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9Marks has just released its latest edition of the eJournal. This edition focuses on lay elders and raises some very helpful discussion on the relationship (sometimes delicate) between staff and lay elders. See here. You can find part 1 of this issue here.

Here’s an introductory note from Jonathan Leeman:

You don’t become a “band of brothers” just by showing up. You need to face battle together, as well as work through all the disagreements and sins that arise along the way. My friend Matt Schmucker often observes that more apologizing happens during our elder meeting bathroom breaks than at any other time he knows. It is a consecrated commode.

An elder’s first priority is the sheep, but shepherds who don’t know how to love one another compromise their ability to serve the sheep.

A good word there! Check out the table of contents:

Elder Relationships

Building Unity and Friendship Among Elders
By Bob Johnson

  • How elders relate to each other will impact how they relate to the flock, for good or ill. Here are a few ideas for helping elders build deep friendships and sturdy unity. Read more >

When to Intrude, When to Defer
By Michael Lawrence

  • When and how should lay elders push back on decisions of staff elders? Consider first what “hat” the staff elder is wearing. Read more >

The Curse of the Rubber Stamp
By Greg Gilbert

  • How can elder boards avoid the vicious cycle of lay elders feeling pressured to rubber stamp staff elders’ decisions, then resenting them, then opposing them? Read more >

Balancing Relationships Between Staff and Non-staff Elders
By Walter Price

  • Balanced counsel on the balance between elders from a seasoned senior pastor. Read more >

Elder Meetings

Elder Meeting Attitudes
By Jonathan Leeman

  • Fear of man can lead elders to say too little or too much. Here are nine tips for setting your heart right and speaking well to your fellow elders. Read more >

Family Size: Lessons for Large and Small Elder Boards
By Eric Bancroft

  • Like families, elder board dynamics vary with size. Here is some counsel for larger and smaller elder boards from a pastor who has served on both. Read more >

The Contents and Purposes of the “Elder Packet”
By Matt Schmucker and Nick Roark

  • If lay elders aren’t informed of issues before the elders meet, they can feel neglected, pressured, and out-of-the-loop. A little bit of prep work before hand can go a long way. Read more >

The Bi-vocational Elder

The Math Doesn’t Work: Why the Future of Church Planting is Bi-Vocational
By Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright

  • Countless church plants fail for lack of funds. So instead of throwing a Hail Mary, why not explore a new model instead? Read more >

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Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is a pastor for Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.

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