Category Archives: Accounhtability
In my previous post, I discussed what a biblical Elder should look like (or smell like), citing work done by Dr. Lynn Anderson on this matter. Elders are shepherds, mentors, and equippers. Knowing that, how should I react, and how should I relate to my Elders. Let me suggest a few items for consideration and prayer.
First, we need to pray for our Elders daily. These men are under the call of God to lead the flock of which we are a part. The least we could do for them is to pray.
We need to be willing to be mentored and equipped for works of service. I would dare say that we should look for areas of service where there is a need, and where we have skills to help meet that need, and VOLUNTEER to take care of that area. We need to let our Elders know that we are with them.
Dr. Anderson asserts and I agree that we can help our Elders by shepherding flocks ourselves. At Vero Christian, we call those flocks “Life Groups.” Our Life Group leaders shepherd the people in their group. If there is that rare shepherding need that arises needing an Elder’s attention, this need is reported to the Elders. Otherwise, the Life Group leader and his group members handle the shepherding needs of the members of their group. This is a TREMENDOUS blessing not only for the people in the Life Group, but for the Elders as well.
We all play the role of shepherd to someone. Whether it is raising your children in the faith, teaching a Sunday School Class, discipling a fellow Christian, mentoring a younger man or woman, or leading someone to Christ. Realize that God has designed you for those roles. God expects each of us to mentor others. On purpose. As Paul told Timothy, we are to “teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
Elders who have a servant’s heart can overextend themselves, taking on responsibilities that should be delegated to others. They see areas of need, and often dive in to handle that need themselves. What if we, members of the flock, looked around at areas of need (preparing and serving Communion, helping in the children’s ministry on Sunday mornings, etc.) and VOLUNTEERED to meet those needs? We would be serving the body and would be obedient to God’s call on our lives.
I wonder what would happen if we approached an Elder and asked them to mentor us? Yeah, you are right. They probably would faint. It would be fun, though, wouldn’t it? I mean to have an Elder pour themselves into us. Having an Elder looking at our lives, seeing what God can do through us, and casting a vision for us in that manner. You thought I was referring to making an Elder faint, didn’t you?
The body of Christ is healthier when we all function as we were designed. God has gifted each of us in different ways, and those gifts are to be used for the building up of the body of Christ. Biblical Elders will shepherd, mentor, and equip. Christians will respond by being willing to submit to the Elders; by being willing to be mentored by someone who is further along in their faith journey than us, or someone who has a skill set we need to learn; and by being willing to allow someone to equip us properly for works of service.
I declare this to be “freak your Elders out week.” Approach an Elder and ask how you may be of service. Better yet, tell them about how you have seen a need and how you are willing to meet that need.
I would love to continue the conversation in the comments section below.
My oldest son Elliott and I are currently reading Bob Goff’s book, Love Does. Yeah, there are three links in my last sentence, and you should check them all out! Every chapter in this book grabs me, stomps on my toes, and/or has me standing and cheering “YESSSSSSSSS!”
satan does not deserve the respect or the credit of having his name capitalized, even at the beginning of a sentence. Now, I understand that many folks want to give him more credit than he deserves, but satan is a wimp. He is a liar, a braggart, a self-deceived and self-deceiving cast out from heaven. Now, I understand satan can be stronger than we humans can be, and I understand folks fear satan for what he can do in their lives. However, those people are allowing satan to hold that power over them. I refuse to do so.
I am not claiming that satan does not wage war against me every day. He does. I am simply saying that I call him out for what he is: a spineless, wimp of a wannabe god. I recognize that satan does indeed have power to wield, but I will battle that power with the superior power of God’s Word and God’s people in my life.
I have spent much of this week drawing closer to God, while expressing my pure hatred for death. Death was not part of God’s original design, but satan helped facilitate death’s entrance into the world when he enticed Adam and Eve to sin. God is the Father of Life, while satan is death’s daddy. I long for the day of Christ’s return when those who are in His Kingdom, those who are His Bride, go to be in His presence forever, and when death is told to “go to hell.”
Meanwhile, I want to encourage those who are doing their best to follow Christ daily to resist satan and to draw closer to Jesus. I want to remind us that satan holds no power over us unless we give him that power. Instead, let us draw from the mighty power of our Heavenly Father by spending quality and quantity time in the Bible, in prayer, and in doing life together with fellow believers.
Time in the Bible
Use the reading plan that best fits you. I have, for the past couple of decades, read the One Year Bible plan. You get a does of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs every day. Last year, as readers of this blog know, I added an immersion into Colossians in my daily reading. This year, Peggy and I are immersing ourselves in 1 Peter as our couples devotion. I personally love the Bible App from YouVersion. Others prefer to use a Bible from their bookshelf. Whatever. I just cannot over emphasize the importance of daily immersing yourself in God’s Word.
Time in prayer.
I use desconsos to help remind me of prayer matters. My wedding ring reminds me to pray for Peggy. Grinding Juan Valdez Café reminds me to pray for Dale and Jeanie Meade and the Colombian Christian Mission, a glasses-wearing flower sticker reminds me to pray for Francesca Rodriguez. I have desconsos reminding me to pray for my kids, my grandkids, the folks at Vero Christian Church, the lost in our community, etc. I have dedicated times of intensive prayer, and I have an attitude of prayer through the day. I am not a master of prayer by any means. I consider myself a novice but I work to make prayer a discipline in my life every day.
Time doing life together with fellow believers.
I disciple a couple of different men right now. I am in a Life Group. I lead two different praise teams at our church. I LOVE the time I get to hang out with Peggy. Well, you get the picture. There is no such thing as a “Lone Ranger Christian,” and it is important to surround yourself with believers for encouragement and accountability.
I pray that this post is an affirmation for you. Don’t give satan credit he doesn’t deserve, but don’t think that you can overcome his schemes on your own. He knows you weaknesses, and will attack in those areas. What are some ways you counter those attacks? I would love to continue the conversation in the comment section below.
As an already self-confessed depressaholic, I want to examine further this notion of my battle with WES (Whiny Elijah Syndrome). DISCLAIMER: I in no way consider myself to be anywhere near the spiritual stature of the prophet Elijah except in the fact that he, too, could be whiny. That is the full extent of the similarities between this great prophet of God and me.
Honestly, this is the 3rd time I have tried to write the post. I struggle with writing it, because I am struggling with WES. I want to keep things in a general tone, and offer some hope for those of us who are afflicted with WES.
We have read of Elijah’s great victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). What a resounding victory for God and what a blessing to have been a part of that victory. Right? Then, Elijah runs off by himself for his pity party. in 1 Kings chapter 19, he whines to God about being the only one left who is serving God.
Okay, so that is the basic context for my treatment of the Syndrome. When I experience tremendous “God victories,” I can count on the whining to commence shortly thereafter.
Why does WES afflict me? Let me wrestle with three possibilities.
1) Physical Exhaustion.
Times when great things have been accomplished to bring glory and honor to God can be physically exhausting for this mere human being. A great deal of energy is expended, because I do not believe in doing anything halfway. I am all in for God. I “leave it all out there on the court” (since some people are still in the NCAA March Madness phase. For the record, my bracket was busted on the first day of this year’s tourney).
I’m as mental as mental can be, I must say.