Select Page
Elder Q&A 2022 Recap

Elder Q&A 2022 Recap

On November 13, we hosted our fourth annual Elders Q&A. Why do we host an event like this? It’s not because we have problems (we have those!). It’s because we are working out God’s plan for our maturity and our mission through biblical eldership.

Elders are one reason Paul left Titus in Crete: 

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you. —Titus 1:5

A well ordered church—a church ordered toward her maturity under the shepherding care of elders—is a chruch well loved by Christ. Our Elders Q&A is one way we seek to carry out our biblical responsibility to our Lord and to you as elders.  

Read our invitation post for some more specifics on our aims and process heading into the event.

 

 

Thank you for all of your questions. Your questions give us insight into our church as well as an opportunity to serve you with answers that we pray please our Lord. Here’s a list of the questions we asked with the timestamps for the audio. We encourage you to listen to the entire Q&A for context and the spirit of the evening.

Introductory (0:00)

Together in Membership (7:10)

  • What are HBC’s values? What particularly is the HBC leadership actually asking the HBC congregation to commit to beyond the broad mission statement? (7:28)
  • How should we lovingly lead/speak with a fellow HBC attender that is hesitant to join as a member? (17:12)
  • We haven’t baptized anyone in a while. Why is that? Also, how are baptism and the Lord’s supper related? (22:19)
  • Abe, what are we doing by way of update to our membership interview and introduction process at Family Meetings and why? (29:55)
  • Elder trivia (31:45)

Together in Truth (33:33)

  • Is the Holy Spirit a force or a personal being? (33:50)
  • Which comes first, the Spirit’s work or our faith? (36:20)
  • If we can do nothing to earn our salvation, what does living a life of faith even mean? (40:45)
  • How can we be faithful in parenting our children as we meet people/see people who identify as LGBTQIA+. (44:48)
  • Have we considered regular systematic theology electives? (52:46)
  • More elder trivia (53:05)

Making Plans Together (54:06)

  • What types of things are we doing as a church to prevent burnout of our church staff and engage more leaders? (54:25)
  • Heritage has done short-term mission trips in the past. Will we ever do them again? (56:50)
  • In the budget process, Jason mentioned that we were putting some money into a building fund. Can you expand on that? (1:00:30)
  • What is the wheel of time? Give us an update on some church calendar adjustments coming in 2023 (1:03:20)
  • Introduction and details for a new annual Spring theology conference: Unsearchable (1:05:03)
  • Still more elder trivia (1:05:58)

Open Mic (1:06:58)

  • What does a typical elder meeting look like on a Wednesday night? (1:06:58)
  • How are the elders seeing God at work in our church body? (1:10:34)
  • What are we doing collectively as a church body to serve our community? (1:14:13)
  • When you talk about baptism, practically speaking, if you have an 8-year-old who professes Christ, how long until they can be baptized? (1:19:09)
  • For the LGBTQIA+ plus if someone’s name is Justin and they want to be called Justina, what does a Christian do? (1:23:09)
  • An update from Abe on the Stratton family (1:27:09)
  • Closing prayer (1:31:31)

As promised, if you submitted a question and we didn’t answer it at the Q&A, we’ll be in touch in the coming weeks to initiate a reply either over email or in person. Of course, as questions come to mind across the year, you can always just email us at [email protected]. This event is not the only venue for engaging our elders with a question. Rather, it is an especially public forum that we hope to set the tone and invite your engagement in more personal ways across the year.

For more Q&A engagement of this sort, review our recaps from previous years: 2019, 2020, 2021.

And Now for Your Questions

And Now for Your Questions

There are many voices out there competing for our attention. Some are babbling, some are asking questions, and some are offering answers. Social media and mass communication lends itself to church leaders not knowing who is asking what questions and lay members not knowing who to trust for answers.

One of my favorite things that we do as a church is our annual Elders’ Q&A. The people we worship with week-in and week-out ask questions to the same elders who have taught them and prayed with them year after year. We see many different gifts exercised at once. We get to know one another better. I love it. And I’d love to see you November 13 at 4:30 p.m.

What’s the Purpose of This Q&A?

This event is not in response to a crisis. This event is not for the airing of opinions. God’s charge to elders is to be prepared to apply and proclaim the Holy Word in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). It reminds them of their charge to cherish Christ so much that they can answer with Christ at any time (1 Peter 3:15). It also gives individual elders an opportunity to minister to everyone all at once (1 Peter 5:2).

In bullet points here is why we host this evening each year:

  • To promote a culture of openness and vulnerability.
  • To model healthy question asking and answering.
  • To enhance our elders’ unity and insight into the ministry.
  • To clarify any ambiguities or gaps in our leadership for our members.
  • To instruct in biblical eldership and increase the visibility for our team.
  • To update the congregation on any timely projects or studies we’ve been working on.

