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Offline zoonance

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Describe the perfect "elder"
« on: Thu Apr 29, 2010 - 20:20:24 »
Names are being brought up for consideration for being recognized as an elder in our congregation.  What would the perfect elder look like?

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Describe the perfect "elder"
« on: Thu Apr 29, 2010 - 20:20:24 »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #1 on: Thu Apr 29, 2010 - 20:29:57 »
Names are being brought up for consideration for being recognized as an elder in our congregation.  What would the perfect elder look like?

I don't think there is any such animal.

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #1 on: Thu Apr 29, 2010 - 20:29:57 »

Offline walker starr

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #2 on: Thu Apr 29, 2010 - 22:44:37 »



   He'd .look like Jaime. lol

Offline zoonance

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #3 on: Fri Apr 30, 2010 - 06:59:51 »
OK, what would a loser look like?   (one you would not consider true to the 'office')

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #3 on: Fri Apr 30, 2010 - 06:59:51 »

Offline zoonance

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #4 on: Fri Apr 30, 2010 - 07:01:31 »
OK, what would a loser look like?   (one you would not consider true to the 'office')


I am not talking about perfection, but a man that clearly fits the biblical picture of Godly leadership.  Paul wanted to appoint _____ as "qualified" men.  What do they look like?

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #4 on: Fri Apr 30, 2010 - 07:01:31 »



Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #5 on: Fri Apr 30, 2010 - 08:38:46 »
Old enough to have experience and have gained the trust of the congregation but not so old as to be out of touch with the real world.

Somebody you could trust enough to tell that your son has come out, you drink and watch porno on the weekends or that you and your wife aren't getting along.

Able to teach a class but not necessarily able to preach.

Personally, I don't believe Paul's instructions to Timothy and Titus all apply to us today but since most people do believe it: married to one woman at a time (death of a first spouse allowed but not divorce [even permissible divorce would muddy the waters]) with some children who aren't heathens (unbaptized minors who are obedient to their parents qualify).

Someone who doesn't have a bad reputation in the community (no overzealous Christians who stand on a soap box in front of the courthouse).

Someone who wears a coat and tie (at least a tie) to Sunday morning services. A personal thing with me but I get tired of no one dressing up anymore.

Someone who you have been able to count on to fill in when there has been a last minute need for scripture reader, pray-er, announcer or LS guy (doesn't have to be able to lead singing but should know his way around 4 part harmony).

Over 6 feet tall, under 200 pounds, dashingly handsome (no wait, that's me... well 2 out of 3).

A guy you would go to for advice on scripture or life even if he wasn't an elder. David Lipscomb said all congregations have elders even if they don't have the title. They are the men you go to for help.

Offline zoonance

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #6 on: Sat May 01, 2010 - 06:30:14 »
It would seem that, except for snargles, we don't know really do we?

Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #7 on: Sat May 01, 2010 - 12:42:55 »
                                                                       
                                                                               ::bueno::

Offline Bon Voyage

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #8 on: Sat May 01, 2010 - 14:22:36 »
CofC elders = Baptist deacons.   ::pokingwithstick::

Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #9 on: Sat May 01, 2010 - 16:04:54 »
CofC elders = Baptist deacons.   ::pokingwithstick::

Baptist deacons do some work.

CoC elders tell others what work to do     ::preachit::

Offline Jimbob

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #10 on: Mon May 03, 2010 - 17:20:02 »
Names are being brought up for consideration for being recognized as an elder in our congregation.  What would the perfect elder look like?
More laugh lines than worry lines, no polyester suits....wait, I think I misunderstood there for a second. rofl

HRoberson

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #11 on: Fri May 07, 2010 - 17:09:36 »
Me.

No, I suspect perfect wouldn't quite match that answer.

So...elders are to ensure the maturity and safety of the congregation, and to ensure the passing on of the faith (the real core faith, not denominational doctrine). "Administrative elder" is an oxymoron and demonstrates a significant misunderstanding of the concept.

An elder should reflect Jesus in his life and in the ways he interacts with people and congregational members.

Oddly enough, a perfect elder need not be perfect, but open and accessible for discussion, instruction, and reproof when needed.

An elder should have a sufficient grasp of and commitment to the faith that he can explain it's core elements to others, and he should see the mission of the church in the world as the work of God - and want it done.

He should continue to learn, read, and reflect on the faith, the life of the community, and himself.

Offline zoonance

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #12 on: Fri May 07, 2010 - 18:56:21 »
thanks HR

Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #13 on: Fri May 07, 2010 - 21:08:37 »
Zoo, I suspect you have given more thought to this than the rest of us. What are you looking for in an elder?

Offline walker starr

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #14 on: Fri May 07, 2010 - 23:22:02 »



   Of all the men that I have observed that comes anywhere qualifiying
   it would be Larry2 .  He knows the bible.  He walks with JESUS.  He
   is a peacemaker.  He greets the newcomers and makes them feel welcome.
   His prayers are usually prayed at the very first request of those needing
   prayer.  I can't think of anyone more suited for that role.  Larry is has the qualities
   that  an elder should have.  My earlier post was done in fun but this one is
   totally serious.

Offline Norton

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #15 on: Sun May 09, 2010 - 00:08:57 »
Someone who reflects the teaching of Christ in their lives to those both inside and outside the church. Someone who is able to make good judgements for the collective good of the church. Someone who knows and can teach what Christ taught. In today's world, maybe someone with financial and business sense. However; in NT times, day to day handling of the filthy lucre seems to have been left to the deacons, if we may infer that from Acts 7.

