Those who are called of God to serve the local church in the office of the eldership have the large responsibility of giving oversight to the flock of God. Thus, any man who serves as an elder is under a weighty obligation, for he will give an account to the chief Shepherd for how he functioned in that office (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1–5). It is to be regretted that sometimes elders only fill, rather than faithfully and fruitfully functioning in, the office. We, the eldership of BBC, desire to be characterised by the latter. And it is for this reason that we have made the commitment to meet weekly to pray for the church, to talk through issues and to work at improving our shepherding. It is the purpose of this article to give you a bird’s eye view of what takes place each Wednesday at the church house.
All things being equal, we meet each Wednesday morning at 7:00 AM. We begin by reading a chapter from one of the Pastoral Epistles. We then share any prayer request that we have with regard to the church family, with special notice made of specific requests received. We then spend the next hour in prayer. It is a sweet time and we almost always get up from our knees with a sense of purpose and peace before we begin to tackle the issues of church life. It should also be noted that, after an hour on our knees, there is usually the familiar sound of groaning as our knees crack under the stress of age!
In our meetings, we review our previous week’s minutes and tasks as we hold each other accountable with regard to our work. We discuss mundane things such as scheduling events, various practical issues of the administration of the church, etc.
We quite frequently spend time assessing the health of the church with an eye towards improving areas that are in need of repair. Sadly, we sometimes need to discuss issues of discipline as well as the need for setting out to restore wandering souls. We discuss ways in which to strengthen our ministries, and accompanying this is a good degree of transparency with regards to our own shortcomings.
Our weekly meetings generally last from two-and-a-half to three hours, and it is rare that we ever finish with the feeling that the last word has been spoken. Even with a relatively small congregation, the needs of a reforming church seem almost endless. And yet these meetings do serve to give us a sense of where we are and where we are headed. Though we do not always accomplish what we intended, you can be sure that at the heart of the meetings is the desire to follow the Head of the church and to care for His precious and purchased possession: you!
Having shared something of the nature of our meetings, please respond to our invitation to give us any prayer requests that you may have, or any church-related matter that you feel needs to addressed. Also, if you should feel the need to meet with the eldership to discuss a matter, or if you would like to pray with us concerning a particular matter, we welcome you to make an arrangement to join us at our weekly meeting. We also gather in my study on Sunday evenings at 5:00 PM for prayer and we would be happy for you to join us when you have something for which we can pray with you about.