Integrating New Elder(s)

So, do you have any advice for bringing a new elder up to speed? Tentatively, I’m thinking we should meet immediately and ask for his input on the guidelines we established for ourselves as soon as we were appointed three years ago (how we make decisions, how we communicate to the church, etc.).”

For the context of this discussion, please read the previous post: Can You Trust the Church to Select Qualified Leaders? who selects…who appoints?

This email followed the appointment of a new elder:

As I see it, we’re a new eldership now, so we probably need to revisit all of this. I was also planning on asking each of our current elders to come prepared to briefly discuss,

1.) One thing that’s gone especially well since we were appointed, and
2.) One thing we can improve on as an eldership. Any thoughts?

Congratulations on risking and trusting. Somebody has to start.

My thinking is the eldership will receive more trust because you trusted. The theory is you can teach people the Bible. They can understand it. They can apply it.

I like to have an eldership funeral with the old eldership before new ones come aboard. Any unfinished business will ooze into the new eldership. It’s better to clean and reorganize your house and closets before you move someone else in. Here is what I’ve seen to be helpful: Have You Been to an Eldership Funeral? death precedes resurrection

I am prejudiced but I think a New Shepherds Orientation Workshop would be good for many elderships, especially where one or more new men have been appointed. This is an intensive twelve-hour workshop with elders, preachers, and spouses. New Shepherds Orientation Workshop

The wives need training on how to deal with inevitable criticism, what to do when people try to send messages to their husbands, as well as how to use their many opportunities to minister. There is a module in the workshop on how to inoculate the congregation from toxic conflict. The plan for continual shepherding instead of an emphasis on putting out fires is one of the best concepts I’ve heard in the last ten years: How Elders Can Function More as Shepherds than Firefighters

I like it that you’re thinking.

A transition can be a good time to check our procedures. What has worked well? What can work better? Are we doing what God says we should be doing as shepherds, elders, and bishops?

What suggestions do you have to integrate new leaders?


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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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