Saturday, November 21, 2009

6 Attributes of Effective Elder Boards – Rick Thompson, Acts 6

Rick wrote the book – Effective, Empowering Elders


One of the first glimpses of a board and a congregational meeting in the New Testament

  • Effective Elder Boards Pray – v. 4 - if elders don't guide and drive the ministries of prayer and the Word, it won't happen…guard it, develop it
  • Effective Elder Boards Guide Process – v. 1-2 – got the disciples together to bring solution to their problem
    • Discuss
    • Dialogue
    • Decide
  • Effective Elders Empower Others – v.3-6 -
    (See Vines on "to mend nets" from Matt. 4:21 7 & Mark 1:19 – not necessarily torn nets, but nets that need tightened and perhaps need arranging to more effectively catch fish).
  • Effective Elder Boards Govern with Proposals – v.3-6…we don't know how long it took the apostles to come up with their proposal, but we read it like it was automatic. It could have taken days or weeks for them to make a unified proposal. The proposal pleased the whole group.

    "Vision is insight into God's Purposes"

    • Bringing about changes in the Life Cycle and Stages of Congregational development usually requires "s-curve" changes to redirect your direction. Examples include:
      • Changing to small groups from Sunday Schools
      • Changing location or building
      • Changing styles
  • Effective Elder Boards Govern by Policies – (v.3-4)…men full of the Spirit and wisdom (their policy). The board does not manage or perform the operations, they set policies.
  • Effective Elders Boards Protect the Church
    • They protect vision and values
    • They protect the elder board and its values as these determine the health of the church
    • They protect their pastor
      • 3 Kinds of men who will be our pastors (insights from Driscoll)
        • Priests – love people
        • Prophets – love the world of ideas
        • Kings – big picture, see organizational development, may struggle with relationships, may not be best preachers, but can certainly lead

Friday, November 20, 2009

Knute Larson – Ministry & Organization in the Church

Knute had a lengthy hand-out which charts Phil. 1:1 levels of leaders

Below are Random Nuggets gleaned during his presentation:

  • It's not about our meetings, it is about God's plan for the ages.
  • The mysteries of God should give us passion for the gospel and for the church….we have been given the secret things of God to explain.
  • Phil. 1:1
  • One head…all our decisions and actions under Him…then the overseers to carry-out His mandate!
  • Phil. 1:1 lists all the jobs in the church – Jesus = Head, overseers, deacons, all the saints in Philippi.
  • Lay elders cannot and should not ever "eat and sleep" church like the pastor does.
  • All staff members report to the senior pastor, and not anyone else in additions.
  • Bible does not mandate any particular church organizational chart.
  • God often shepherds by what "seems best" to a whole group of leaders
  • Good leaders are servants first.
  • It takes years to develop the mood of a church and only moments to destroy it.
  • People hate changes and surprises…but many leaders surprise churches with changes and lose.
  • When a decision-making group is over eight or nine, it is too big.
  • Pastors and elders share a large ministry description
    • Lead – Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet 5:2
    • Rule – 1 Tim. 3:4-5
    • Shepherd – Acts 20:28-29
    • Teach – 2 Tim. 4:1
    • Equip – Eph 4:11-13
    • Example – 1 Pet 5:3
  • Governing boards must model Phil 2:1-13
  • Overall health of a board is equal to the sum of its parts
  • It's not the things in the Bible that I don't understand that gives me problems, it's the things that I do understand that gives me fits.


    Check out or to listen to the podcasts (should be up early next week). Look for EFCA-Training as the link at the Providence site.


Effective Elders – Allegheny District & GLD Elders Training Retreat

Effective Elders

Rick Thompson – GLD Superintendent



Acts 20:13-18 – First elders retreat


An Effective Elder:

  • Leads God's People v. 18-19, 28
    • 2 Best Books on Leadership
      • Peter Drucker
      • Jim Collins – Good to Great
      • Spiritual Leadership – Sanders
      • Unity Factor – Osborn
      • Sticky Church – Osborn
      • Taking Your Church to the Next Level – Gary McIntosh
      • One Size Doesn't Fit All – McIntosh
      • Wild Goose Chase – Mark Batterson
    • Most commonly repeated word in this passage – "I" 20 times in the passage…
      • Lead by example
      • Close emotionally attached relationship with the people


