The elders of my church have accepted my offer to help them navigate the process of developing a membership process. I’m completely honored to have been invited to attend the next elders’ meeting and I presume several of the subsequent meetings until the process is developed and the pastor presents the process and material. They’ve targeted a mid-September time frame for the pastor to begin preaching on it. That’s only about 6 weeks away, and if you ask me, too little time to put in due diligence to thoroughly develop a membership process.But they know I’m a research hound and that I like to write and put together presentations. I’ll be doing all those things, on a very compressed time table.
The first meeting is Wednesday night, leaving me tonight and tomorrow night to wrap up my preliminary research, document where I’m at, and put together a collection of material to hand out. I’ll likely skip the PowerPoint job and simply go with a printed version containing the same bullet points. This will allow them to take notes and take it with them.
As for me, I can sense the spiritual stress already. Old demons come calling, as usual, along with the earthy “crises.”
Finally, the elder with whom I met last week was very understanding about my issues concerning divorce and remarriage as it relates to church acceptance, participation and leadership. His position seems in line with mine and he encouraged me to address the issue openly and early with the rest of the elders. In his email to the me and the elders (the one I was supposed to receive last weekend) he concluded with the following:
Also, brother, thank you for opening up to me about your aspirations for future study of His Word as well as about struggle you’ve had. Humbly admitting your desire to find acceptance in light of your struggle was, in itself, humbling to me and, I believe, honoring to God.
These are all good signs. I merely need prayer for strength, discernment and a “hedge of protection” as we’d say back in the Pentecostal world.