We’ll plan for an hour and fifteen minutes. If your hunger is for more than answers, don’t worry. We will have supper together afterwards.

Get Us Your Questions by October 9

If you have a question—think doctrine, church life, plans for our shared mission, etc.—you can get it to us in a variety of ways:  

  • Text. Text your question to 864.735.7465.
  • Email. Email your question to [email protected]
  • Write. Grab a Connection Card on Sunday, scratch out your question, and drop that in an offering box.
  • Form. Submit a question here.
  • Tell. Communicate your question for the Q&A to an elder in person or through email. They’ll ask you to write it down so that we don’t lose your intent in translation, but you’re welcome to start with a conversation.

We’ll also have some time available in the evening to answer questions from you in a more impromptu style.

As a help in this process, aim to submit your questions by Sunday, October 9. This lead time helps us notice recurring themes, know how to devote time to particular questions, discuss any topics as a team if needed, and order our time in a way that best serves the congregation. We’ll certainly consider any questions that come in after that date.

As a reminder, we won’t be able to answer every question that gets asked. However, if you put your name on a question and we did not answer it at the Q&A, we will reach out to answer that question for you in person or by email. In some cases, we may devote a blog-post to the topic.

Before the Q&A, get acquainted with Heritage’s elders at the About Page. Also, here’s the recap from 2019, 2020, and 2021 for those that couldn’t join us in previous years.

Elder Q&A 2022 Recap

Elder Q&A 2021 Recap

On November 14, we hosted our third annual Elders Q&A. Why do we host an event like this? There are lots of answers to that question. One reason is that you are precious to God and to us as your elders. 

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. —Acts 20:28

This annual evening together is one way of paying careful attention to “all the flock” here at Heritage. As elders we meet twice monthly to pray and study and work for your oversight. We’re also members and elders among you, speaking the Word and praying with you. But this event is the one opportunity where we’re all together with all of you. We love these nights. 

Read our invitation post for some more specifics on our aims and process heading into the event.

 

 

We collected a number of questions across a number of topics. Thank you for all of them. This year’s night was broken into four parts, gathering questions we received under four headers. Here’s a list of the questions we asked with the timestamps for the audio. Of course, we would encourage you to listen to the entire Q&A for context and the spirit of the evening.

Introductory (0:00)

Introductions (4:14)

Shepherding at Heritage: Questions About How Our Church Is Led (8:31)

  • What does it mean that an elder must be “the husband of one wife”? (9:02)
  • What does it mean that an elder’s children must be believers? (14:24)
  • What is the difference between staff and non-staff elders? (20:06)
  • Why do we hire men to do elder-like jobs but then have a process into eldership later? (22:46)

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: Questions About the Truth We Believe (25:26)

  • How are we as new covenant believers to understand God’s relationship with the current nation of Israel? (26:01)
  • What is faith? (34:46)
  • How does our Confession of Faith’s article on the doctrine of humanity help us on issues of race, gender, and other difficult cultural topics? (37:59)

Broader in The World: Questions About Our Shared Mission (43:40)

  • What is the update on Gospel advance efforts to the Riau Melayu? (44:06)
  • What is Marxism and why would we call it a Christian heresy? (46:13)
  • Along these lines, what did the elders study at their recent elders retreat? (52:26)

Deeper in The Church: Questions About Church Life and Growth (55:03)

  • What’s the update on our worship director search? Student and Family Ministry director? (55:15)
  • Do we plan on having a periodic choir? (59:14)
  • How can members grow in their marriages and lives apart from the Lord’s Day service? (1:02:52)
  • Are Shepherding Groups only for members, and should we be inviting new folks to our group or be pushing them to contact the office for placement? (1:05:46)
  • Under what circumstances can a Christian support/advise another Christian in pursuing divorce? (1:09:05)
  • What are we working on and why do some of these things take so long for us? (1:09:47)

Open Mic and Concluding Thoughts

  • What’s the most biblical way of dealing with anxiety and panic? (1:13:25)
  • When the elders make a vote, is it unanimous or majority? How do you decide? (1:15:46)
  • What differences do exist in the elders’ team (theological triage) that do not prevent you from working together? (1:20:54)
  • What are the elders most thankful for? (1:24:41)
  • What are the elders praying for? (1:27:15)
  • Closing prayer of thanksgiving (1:28:12)

As promised, if you submitted a question and we didn’t answer it at the Q&A, we’ll be in touch in the coming weeks to initiate a reply either over email or in person. Of course, as questions come to mind across the year, you can always just email us at [email protected]. For more material of this sort, review our recaps from previous years: 2019, 2020.

