Submitted by Darryl Hobson, Caboolture SDA Church, QLD.
We have been meeting once a month most months this year as a complete elders team on a Monday night (typically the first Monday of the Month). The best part of this is to pray together as a team. It is very encouraging when the team meets and you know that you are not the only one that seems to be doing the Lord’s work. I am sure that sometimes we may feel like Elijah and think that we are all alone in our ministry but the time together is the best cure for these thoughts. We missed a meeting earlier this year and there was many of the elders who came and expressed the fact that they missed this time together. A Monday night may not work all the time for everyone but it is important to set a time rather then hoping to find a time that will suit all. Not all can make it to every one of these meetings but the plan is there to start and if there are other times that may be more suitable then it is important that we are open to these suggestions.
The other thing that helps with the atmosphere of these meetings is that they are not done in the church or the church hall/room but they are in the home of one of the elders. This creates a more homely and relaxed feel to this get together. I have had a few of these meetings at my place and it has been a blessing to have everyone come around. It has possibly been easier for me due to the fact that I only have one daughter still at home in Year 12 and so there is room for this to happen without impacting the home-life too much.
What else is done beside getting together to pray as an elders team? Not that praying is not important but it also gives us an opportunity as a leadership team to look at what is coming up in the church program and make preparation for these events and programs. It also help us to know what is happening in the church. Also there is a time to share concerns and gauge the pressures that the church family is feeling. Each elder is able to share from there experience and circle of contacts to bring together a wider view of our church.
Some of our elders are assigned to oversee the pastoral needs in the church family. These ‘pastoral elders’ also meet again at another time (typically on another Monday night in the month) to share the pastoral concerns of the church. They meet to share how they will cater for the pastoral care needs that our church is experiencing. This is a very important ministry of the church and as such the pastoral elders dedicate time to carrying this out as a combined team effort.
To be effective for the Kingdom meeting together is a valuable exercise.
Darryl Hobson, Lead Elder, Caboolture SDA Church