How many times do you leave a conversation with someone, or a get-together, or a meal with a friend and someone says “You know, we just don’t do this enough.”  Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

We started holding Forums a few years ago, for a few different reasons.  Back then we didn’t do much to dialogue about agenda items for upcoming meetings.  We were diligent to inform the body through a letter or email, and the door is always open for people to contact the Elders if they have any questions, but that was it.  And so, we started holding Forums so we could talk about upcoming items of business before the actual Business Meeting instead of during it.  This makes for shorter meetings which most [normal] people prefer.

But there are a TON of things that happen that don’t require decision-making at a church Business Meeting.  If it’s not coming up at a Business Meeting, it typically doesn’t get discussed at a Forum.  When do we get to talk about that stuff together if it’ll never be discussed at a Forum?  Hmm…

And if Forums go hand-in-hand with Business Meetings, then we only have that dialogue when a Business Meeting is happening.  If there’s no meeting, there’s no Forum, and no communication.  So recently we’re started saying  “You know, we just don’t do these enough.”

We can’t hold Forums every week (we want to hold more, but more on that another time).  But we want to create a means of communicating with those who are interested in knowing things they can pray for with us, and also make ourselves available to answer questions and receive input, but without creating another type of meeting to attend.

So, similar to Billy Murray, we’re taking some baby steps in what we believe to be the right direction, starting with this blog.  It won’t just contain things you “need” to know, but things we want you to know.  We want you to pray about these things with us.  We want you to think about these things with us.  And, if you’re praying and thinking with us, we’d love to make ourselves available to talk about it with you.  Why?

Because we listen as we lead.

  • We listen to the Lord by making sure we know what He says in the Bible.  We pour over Scriptures, pray over what we see God saying, and make decisions that we believe first & foremost honor the Lord.  As under-shepherds, we long to love the sheep and please Christ, our “Chief Shepherd” (cf. 1 Peter 5:4).
  • We listen to each other.  It wasn’t just for kicks that God designed His Church to be led by a plurality of Elders.  We love the Lord, His Word, and Grace Fellowship Church…but we are not all alike.  We see things differently.  We have different preferences, styles, tastes, and leadership styles.  Certain things stand out more to one than the others, and where he may be weak, another is stronger.  Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom gained from multiple counselors, and every single one of us is thankful we’re not a solo Elder.
  • We listen to you.  The best shepherds smell like sheep.  They’re among them.  We’re all in this together.  We’re in Small Groups together with you.  We counsel along with you.  We worship alongside you on Sunday mornings.  Our families hang out together at social gatherings.  And sure we talk but…(yup)…we just don’t do that enough.

Here’s what we can do.

After every Elders’ Meeting, we’ll look over the items we’ve discussed, make a list of things we want your help in thinking about and praying about, and then make ourselves available to answer any questions you may have.  We’ll post them here, and link to them in the weekly emails the Pastors send out concerning the coming Sunday at both of our campuses.

Want to get a message or question into the Elders’ ears?  Great…send an email to EldersEars[at]graceky[dot]org and one of us will look forward to speaking with you soon.

Send us a note and tell us what you think.  We’re all ears.  Or…eyes.

Whatever.

In Christ,

Brad Bigney
Brian Fannin
Bud Fennell
Bob Greenwood
Ken Long
Peter LaRuffa
Rob Lohrmann
Mark McFadden
Roger Patterson