We are talking this Sunday once again about leadership in the local church.
But maybe, let me just ask you a question.
How do you think about your relationship with your elders?
I recognize that life is busy and we are all limited, so we don’t always get to spend as much time with one another as we wish, but we hope you would think of us as friends, or at the very least, people who want to be good biblical friends to you.
Let me tell you why I say that.
First of all, we need them. We all need friendships.
But second of all, when I look at Paul’s relationship with people like Timothy or Titus or the way he describes his attitude toward the churches, I can’t imagine him not calling them his friends. There’s a lot of affection there. The truth is it actually seems deeper than friendship. But at the very least, it’s friendship.
Take what he says to the Philippians as an example. “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart.” And then later, “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
And you know what? Paul even had that attitude toward people he didn’t know very well. Listen to what he tells the Colossians:
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ.”
Now I realize we all define friendship a bit differently, so maybe this seems surprising to you, but struggling for someone’s spiritual good, wanting their hearts to be encouraged, seeking to help them know and enjoy Christ seems to be the very definition of being a good friend.
And that’s what we want to be to you.
Will you pray that God helps us? We’re not always as good at loving people as we want to be. But we are pursuing it! And so when you think about us as your elders, will you try to think of us as people who want to be good friends to you? We’re not here to be your bosses. We’re not here to be your CEO’s. We are here to serve Jesus by working with you for your joy. There’s more to the work of an elder than simply being a friend, but seeking to be a good biblical friend is an important start.
And I’m looking forward to trying to be that to you this Sunday, as I share God’s Word about one of the most important responsibilities of an elder.
Come humble! Come expectant! Come praying!
For the younger children this Sunday, you can have them listen for the words, “elder” or “rebuke.” To encourage them, Marda will have some treats afterward.
I’ve begun the Family Matters podcast once again this past week. I have been focusing on issues primarily related to marriage and parenting, but the fact is, this particular episode will probably be helpful for anyone as we look at why you should hate pornography. Check it out or send it to someone for whom you think it might be helpful! And don’t forget to leave a review if you are able.
Missionaries to SE Asia. We are so thankful to have our missionaries, Joshua and Julie and their children, Priscilla, Rebecca and John, join us as they begin their furlough in Southern California.
Missions Update. On September 4th, there will be an update in the wood-floor room after service about the Macklers' recent trip to North Africa to visit our friends S&A. Because of security concerns, the meeting is open to members; if you are a regular attendee who would like to attend, please check in with Isaiah Mackler.
Women of the Word. September 10th at 9 a.m. Each month the women of CBC will enjoy worship, teaching and fellowship. This year, we will study the lives of women from the Bible and their great God. Guests and students 7th grade and up are welcome! Light refreshments will be served.
The Aspire Class begins on September 11th at 6 p.m. for men who would like to learn more about the office of elder and about what God calls elders to do. The class will meet one Sunday night a month over the course of the year. For more information, please talk to any of the elders; to sign up, please contact Isaiah Mackler. (There is work due before the first meeting. The fee for the books is $40.)
South Africa Missions Fundraising continues - Summer/Fall Pottery Workshops.
Join us after service on the church porch/wood floor room to make some pots! No experience necessary. Details and sign up at tinyurl.com/summerpots. Please do pass to family & friends. Contact Jessica Wu with questions.
Bible Reading Project. Thursdays, 6:30 a.m.
Membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of Cornerstone Bible Church, please contact us. We hope to start a membership class this fall!
Praying the Bible. Ever find yourself pushing through a few minutes of stale prayer, praying for the same old things in the same old words, afraid that tomorrow will be more of the same? Learn how to enjoy praying more by praying the Bible in this one week class.