Tag Archives: elders

Sunday Stillness – How to be an effective Overseer

Sunday Stillness – How to be an effective Overseer

From Free Digital Photos.net

From Free Digital Photos.net

This week’s Scripture is Titus 1:7a. Using the SIMPLE method I will once again try to see where God leads me. Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness (Titus 1:7a, NIV)

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

I looked up overseer and it said he was one who looked over the flock. Both Elders and Overseers need maturity and experience.

This sounds impressive. Once again the word, “blameless” is used.

I looked up the passage in The Message and “overbearing” translates as “pushy”.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Am I overbearing? – sometimes. I get all worked up and sometimes I want something so badly I push it. There seems to be a fine line between being excited and visionary – and pushy. And my anger? Finally I think I can say that I have learned to get a handle on it.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

Rethinking the overbearing and the anger issue – Ed Hird reminds me:

Rather than examine ourselves, anger always blames someone else (Restoring Health, page 36).

Ouch.

We see this in marriages, where thoughtless words are tossed out – and are then unrecoverable.

Thoughtless outbursts of anger are like toxic rain to marriages and family… A quick-tempered Christian is ‘out of control’ (Restoring Health, .ibid).

 

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me to watch my tongue and be slow to react. Thank you that we never used alcohol to try to solve our problems. May I learn to walk blameless, not be pushy or quick tempered. Instead may I look to You for the answers and please continue to grow me closer to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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Sunday Stillness – How struggles happen in churches

Sunday Stillness – How struggles happen in churches

How-struggles-happen

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This week I am studying Titus 1:6 using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study. It is truly amazing how Scripture can speak to my heart, mind and soul. As usual I prayed before I started to study.

S – Say the passage aloud.

An elder must be blameless, a husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient (Titus 1:6, NIV).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Titus is charged with appointing elders in every town. Paul lays down specific instructions for those elders. Similar instructions were given to Timothy. (1 Timothy 3:1-7, NIV).

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

Our world has changed drastically. Women are not only Elders in some denominations but also Pastors. I am not going to debate that. I think the whole idea rests upon the word – blameless.

Whoever is an Elder MUST be blameless.

That is a very important statement.

And families of Elders  – that is important too. How do the children conduct themselves? I think we can assume that children who have left the home are no longer under the control of the parent. But little ones see how parents react and act accordingly.

And I agree that an Elder needs to be a very responsible person – not just a warm body to fill a vacancy.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

I certainly agree that if an Elder has a family conflict that person is not going to be in a good position to make church decisions or be shepherds to their flock. I have attended churches in the past where divisions start from power struggles in the Elders’ group. I have gone through trials and tribulations caused by Elders NOT remaining blameless.

And Elder needs to be a committed Christian who is capable of being a good role model for his/her family. And Pastors need to be on the lookout for any weaknesses in their Elders – before a crisis occurs.

Be victorious in the home, and you are victorious everywhere (Dr. E. Stanley Jones, quoted in Ed Hird’s book, Restoring Health, page 35).

This also means that an Elder’s marriage must be blameless too. That is a big challenge in our world today as well as in the time of Titus.

One of the greatest challenges for the Cretan ex-pirates was how to develop healthy marriages, built on harmony and tenderness… God used biblical marriage to transform the relational chaos of the pirate island of Crete. Healthy leaders need healthy marriages.

What might happen if our North American society realized that God’s Church as the key to marital stability and satisfaction? (Restoring Health, Ed Hird, page 35)

How can this apply to me? I think prayer has to be my answer. Putting each of our Elders up for prayer is the way to keep Satan away and God watching over this group of people. We need to pray for all our leaders in the church and their families. Will you join me?

Do you pray for the leaders in your church?

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, in our churches I ask you to watch over the leaders, their families, their children. As we need strong churches we need strong faith-filled leaders who are protected through prayer. Help our churches – Your church – to grow strong, stable and fruit-filled. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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Janis Cox

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

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I sometimes link to:

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Playdates @lauraboggess

The Weekend Brew @BarbieSwihart

Titus Tuesdays @Cornerstone Confessions

 

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PRAYER FOR OUR CHURCHES

Prayer for our Churches

by Jan Cox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A prickly subject – pastoral abuse! Too many times have I heard stories of churches being torn apart by exploding and imploding church boards. Everyone is hurt, especially the pastor.

Can we see it coming?

In hindsight yes. Most often not as it happens because it seeps into our congregations bit by bit.

How can we help?

PRAY

Yes, we need to be in constant prayer for our churches, pastors, and leaders. They are the frontline.

They are the ones who will be most in Satan’s sight and line of fire. When a church starts to grow or look outward toward a community. Watch out! Satan will try every means to close doors or add frustrations.

Each one of us has a job to do. And that is to pray. Pray for the member of your team that you don’t agree with. Pray not for them to change but for God to work in both your lives.

Don’t nag and complain about something – pray for God’s wisdom in how to deal with it. And get over yourself. I am the worst offender here. I am learning to watch, look and listen – praying constantly for “the knowledge of His will, through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9 NIV).

I recently finished reading a book called My Fanatical, Regrettable Tour of Ministry by Ron Mahler. Ron opens our eyes to what can happen when church leaders bicker.

A most eye-opening and interesting read.

PRAY ON!

Prayer:

Father, we know we need to pray for our church leaders. Remind us. Encourage us. Help us to look to You for answers. Jesus – You are the Head of the church. Help us to help our leaders. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week: Counting up to 1000 – I am at 588.

  • A washer and dryer to keep clothes clean
  • Yummy leftovers – a quick meal
  • Praying for a wonderful friend and her family
  • A piano keyboard to relearn how to play
  • Toes not as sore as last year in tap dance
  • Connections via the Internet
  • Prayer – can’t say enough
  • Rain in the desert
  • Building up muscles in my legs from tap dance
  • Hearing from my 90 year old Arizona friend
  • Oswald Chambers – God can hear me even when I don’t consciously pray

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.