Friday, September 7, 2012

Keeping Watch Over Your Souls IV

 Here is some additional guidance about bringing problems to the elders.
a.    Do not wait until a crisis develops. One of the great problems elders face is people waiting until it is too late or the situation is already messy before contacting us. It is better to contact your elders and find out that it is not a big deal than wait and watch the situation explode. 
b.    The greatest deterrent to contacting the elders is usually pride. People tend to believe they can work things out without help or advice. Sometimes this is true. But most often we need the input of other Christians, particularly those God has appointed over us, to guide us.  If there is a problem in your home or life and you do not want to bring it to the elders, ask yourself, why?  More than likely the reason is that you do not want your sin to be known.   Do not add to the first sin, the second sin of covering it up (Proverbs 28:13).
c.    Some of you may worry that you are bothering us. Don’t. We are here to shepherd you.  If you think you should call, do.
d.    We would add here that the head of the household should usually be the one contacting the elders. The exception would be if the head of household is in serious sin and refuses to come to the elders. In that case a wife or teenage child could approach the elders after they have rebuked the head of household. This would be following the pattern set by Matthew 18:15-20. 

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8