27 March 2009

THE ADVENTURES OF GRAYING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: You can lead an elder to water, but can you make him think?

“OK. We’ve got elder training covered. How about the deacons,” Rex asked?

“That’s not as hard as you might imagine,” Red responded. “Back in the Winter of ’77, George Washington had the same problem over at Valley Forge. Baron von Steuben had the answer, He trained a cadre—two representatives from each Regiment—who then went back to teach their respective parent Regiments. Our elders, once trained, will examine and train the deacons.”

Rex nodded. “I think the harder part will be convincing some of our elders that they need to be trained. And expect some to resist the expectation that they become spiritual leaders and overseers rather than bean counters.”

"You’re right, Pastor. Those who really are not called to be ruling elders will be the toughest to deal with. We know the difficulty that the Nominating Committee has had in getting folks to stand for election as an elder or deacon. In their desperation, they have taken anyone who will volunteer, and the session has failed in its duty to examine the candidates. So, the process of educating the elders and deacons will not necessarily be a one-shot deal.”

Red continued, “My First Sergeant used to say that ‘The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago. The next best time is today.’ We need to at least start the process. The good news is that the denomination has created a wonderful resource for us.”

Rex picked up the phone and called Ellen Klass. After explaining the discussion he and Red had just completed, he asked “Would you be willing to join Red in asking me to call a special meeting of the session to discuss elder training?”

“Gladly. Can we do it as a Sunday School class so more folks can attend?”

And so it begins. Will the session balk? Will anyone resign? Can they get the Leadership Training Manuals from GA in time for the first class? Join us next time for answers as we follow the adventures of Graying Pres.

1 comment:

Reformed Catholic said...


great stuff. While I was checking out Central Florida Presbytery's (PCUSA) website, I found this page of leadership training resources, which is actually VERY good for any PCUSA (and can be adapted, I would think for EPC churches) church:


One site I found is for Lake Hills PC in Knoxville, TN. The elder training overview is on YouTube:

Good stuff!!