The Most Important Work of a Church Elder

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A funny thing happened on the way to the elders meeting at church this week. We didn’t have “quorum.”

The dictionary defines “quorum” as: The minimal number of officers and members of a committee or organization, usually a majority, who must be present for valid transaction of business.

Without quorum it meant no motions. No resolutions. No adopting minutes, approving agendas or voting. All that was left for us to do was the most important work a church elder is ever called upon to do.

As vice-chair of the board it had fallen on me to lead this month’s meeting and as the small remnant of the board gathered around the table it was clear that several were wondering, “Without quorum what can we do?”

I began by asking this question. “When you think of the spiritual welfare of our congregation, what is your hope for our people?”

That opened the floodgates. “I want them to know what it is to be fully alive in Christ,” said one. “Oh that they might be used by God in ways they’ve never even imagined!” said another.

After several such dreams were shared I said, “If we were to pray that God would realize these hopes in the people of our church we would be doing about the most important thing we ever get to do as elders.”

And so we prayed. We prayed with urgency and passion. Names and faces of our people came to mind, prompting us to pray with even greater earnestness.

When we were done I commended them for having performed the greatest task that an overseer of a church is ever called upon to do.

And to think we pulled this off without quorum.

What would you list as the most important functions of an elder or other church leader?

the author

Scott Cochrane

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