Needing advice or suggestions

by Ty
(Fairfax, OK)

I am a 32 year old Pastor serving in a 100+ member rural church. We have 4 Elders, 2 in their late 60's, 1 in his 70's, and 1 in his late 50's. Only 1 of them is actually qualified biblically to be an Elder. This church has little regard for being biblical in operations they operate more on the good old by system and if something upsets the main givers they cave.

I have attempted to work with the Elders to work on the spiritual apathy and have received no interest or support in this.

I have been in the ministry for over 10 years and grew up in church my whole life. I have worked with several Elders and built great ministry teams in the past. I have been here for over 2 years now, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to connect with these 4 men. We share little to nothing in common except the church in which we serve. And it becomes a hot-point of discussion whenever it is brought up.It is almost as if they just want me to preach on Sunday morning and turn a blind eye on Monday. I have even said this to one of them and he just laughed at the statement.

Do any of you have advice on what I can do to connect with them?

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gospel
by: slowbutsure

Hello my friend,

That is a tricky situation, and one I have been in. My advice, is first and foremost keep yourself strong in the Lord. Preserve your quiet times, be a worshipper of God. Don't let them suck the life out of you.

Secondly, what your church seems to need is the power of the gospel. There is a course called Gospel Transformation by World Harvest Mission. I would organise the whole church, including the elders to go through it in small groups, or in a big group that breaks into small groups.

I would preach through Collosians bring out grace. I would follow it with James.

My experience is some will come alive and some will get annoyed. But then start acting on the things that are learnt and that you preach, pointing back to the teaching.

You are giving people, and the elders, the option to move on in God. Call the whole thing a season of spiritual renewal if you like.

Then begin to challenge attitudes among the elders, one on one and together. Do teaching for elders in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. Be gentle, and loving, never argumentative. But also call a spade a spade.

This should bring it gracefully to a head. Which you need to do, otherwise, you will just die with the church.

Don't let your age be a barrier, you are God's man, with God's commission to lead His church. You answer to Him. Don't fear any man.

I have done all of this. Lost 3/4 of the church, and rebuilt (by the Lord's grace) a gospel, loving, grace filled church.

God bless you.

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