2011 has been a busy and productive year for our team. Larry Craig and Frank Kim added diverse experience and links to large portions of our worldwide fellowship through their home churches and mission work fields. This year an elder from the Hong Kong church will be invited to join our group and increase our international participation as more elders and elderships are beginning to be trained and appointed worldwide. Training is currently being pursued by churches in Europe, Mexico, Asia and the Ukraine in hopes of appointments within the next year. We solicit reports of new elder appointments and eldership establishment so we can be aware of how the Spirit is working!
Our committee designated five sub-committees and chairpersons to divide the labor and focus among us in the following areas. Marriage and Family – Sam Laing chair; Elder Training and Appointments – Al Baird; Eldership Development – Wyndham Shaw; Conflict Resolution – Walter Evans; Maintaining the Unity of the Spirit – John Brush; Elder’s Wives Committee – Jeanie Shaw/Gloria Baird.
The Elders committee was asked to plan the Married Ministry Track at the World Discipleship Summit in San Antonio. The theme “The Heart of The Mountain” was chosen to emphasize “the heart connections” needed to build faithful and fruitful families! Major speeches for age appropriate parenting, being Godly spouses and parents are planned along with multiple classes on the “How to” of both roles. Also classes on effective outreach and ministry to married couples are planned. All of these topics will be addressed by some of our best speakers in these areas from around the world!
In seeking to “Maintain the Unity of the Spirit,” the group has worked with the Teachers team to develop principles and process for keeping unity around controversial Bible topics. While these need to be addressed within and among our churches we want to be wise in how it is done to avoid unnecessary conflict. Our hope is to see a proposal from the Teachers discussed by them, the Elders and Evangelists committees in March of next year.
Along with training being done by local Evangelists in Families of Churches the Bairds and Shaws continue to offer training workshops for churches with less experienced elders available to them. Six or more churches are pursuing elder appointment processes in Europe alone! Elder’s wives are asked to participate in this training to enable unified couples to be developed in fulfilling the roles of elders and their wives in the local church!
Finally we are developing a rationale and template for requesting outside mediation in a congregation! We have been invited into a number of congregations for help with various conflicts and from these experiences and the Scriptures want to develop a pattern of engagement that respects all involved but seeks to prevent Satan from dividing disciples at any relational level.
Wyndham Shaw, Chair — Boston
Al Baird — Los Angeles
Bill Hooper — Dallas
Israel Ereola — Lagos
Jeff Balsom — Chicago
John Brush — South Florida
Ron Brumley — Seattle
Sam Laing — Athens, Georgia
Walter Evans – Philadelphia
Frank Kim – Denver
Larry Craig – New York
Dan Liu – Hong Kong