Field Notes – 25/7/T
Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something is on sale for the kindle today at the bargain price of £1.40!
“Our elders meet formally twice each month. We have a “prayer” meeting on the first Tuesday and a “business” meeting on the third Tuesday. We try to pray at our business meetings, too, though not as extensively… At the prayer meeting, we share known needs in the church, including our own needs as elders, then we spend the rest of the time praying for those requests and praying through a chunk of the church membership list.” (Jeramie Rinne)
“At each regular meeting, the board of elders shall seek to determine whether any members of the congregation are:
a. in need of special care regarding their spiritual condition and/or
b. are not making faithful use of the means of grace, i.e., attending worship and participating in the sacraments and shall provide the means of extending Christian ministry to such persons.”
“I wonder how many churches, from any denomination or no denomination at all, approach their member care this deliberately? It requires a system for knowing your people. It requires elders trained in the work of shepherding. It requires planning to make this a part of the elders agenda every month. It requires an honest and deliberate strategy for membership.”
At every elders meeting we need to be asking “Who needs spiritual help? Who seems to be drifting from active participation in the church?”
Keeping watch will involve asking questions about the flock.
“Is anyone struggling with discouragement? Is anyone lonely or isolated? Is anyone drifting away from Christ? What are patterns of attendance at church? Anyone missing recently? Is anyone toying with unbiblical doctrine through a recent bestselling paperback they bought? Are the widows’ needs being met? Are any faint-hearted, shrinking back from some course of action God commands? Is anyone suffering medically? Are there any sick people whom the elders should visit and pray over as James 5 instructs? Are there broken relationships in the church needing reconciliation?
In facing all these various conditions, the elders are seeking God’s wisdom in understanding what is the wisest course of action: does the individual need instruction? Encouragement? Admonishment? Rebuke? Correction? Praise? If so, which elders would be the best to give the needed ministry? Who is specifically going to do what and by when?” (Andrew Davis)
If you liked Tim & Kathy Keller’s devotional book on the Psalms, you might be interested to hear that they have one on Proverbs – The Way of Wisdom – coming out later this year.
“Sin brought death into the world. If Adam had not sinned, he would not have died. God entrusted Adam with a spark of immortality, which he by patiently continuing in well-doing might have blown into an eternal flame; but he foolishly blew it out by wilful sin: and now death is the wages of sin, and sin is the sting of death.” (Matthew Henry)