Posted By Matthew on May 22, 2013
This is not one of those Pollyanna posts about the eldership. Often a man will go to a work believing that the new elders he will work under will be the best yet. After a couple of years, he discovers them to be average. He moves on. At Castle Rock, I have worked under one eldership for over4.5 years, and in fact, there have been two manifestations of them. We have had three elders for the majority of the time. At one point, we had five for maybe two months. But over the years, these elders have gotten it right a few times. Here is what everyone can learn.
1. Hire Right. The congregation at Castle Rock waited two years before I came on staff. This was a long wait, but in the end we have worked well together, and we are a good fit theologically, and personality. The elders could have hired someone to fill the spot, but he could have moved on quickly or been moved on quickly. It is better to be patient and hire well. The elders did not rush the process, and in the end it is better to wait them to go through a few hires until it is the right one.
2. Give Freedom, To the Right Person. This goes back to hiring well. Elders can be known to mirco manage. This is typically the issue of the elders because if you get the right guy, this is not needed. The elders have never give office hours, or asked for reports. I asked them one day why, and they said, we never need to. Your work ethic is strong. Often elders ask for reports to cover up the original mistake of hiring. Instead of taking responsibility for the bad hire, they blame the preacher. Own the issue.
3. Look after Him. There is nice vacation, a nice package, and I never feel like a deal. You get what you pay for. The elders at Castle Rock look after the preacher. It is the attitude that they have. Even recently one of the elders was taking about supporting a missionary, and he stated, we expect him to be highly trained therefore we expect to pay for a highly trained person. What a great attitude in the elders.
4. Realize His Work. I do realize that I hike and the elders are excited about this. They know that my work is not just done in an office. They understand the overall scope of ministry. Ministry looks different in different places. It is nice to have the freedom to get into people’s lives without someone saying why were you not in the office.
5. Be His Friend. They are not just my elders, they are my friends. Be involved in his life, and be caring to him. The preacher his going to go through some hard times, but a elder that can support him.
6. No eldership is perfect, so admit it. No preacher is perfect, so admit it, and have a relationship built on doing the work.