Do you know who your elder is? And do you know what our elders do and what their function is? Often we view elders as the one who is on the platform and that his/her primary role is to emcee the worship service. Their role is actually much greater and serve as volunteer pastors in our congregation.
Each elder is given a unique parish, a group of 10 to 15 family units in our church to care for and minister to. We ask them to make one scheduled visit a month to connect with their parish members, listen to their members, and encourage them in their personal spiritual walk.
Our elders are serving as pastors in order to help our members grow in their faith, to encourage and to teach the word of God. In a congregation of our size, it is not possible for me to know every person well, to visit every home on a regular basis, and be available 24/7 whenever need arises. Thus we work together as pastors and elders in ministry.
I would encourage you to find out who your elder is, if you do not know already. You can call the church office and inquire about this. Feel free to talk to your elder, pray for him/her and help your elder with ministry so others in your parish may be blessed. Our church belongs to God and He has invited us to minister together.
A few of our members are not able to come to church because of health reasons. We miss them, and trust that their faith remains strong during their lean years, as Solomon called them. While it would be great for the church to visit every shut in on a weekly and monthly basis, we simply do not have the manpower to do so. When need arises, and life becomes very difficult, hospital visits, uncertainties of life and when death is imminent, we want to be close to our members. Visits at this time become more meaningful if the member and elder have visited and know each other before life challenges come around.
Communion is a special event in our church that we celebrate on a quarterly basis. Again, we are not able to bring communion to every shut in on a quarterly basis. But we would like to ensure that every member can at least celebrate communion once a year. To make this happen, it is important that those members who are not mobile and are truly shut in at home, contact their elder and let them know that they would like to participate in communion.
I am delighted to see how we are growing in ministry and we are becoming a priesthood of believers where we participate in and serve together in ministry, both to each other and particularly to our community. In addition to our elders, we now also have multiple individuals taking part in various A-Teams for the purpose of harnessing their interest and/or hobby to reach out to others.
God will bless our church and multiply our ministries as we partner with each other and with Him.