May 2001 Archives

Work of the Elder

| Comments

THE WORK of the ELDER

Discernment ~ Spiritual Nurturing ~ Encouraging Faithfulness

 

Focus of Concern

Object of Support

Type of Work

Ministers

·   Vocal ministry

·   Travel in ministry

·   Speaking engagements

·   Private individual contact, incl. correspondence

·   Companionship in travel

·   Oversight of arrangements

Individuals

Personal spiritual faithfulness & growth

·   Private individual contact

·   Correspondence

Other elders

Work of elders, individually and as a body

·   Pray and worship together

·   Reflect together on Scripture and other writings

·   Share joys and problems in their eldering

 

Meetings

Gathered faith community

·   Keep open "inward listening space toward God" for the meeting

·   Pray during meeting for its spiritual condition

·   Provide for right order during worship

·   Signal close of meetings for worship

·   Keep principles clear during decision making

·   Organize groups for prayer, healing, discussion, work, etc., as needed

·   Discern and call out gifts for benefit of the community

 

 

   Methods Used

             In Words with Others

                  In Personal Life

Affirming faithfulness

Listening

Questioning to draw out

Questioning to provoke reflection

Cautioning

Rebuking

Encouraging stepping forward when led 

Clarifying distinctions

Prayer

 

Testing and acting on one's own leadings

       (=  Discernment and obedience)

Modeling corporate values and traditions 

Prayer

 

 

Compiled by Susan Smith in Fifth Monh 2001 from various sources, including Fran Smith's "Applying & Adapting the Tradition of Eldering for Today" (Ohio YM, 1996), Kenneth Sutton's 6-11-98 comments in Quaker Life, and works by Jan Hoffman.