Monday, August 14, 2006

A New Elder on Elding

We just got back from a great vacation visiting family in South Carolina. We miss them all terribly. A fun time was had by all - especially Stephen. He warmed up to everyone immediately.

From comments:
I was wondering how the office of Elder is going in your home Church?

Ask and ye shall receive!

Being a ruling elder has made me realize just how many people in our church I don't know. I'm really terrible with names to start with, so it usually takes me seeing someone in a small group several times and then being coached by my wife to remember their name. I hope our church's new pictorial directory (coming soon) will help me at least put names to faces.

Another thing about being an elder - the session meets and discusses things in the church about once a month. Before I was an elder, I harbored a desire to be "in the know" on what's going on. You know, the things going on behind the scenes like shepherding issues. Let me say this as an elder - you seriously do NOT want to be "in" on these things. Now that I know details, they break my heart. Have I been involved in this aspect of elding much? No, but please realize, these issues are about sin and the terrible consequences. I feel the weight of this office of shepherding heavily. My delight at being in the "inner ring" of the Session was quickly replaced with sorrow .

May I suggest C. S. Lewis's essay related to the "Inner Ring" and his novel That Hideous Strength for good insight on this weakness.

Now, thankfully this is a rare issue at session meetings. Much more time is taken discussing more mundane (though important) business of the church and in prayer.