A Friendly Church Is Hard to Find

Authors: Gene & Nancy Preston Our family returned to the U.S. last summer after nearly two decades of living abroad, where we were active in several international congregations. We settled into…

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A Model to Follow

Learning to function as an elder is not the most important thing. More important is the elder’s character. The qualifications in 1 Timothy & Titus are well-known. But a good…

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Accepting Criticism

Criticism is one of the sharpest tools God uses in molding us into humble and effective servants of his. How we handle the negative feedback of others can affect our…

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Are You A Marked Elder?

Modern business and sports gurus talk about being a marked leader, having the mindset of a forward thinker, being a big picture individual, a visionary, a leader of leaders, and…

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Beating the Joy-Sappers

One of the greatest challenges for an elder (and for the church) is to remain positive and joy-filled in the ministry. There are many joy-sappers that suck away spiritual vitality…

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Being Elder or Doing Elder?

“Many men want to be president, but very few want to do president,” says Steve Sample, president of the University of Southern California. He continues, “Some of the unhappiest people…

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Biblical Sexuality

With the popular redefining of sexual identities that has overtaken the "cultured" world in breathtaking speed, local church elders and leaders need to be clear about what the Bible teaches.…

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Christian Sound Bytes?

"Christians are often blind ... because of the profusion of Christian words and references in the modern world. Little do they realize that the Christian faith is like the majestic…

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Elder, Encourage Thyself!

Elder, Encourage Thyself Encouragement is a commodity in short supply. While not alone in needing this, a leader of God’s people more than others can readily relate to David’s experience:…

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Elder, Encourage Thyself

Encouragement is a commodity in short supply. While not alone in needing this, a leader of God’s people can readily to David’s experience: David was greatly distressed because the people…

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Elders and Women

Men lead, women follow. Right? However, if we male elders aren’t careful, we can look self-serving and disingenuous if that is all we teach on the subject. A great weight…

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Encouraging the Sick

 Quarantined! Upon returning from a trip to Colombia, South America, I was exhausted and dehydrated—feeling miserable. With alarms of “malaria,” the doctors quarantined me in the local hospital. All I…

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Feeding and Leading

In his book, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," Alexander Solzhenitzn's insight into leadership conveys a huge truth that is applicable in leading God's people. Speaking of life…

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Girls, Gold, and Glory

Catchy title for a timely article, especially for Christian leaders. We came across this article at ChristianityWorks.com by an Australian brother, Berni Dymet. These three things have been the downfall…

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Going Deeper With People

We elders are called to rise above our own personal reaction to people’s outward presentation of themselves and go deeper in trying to understand and minister to them. Yet, as…

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Going For The Glory?

In his novel, “War and Peace,” author Leo Tolstoy captures a pitfall Paul warns about in appointing a man to be an elder prematurely (1 Tim 5:22)—pride. A young  Russian…

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Grief & Grieving

This is an annonymous, general letter from a grieving couple: Please… 1. Know that we need you. We may not ask for help (we may be much too numb), but…

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Handling Handouts

The phone rings, his story tugs at your heart. A young man’s car broke down while traveling cross country to visit his sick mother for Christmas. He has no money…

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Honoring The Other Guys

Some verses in Scripture are difficult to preach—like men speaking on the subject of wives’ submission to their husbands in 1 Peter 3:1. There is something perceivably self-serving when a…

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Honoring Widows

Hands down, the telltale characteristic of a church that is genuinely following Jesus Christ is found in our Lord’s upper-room comment, “By this all men will know that you are…

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Hospital Visitation

As shepherds of God’s flock we take our example from Christ himself: “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”  We need to “know”…

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How To Choose A Church

We want to address helping Christians find a church. For some this is a no-brainer, just find the nearest church of their denomination or movement. For a more thoughtful approach,…

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Humbleness, An Example

Humbleness is a critical, but elusive character for elders. I, who am ill-equipped to speak on this subject, as one who falls continually short, come as an admirer of Christ’s…