Offline zoonance

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #16 on: Sun May 09, 2010 - 21:05:16 »
Zoo, I suspect you have given more thought to this than the rest of us. What are you looking for in an elder?


I am not sure.  Character and substance versus ? Traditional Stoitism? for party line sake.  Sheparding Sheep first rather than arguing about the science of sheparding.  Providing a healthy environment.   Not bowing to the "weaker offended brother" in the nonbiblical sense. Freedom of thought and expression in the boundaries of scriptural support - as opposed to keeping traditions and sound bites as the basis for "unity"  I am not sure.

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #17 on: Sun May 09, 2010 - 22:03:14 »
Another important aspect of shepherding is balancing moving the congregation "forward" and not causing undo and unnecessary angst. Community peace and unity are important considerations while maturing a group of folks.


....and being willing to take the hits from both sides for not moving fast enough, or moving too fast.


It's a fun job, really.

Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #18 on: Mon May 10, 2010 - 06:45:55 »
Quote
Another important aspect of shepherding is balancing moving the congregation "forward" and not causing undo and unnecessary angst.

Moving forward would be nice but I am more worried abut moving backwards.

Offline Johnb

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #19 on: Mon May 10, 2010 - 07:10:05 »
It would be someone (perhaps even the person who lead you to Christ) that you turn to when you have trouble in your life,  Someone who you respect their knowledge of the scriptures and wisdom on how to apply them to life. It would be the first person who comes to mind when you are hurting or happy and want to share your joy.  The person you turn to when you have a difficult spiritual question.  The person you most respect in life and especially in spiritual matters.  However, that person is already an "elder" by their life and does not need title to make them one and does not desire the "authority" that comes with an official office.  They are also wise enough not to become involved in church politics by filling a man made office.

But then zoo you know I am not a fan of the institutional church and the authority structure.

Offline chosenone

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #20 on: Mon May 10, 2010 - 07:13:15 »
My husband would be the perfect elder.Sadly he wont ever be one as most leaders misread the verse about being the husband of one wife, and exclude divorced and remarried men, forgetting that that would also exclude widowers who are remarried as well.

 Mind you I am not sorry as God is using him in prophecy and other things and believe me, I do NOT want to be an elders wife. ::smile::

k-pappy

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #21 on: Mon May 10, 2010 - 08:14:39 »
My husband would be the perfect elder.Sadly he wont ever be one as most leaders misread the verse about being the husband of one wife, and exclude divorced and remarried men, forgetting that that would also exclude widowers who are remarried as well.

Sadly, they do not forget about widowers...they exclude them as well.

Some people are so blind to grace.

Bond

Offline WileyClarkson

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #22 on: Mon May 17, 2010 - 18:38:55 »
There is no perfect elder!  The best description of a person who would/should be an elder/shepherd is probably found in the title of a book written on this subject by Dr. Lynn Anderson.  The title is "They Smell Like Sheep".  One of the most important observations Anderson makes is how we have confused what Paul had to say about how to spot a person who should be a shepherd.  Tradition says that we choose elders/shepherds based on their qualifications.  IOW, based on a check off list, a man can serve as an elder if he meets the qualifications.  The problem with this tradition in the church is that a man only has to meet the qualification one time to be appointed to that position.  Unfortunately, this is not how we should choose elders.  They should be chosen on the qualities they posses on a continueing basis.  We should also look at those people who attract a following by the nature of how they treat, help, and lead others.  Certain people have a natural ability to shepherd people from the ground level, which is why Anderson uses the phrase They Smell Like Sheep.  They are right there in the middle of the herd and they pick up the smell of the herd.  THey don't lead from a position of aloofness like many of us have seen in our elderships over the years.

Paul, in 1 Timothy and Titus, gave examples of what to look for in a shepherd.  These are not the only personal qualities we need to look for but are an example of the types of traits we should be looking for.

If a person (male or female) is recognized by their servant leadership style as being one who is among the sheep and smells like the sheep while leading the sheep by the way of personal qualities that inspire trust and following, then that is as close as you can get to the perfect elder.

Offline Eagle

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #23 on: Mon May 17, 2010 - 19:55:36 »
In the eyes of most church going folks, as picky as they are... The only good elder would be a dead one.


Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #24 on: Mon May 17, 2010 - 21:25:41 »
If a person (male or female) is recognized by their servant leadership style as being one who is among the sheep and smells like the sheep while leading the sheep by the way of personal qualities that inspire trust and following, then that is as close as you can get to the perfect elder.

I am with you but it would be as easy to convince the people in my congregation of this as it would that there might be some Presbyterians in heaven or that singing to a piano won't send you to hell.

Offline WileyClarkson

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #25 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 06:44:09 »
Quote
forgetting that that would also exclude widowers who are remarried as well.

In the conservative/traditional congregations I have been involved with over the years, loosing a spouse to death is an immediate disqualification for being an elder and a resignation is usually expected to be made at the earliest opportunity.
As you said,
Quote
most leaders misread the verse about being the husband of one wife, and exclude divorced and remarried men
and that includes the mis-application made to widowers.

Offline Snargles

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #26 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 13:29:43 »
I grew up in a congregation where people fussed over whether a man with one child met the qualification of having children (construed as a requirement for multiple children) and if adopted children counted. Needless to say, we went years without an eldership.

Offline Johnb

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #27 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 19:55:32 »
The perfect elder is to busy loving his brothers and sisters, living God's will and sharing the good news to be worried about an office or authority. 

Offline walker starr

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Re: Describe the perfect "elder"
« Reply #28 on: Tue May 18, 2010 - 22:49:38 »



   i'M SURE i'VE ALREADY TOLD YOU.  Look no further than Larry2.

 

     
anything