Thursday, July 13, 2017


Some of my Shepherds are no longer elders...

It started with my grandson Jake a few years ago.  He was in the hospital with a scary case of Kawasaki disease and some of our elders came up to pray over him.  Some time later he saw one of them in a restaurant and asked his Mom if he could go say hi to one of his elders.  He still refers to him as his elder.  But this man is no longer an elder at our church.  Due to some family issues, he resigned.  But Jake still thinks of him as his elder.  And if Jake was in trouble, I believe he absolutely would talk to this man.

So he is still his shepherd tho he is no longer his elder.

And I have realized I have men that are no longer serving as elders that I definitely consider my shepherds.  These are men that resigned for different reasons.  Some felt they needed to "retire" and let others be elders.  Some had family situations that required a great deal of time.  Others decided the church politics were not worth it.  But at one time, our church selected them to serve.

I recently made a list of men I would call if I needed real shepherding.  Not men who would make decisions, but real elders.  Men who lived like Jesus, who knew Scripture, who had faithful families.  Men who could be elders.  I also have a number of friends that I trust but who for various reasons would not be elders.  But I am thinking about elders who are not listed on the website and don't come to the meetings.  But who our congregation very much recognizes as shepherds.

So my list of real shepherds was about 50% men who are currently elders and about 50% who no longer hold that title.

This blog has no agenda to change our church structure.  I am not advocating having elders to decide things and shepherds to take care of people.

It is more my realization that the men I would trust to get my family to heaven, the men I do trust to get my family to heaven, are still my shepherds.  Just not all of them are elders any longer.

I am not the only one who feels this way.  I often ask people in crises to tell me other elders they would like to work with me to help them thru the current struggle.  Often they list elders, and often they list men who used to be elders.  When I point that out, they often ask if they can still get them to help.  And we do.

Shepherds who are no longer elders.

I am thinking a lot about this lately.

And have no idea where I am going with it.

Just thinking out loud.

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