leeman
How elders relate to each other will impact how they relate to the flock, for good or ill. Here are a few ideas for helping elders build deep friendships and sturdy unity.
By Bob Johnson
When and how should lay elders push back on decisions of staff elders? Consider first what “hat” the staff elder is wearing.
By Michael Lawrence
How can elder boards avoid the vicious cycle of lay elders feeling pressured to rubber stamp staff elders’ decisions, then resenting them, then opposing them?
By Greg Gilbert
Balanced counsel on the balance between elders from a seasoned senior pastor.
By Walter Price
An Interview with Matt Schmucker
Fear of man can lead elders to say too little or too much. Here are nine tips for setting your heart right and speaking well to your fellow elders.
By Jonathan Leeman
Like families, elder board dynamics vary with size. Here is some counsel for larger and smaller elder boards from a pastor who has served on both.
By Eric Bancroft
If lay elders aren’t informed of issues before the elders meet, they can feel neglected, pressured, and out-of-the-loop. A little bit of prep work before hand can go a long way.
By Matt Schmucker and Nick Roark
Countless church plants fail for lack of funds. So instead of throwing a Hail Mary, why not explore a new model instead?
By Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright
In this installation sermon, Mark Dever urges the new pastor to preach, pray, personally disciple, and be patient.
Posted on December 1, 2012