The elder meeting on Tuesday began at 6:00 pm, and I walked out to get in my car to go home at 10:15 pm. The elders and staff ministers of Kossuth meet twice a month—the second monthly meeting includes an hour and a half with the deacons. I typically begin Tuesday with a 7:00 am theology reading group, so when I arrived home it took a sizable piece of cake to celebrate all that God is doing. I am deeply grateful for these men who “pay careful attention . . . to care for the church of God” (Acts 20:28) here at Kossuth Street.
For your encouragement, participation, and prayer support, let me take you through the agenda from our past few meetings. Hopefully this will generate prayer support and increase awareness—but most of all, if anyone has any hints on how to do shorter meetings, we are all ears! Here’s a sample agenda with some brief explanations.
1) Word/Prayer/Shepherding updates. We read a chapter of the Bible (currently we are reading through 2 Timothy). We share observations from the reading and then talk about you, the church family. We sometimes go page by page through the church directory, lately we have been sharing regarding those we have connected with in various ways or perhaps are facing significant issues. After our reading and review of the church family, we go to prayer. Occasionally this agenda item will be abbreviated due to various factors but typically it takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes of our meeting.
2) Elder appointment process. For the past 4-5 months the elders have been reviewing the 15-page completed questionnaires and interviewing the four candidates recommended by the congregation for eldership. This past Tuesday we had three one-hour interviews that very well may wrap up our interview process. We have met with each candidate at least twice including time with their wives as well. We want to be as thorough as possible so we can confidently recommend candidates to the congregation for the next phase of extended exposure and interaction at that level. Please pray for us as we hope to wrap up our responsibilities in this phase and have recommendations to the church family by early April.
3) Strategic planning next steps. Developing a strategic or long range plan has been on our agenda for a long time but has now gained some positive traction. A significant component of the plan development process is engaging the church family to look together at the biblical target of what God has said a church should be and identify the opportunities that we believe God would have us pursue with greater diligence or resources. We plan to begin rolling out the process for you to be engaged in this process over the next few weeks in various ways including combined Connection Group classes on March 23 and 30.
4) Crosswalk Board update. In this week’s meeting we heard and reviewed a brief report from the Crosswalk Board that generated a “wahoo” from one of our more articulate elders. Hopefully the church family will hear this report at our April Family Gathering. Praise God that he seems to be making our Crosswalk dream into a very real and productive ministry.
5) Membership/Welcome Team next steps. We continue to assess and improve our processes for assimilating new people into our fellowship. Currently the two teams responsible for membership and welcome are considering becoming one team to make this process more effective and productive. How a person or family get plugged in at Kossuth is the core question that drives these teams. Helping people along the “3C Path” of Commit, Connect and Contribute is their task. Pray for these teams that God will bless their efforts and give them their desires of helping us be a church that receives and disciples people well.
In addition to monthly meetings there is more that elders do. Teaching, visits, counseling, Care Groups, and leadership development are regular tasks of all elders and ministers. In addition to the above items there is a pending agenda of things stacking up such as adult curriculum plans, by-laws task force report, and missions policy review. Thanks so much for taking a peek into our world and praying for us. Please pray that not only will we have wisdom and strength, but that God will give us joy as we see Christ developed in you and in the wonderful partnership we have in the gospel. We thank God for you!