Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Eldership Funeral 2

     In an Eldership Funeral, I follow this outline: Eldership Funeral . After leading four of these, here are some blessings I have observed:
  • It is a good time to reflect on lessons learned.
  • It provides an opportunity to finish old business. If there are conflicts in the “old eldership,” they will generally be carried over into the new eldership. Each side will be recruiting the new elders to be on their side.
  • It can be a time to talk about new-elder orientation. How do you plan to get the new elders working effectively with the present eldership? When will you explain the rules for this eldership? Have you thought about and discussed the rules for this eldership?
  • From my observation, one of the most productive things from the first funeral we had with the elders at Berry’s Chapel came when I asked, “Will you let the new elders make a difference? Will they be able to change anything or will they have to do everything the way you have always done it?" Their answer: “They can change some things but there are some things they will not be able to change.”
     My next question: “Will you tell them before they start or surprise them after they are appointed. The “old elders” came up a list of non-negotiable operating procedures for the eldership. They went over them with prospective elders. They told them if they did not agree with these items, they would not do well as an elder at Berry’s Chapel. Here is that list: Standard Operating Procedures, Non-Negotiable Items .

     We recently had an eldership funeral at LaVergne. It is a good time to finish old business and start anew.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Eldership Funeral

     After our elders had been serving at Berry‘s Chapel a little more than two years, the congregation was in the process of selecting additional shepherds. At our February meeting, I asked, “Are you going to have a funeral for the present eldership?”. I was asked to explain.

     It has been my observation that when a church appoints new elders, there is not just one or more in the group but a new eldership, a new group that is different from the one that preceded it. I thought it might be appropriate to have a “funeral” for the old eldership—to recognize the death of that leadership group and to anticipate the “resurrection” of a new group.

     After a brief discussion, I did not hear any more until our March leadership meeting. Our elders, Dennis Crowder, Ron Gambill, and Dennis Makins, told me, “We have decided we want to have an eldership funeral and we want you to preach it.” After some discussion, the date was set for April 3.
After visiting the funeral home with a former elder whose step-father had died, we, along with the youth minister, Jeremy Houck, proceeded to a log cabin in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. After getting settled in for the night, we spent about three hours going over the outline:  Eldership Funeral be continued.