You've seen the elders at Sunnyside CRC, and they don't seem too elderly... at least we don't think we are! So what, you may be wondering, do the elders do at their monthly meeting?
Well, we just do our job. Our job description comes from the Christian Reformed Church Order, which ultimately is derived from the Bible. We've changed our meeting agenda a bit, and essentially we go through the main aspects of our job, talk about how things have been going and how we can do better. Here's how that looks:
Elders oversee the doctrine of the members of the congregation and fellow officebearers. This means we evaluate our worship services, ensure that sermons are understandable and applicable, and encourage our members to attend our corporate worship services. We also keep tabs on church education programs, and work to ensure men are being developed to take on the roles of elder and deacon in the future. We are currently looking for four men to be nominated for elder and voted on at the December Congregational meeting. The two men who are selected will be trained for nine months and take office in September.
Elders also oversee the lives of our members to encourage continued Christian growth and discipline so that we increase in our sanctification. The KIT (Keeping In Touch) Teams that are being developed are a big part of this aspect of the elder's job. The Elder clerk (currently Dirk Van Slageren) is in charge of keeping tabs on membership. This past month we transferred one family to a CRC in California, welcomed a new baptized member and acknowledge another member who was taken home to glory.
Finally, Elders participate & promote evangelism and defending the Christian Faith. This means we are always looking for ways to promote Christianity & SCRC in the community, as well as looking for opportunities to equip our members to defend the faith. They're on the constant lookout for visitors to our church to make sure they feel welcome.
This is just what we go over at our meeting. The rest of the month, the elders spend praying for the members of our church, talking with KIT Team Leaders and members to help care for our congregation and provide guidance and leadership when called upon.
Being an elder is much more than a job... it's a calling. You're elders are praying for you, so please pray for them. They are: Gilbert Newhouse (president), Mike Roskamp, Dirk Van Slageren, Josué Xicará, Paul Groeneweg, Stan Bos and Pastors Jelmer Groenewold, Gerry Muller, and Chad Werkhoven.