  • Bleeds for God's People – tears 3x in the passage
    • Really care for God's people
    • Can't be out of touch with the people
  • Feeds God's Flock
    • V. 20 – preached everything helpful…publicly and house to house.
    • V. 32 – committed them to God's Word
    • Titus 1:9 – holds firmly to the message…encourage others by sound doctrine
    • 2 voices – one to gather the sheep, and the other to frighten away the wolves
  • Seeks Lost Lambs v. 21- "I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus."
  • Heeds for God's Flock – v. 28-31…"Keep watch over yourselves…be on your guard."
    • Catfish – Catfish chasing the codfish actually kept the codfish fresh…sometimes the catfish in our tanks are good for us.
    • Dragons – well intended (Doug Marshall) but burn everyone around them
    • Wolves – Distort the truth, Divide the flock…self-willed person
  • Intercede for God's Flock – Exodus 18:17-18



Becoming a Missional Church – T.J. Addington

Notes from our combined Allegheny District/Great Lakes District Elders Training Retreat

Institutional Churches

  • Emphasis on organization at the expense of other factors.
  • Focused on themselves
  • Love meetings, boards, committees, and bureaucracy
  • Guard status quo and resist innovation
  • Have little interest in influencing the community for Christ.
  • Often characterized by infighting and power struggles
  • Stay in the comfort zone
  • Few conversions and little spiritual growth
  • Are threatened by strong missional leadership
  • Rely on Professionals
  • Make it hard for people to get into ministry
  • Are resistant to change
  • Lots of rules
  • Live with illusion that everything is okay
  • Worship the past and want the future to look like the past

Missional Churches

  • A deep commitment to the mission of the organization where the mission always comes first and is the driving force of all energy, direction, funding and personnel.
  • Leadership is about the future
  • Celebrate the past but always reinvent their future
  • Understand the mission of the church: more and better believers
  • Flexible in their methodology
  • Empower everyone to be involved in ministry
  • Regularly innovate
  • Little Bureaucracy
  • Have great trust
  • See significant fruit
  • Have an attitude of "whatever it takes"
  • Few rules
  • Make it easy for people
  • Are change friendly


Jesus was about mission, not institution

  • Jesus was not about institutionalism, but was about mission
  • The Pharisee were about the institution not the mission
  • Matt. 28L18-20
  • Acts 1:8
  • John 17:18
  • Jesus designed a church to survive and thrive in any economy, any political system, any social environment. It was designed to be the most missional, most effective, most flexibly organization on the earth.

How to Get to Missional and Stay There

  • Single most important thing a leader does is to provide maximum clarity to those they lead about what is important to the church and how the church is going to accomplish its mission.
  • Four Areas of Clarity
    • On Mission – why are we here?
    • Maximum clarity on guiding principles or values…the unchanging channel markers that must guide all decision making…
    • Maximum clarity on your Central Ministry Focus…Eph 4:12
    • Maximum clarity on your Culture of Spiritual Vitality and Growing Maturity

How to Integrate and Live-out this Clarity

  • Challenge of alignment
  • Keeping the main thing the main thing
  • Not allowing missional to be subverted by institutional
  • Teach the congregation
  • Remind leaders what we are all about

The Sandbox Principle – see the book – "Leading from the Sandbox" – the 4 sides of the box

  • Clear Mission
  • Guiding Principles
  • Central Ministry Focus
  • Culture of Maturity

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Raw Footage of Alex Ielase's Fall Festival Message

Crossroads - Altoona - has a great Day!

This past Sunday, Crossroads Community Church in Altoona had a great friends day with about 50 people in attendance. This is a great encouragement as this work continues to rebuild itself. They are currently in a series entitled - The Fear Factor. To hear Pastor Mark Petras' first message in the series go to

In addition to reaching out to their community through both hands-on involvement and invitations to special events, the folks at Crossroads continue to faithful at seeking to making disciples, not just gather attenders. Again, you can see read more at their website.

Keep up the great work, Mark & Crossroads family!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sights from Redeemer on the Mount's Fall Festival 09

What a day of outreach on Mount Washington!

Alex & Jennifer Ielase and the growing family of Redeemer on the Mount Church did a fantastic job of loving their community on October 24th. From Hot Dogs to a Chocolate Fondue, from Face Painting to Football, From Gifts and Prizes to Hugs, tears and laughter...young & old, black & white, big & doesn't matter when we come together in Jesus' name we can be one as we trust in Him!

IN THE COMMUNITY ... this is where the church need to be, this is where the church needs to live, needs to minister. Taking the gospel, not expecting people to come to it! Accepting people where they are and taking them to where God wants them to be in Jesus...that is DISCIPLESHIP...that is our Mandate, why we were left here when we trusted in Christ.

Redeemer on the Mount may not be a big congregation yet, but it is growing, and she and her Pastor are quickly becoming the Church (note the big "C") and Pastor to this community...WHY...because they love on this community...they wash toilets, listen to hurts, serve, love, embrace and care and share the Gospel of Jesus!

We've got to be proud of our planters and the work they are doing, and maybe even LEARN from their EXAMPLE.

The Gospel, The Savior...this is what life is really all about!