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I Will Build My Church

Introduction Ecclesiology is a word most of us can hardly spell, let alone define. Simply put, ecclesiology is the doctrine of the church. Very few people find this doctrine all…

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Integrity – Part 1

Integrity ranks top of the list of important human endeavors. I use the word “endeavor” because integrity is a lifelong pursuit, it is not something to be gained and then…

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Integrity – Part 2

Note: This is the second in the series on Integrity, based on Psalm 15. As mentioned in the last issue, although integrity is not specifically identified in Scripture as a…

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Integrity – Part 3

Note: This is the third in the series on Integrity, based on Psalm 15. We continue to focus on one of the most important attributes in a leader—integrity, based on…

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Internet Accountability

The internet is a great tool for accomplishing a lot in our technologically advanced society. Yet with a single click it can easily bring temptation to the believer. Many people…

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Lesbian Funeral

Homsexuality is becoming increasingly main stream in our society, and the church cannot escape dealing with it. With the recent news of a church that at the last minute cancelled…

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Loving Leadership

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you [lead you] in the Lord and admonish you,…

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Loving Leadership

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you [lead you] in the Lord and admonish you,…

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One-Minute Shepherding

That’s ridiculous, you may say. How can an elder be an effective shepherd in one minute? Shepherding takes far more time than that! We must first grapple with the reality…

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One-Minute Shepherding

Today (Sunday) you, as a church leader or elder, will be busy at church. People to touch basis with, questions to answer, decisions to make, etc. But people need shepherding…

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Pastoral or Elder Burnout

Shepherding Your Heart Through Ministry Fatigue, by Paul Shirley, The Expositors Seminary Pastor Burnout Website- An entire website dedicated to pastoral burnout. "Replenish" by Lance Witt, speaks directly to those in…

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Pastoral Response to Child Abuse

Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) - This is the best resource I’ve come across that has a number of articles, presentations, videos and recommended books that are…

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Paul’s Final Message 1

The work of “eldering” is both taught and caught. By this I mean as elders we need verbal instruction, challenge and accountability relative to our carrying out the essential work…

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Paul’s Final Message 2

Character is at a premium in today’s society, much less in the church. Elders should lead by example. So Paul reminds the Ephesian elders in his farewell speech (Acts 20:17-38…

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Personal Character

Leadership requires qualification. How much more is required for that particular leadership of God’s flock, the shepherding of His people. The importance of qualifications increases proportionately to the importance of…

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Plug In Both Ends

As I was sitting here working on my sermon message for Sunday, my laptop computer was close to running down and needed a recharge. So out came the power cord, I plugged it…

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PPT Preaching or Not?

Microsoft PowerPoint has been a staple of my preaching and teaching for the past fifteen or so years. Outlines for taking notes to be included in the bulletins have also…

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Pray for Elders

Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15) What was true for Israel is also true for the…

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PREP

As an elder, you have probably spent countless hours listening to and studying the Word, in meditation and prayer. Unfortunately, this can render you ineffective in teaching new believers how…

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Shepherding The Sick

Shepherding The Sick In another article, we looked at basic etiquette and the need to listen when visiting Christians who are sick. Now we are ready to consider how to…

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Take a Break

The old illustration proved true in everyday life as well as in ministry, so permit me to use my own version of it. The first time I used a chainsaw years…

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Visionary Eldership

"VISION" - that's the catch word of the 90's. It's a good word. One that Webster defines as unusual discernment or foresight. Some people have it, some don't it seems.…

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When Elders Disagree

Elders do disagree at times, no surprise there—unless they all put their brains in a jar and seal it until the Lord returns! Normal, thinking people come from different perspectives…

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Wise Leading

Wisdom psalms teach wise living, in contrast to psalms of praise or lament. Psalm 1 instructs us about creating a godly context for spiritual growth. As a wisdom psalm, it…

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