Elder Install This Sunday
This Sunday will mark a big milestone in our church's history. We will be installing Jeff Stocker and Brian Smith as our first local elders (besides me). We are planning for our time to be full of celebration and prayer as we humbly come before our Lord together to dedicate these men to this important task.
Please make every effort to be there this Sunday and to celebrate with us. We will start with a short time of fellowship at 10am and then the formal service at 10:15am. After the service we are bringing in Chipotle for everyone to enjoy!
This Sunday will be our monthly Intentional Gathering and we will be doing it in the barn. So feel free to dress very casual. We'll eat lunch after in the Smith's home.
Something to think about for Sunday: Is there a particular verse that has been encouraging to you that you would like to share with everyone? We'll have a time to read those verses together so please think about what you'll share!
Local Elders, More Details
The model of local church leadership that the Apostles setup back in the first century is one where multiple individuals lead a local church. There is not one person that has complete control but a team. This is very important for a number of practical reasons. It provides greater wisdom in decision making. It provides greater accountability for leadership because one person does not have full control. It spreads responsibility around for greater care and love for one another.
When starting a church though you start with nobody, just yourself. And we see in Acts a pattern from the Apostle Paul where he would first get a church started in an area and then later would appoint elders to lead that local church. In our situation we had Jerry Lingenfelter, pastor of Mission Church in Lancaster, PA, and Johnny Tatum who served is my planting coach.
Those guys have been a huge help in getting us to this point and to helping through the process of training and vetting our own elders.
Brian and Jeff
Without reservation I am excited about having Brian and Jeff. We've been walking closely together for a long time now and I've had a front row seat to their faithfulness. We've looked very closely at their character and compared their lives to the qualifications we see in Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3. Jerry, Johnny, and I believe that they are qualified and that God has led us to this place.
The three of us have spent significant time praying and seeking the Lord together. I've been continually impressed with each man's love of God and the wisdom that he has gives them. Their passion to walk with God and to see him glorified has been very encouraging to me.
I'm very excited to have these men to labor beside. Leading is a hard thing with many challenges. Having teammates to help and encourage is going to be a tremendous help.
Please pray for us! The Apostle Paul gave his last words of encouragement to the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20. In it he warns them to stay alert because fierce attack will come, like wolves devouring a flock. The temptations and spiritual attacks can be significant. God is more powerful, our confidence is in him, not in ourselves.
You are loved!