Now Taking Questions for Our Annual Elders Q&A

Now Taking Questions for Our Annual Elders Q&A

One way our elders at Heritage seek to lead our church to maturity in Christ is by the simple work of answering questions. We do this in informal and private ways, and we do this in especially public ways such as our annual Elders Q&A. On November 14 at 4:30 p.m. we will host our third annual Elders Q&A. You should come.

Why Would We Do This to Ourselves?

It’s not always easy being on the spot, even if you’ve had time to think through what you might say. But it’s good for us as a team and it’s good for us as a church. Here’s why we host this evening each year.  

  • To promote a culture of openness and vulnerability.
  • To model healthy question asking and answering.
  • To enhance our elders’ unity and insight into the ministry.
  • To clarify any ambiguities or gaps in our leadership for our members.
  • To instruct in biblical eldership and increase the visibility for our team.
  • To update the congregation on any timely projects or studies we’ve been working on.

We’ll plan for an hour and fifteen minutes. We’ll plan for dinner following. 

Get Us Your Questions by October 10

If you have a question—think doctrine, church life, plans for our shared mission, etc.—you can get it to us in a variety of ways:  

  • Text. Text your question to 864.735.7465.
  • Email. Email your question to [email protected]
  • Write. Grab a Connection Card on Sunday, scratch out your question, and drop that in an offering box.
  • Form. Submit a question here.
  • Tell. Communicate your question for the Q&A to an elder in person or through email. They’ll ask you to write it down so that we don’t lose your intent in translation, but you’re welcome to start with a conversation.

We’ll also have some time available in the evening to answer questions from you in a more impromptu style.

As a help in this process, aim to submit your questions by Sunday, October 10. This lead time helps us notice recurring themes, know how to devote time to particular questions, discuss any topics as a team if needed, and order our time in a way that best serves the congregation. We’ll certainly consider any questions that come in after that date.

As a reminder, we won’t be able to answer every question that gets asked. However, if you put your name on a question and we did not answer it at the Q&A, we will reach out to answer that question for you in person or by email. In some cases, we may devote a blog-post to the topic.

Before the Q&A, get acquainted with Heritage’s elders at the About Page. Also, here’s the recap from 2019 and from 2020 for those that couldn’t join us.

Elder Q&A 2022 Recap

Elder Q&A 2020 Recap

On November 22, we hosted our second annual Elders Q&A. Our hope through an evening like this is to fulfill Peter’s words for all of us when he wrote to elders, “shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1Pet. 1:2).

In that short command, Peter teaches us a few things about 

  • A church is more than just sheep, but a flock.
  • A local church does not belong to its leaders or even its members, but to God.
  • Elders shepherd as those who areamong the sheep.

We could go on. There are no less potent lines just before and after that short command. But this is already enough to set the stage for this recap post on our recent Elder Q&A. 

An elder Q&A is one way in which we intend to be among the flock. Of course, it’s not the only time we mean to engage questions. The Q&A is just an especially public version of what we hope to cultivate in the halls and over coffee. Read our invitation post for some more specifics on our aims and process heading into the event.

 

 

We collected a number of questions across a number of topics. Thank you for all of them. This year’s night was broken into three parts, gathering questions we received under three headers. Here’s a list of the questions we asked with the timestamps for the audio. Of course, we would encourage you to listen to the entire Q&A for context and the spirit of the evening. 

Welcome and Introduction (0:00)

Introductions and what we’ve seen God do in our church (9:38)

Life Together in Membership (19:20)

  • How can singles become better connected with the rest of the membership? (19:30)
  • How can twenty-somethings and young professionals connect with people their own age? (22:40)
  • How do the elders and pastors handle the circle of knowledge when addressing sin or counseling issues? (23:44)
  • Where can the women of Heritage go when they need counselling or spiritual advice, but would feel more comfortable getting that counsel from another woman? (28:30)

Gathered Worship (31:40)

  • How do we design our worship services at Heritage? (31:54)
  • Why are our worship elements irregular? (34:16)
  • Why do all the prayers have to be read in the services and sound prepared? Is that a good thing for us? (36:57)
  • Why is the livestream by request and what are our plans for the future? (42:26)
  • As believers, do we spend eternity in heaven or on earth in the city of New Jerusalem? (46:24)
  • What are the triggers for searching for a worship director? (50:23)
  • Will the livestream be available for those who are home sick? (52:39)

In the World, For the World (55:00)

  • Please share an update on our global outreach efforts and plans (55:18)
  • What is the status of our plans following last year’s holiday offering, “Warming Up Our Welcome”? (58:52)
  • What is the role of the church in politics? (1:02:15)
  • Advice from the elders on political and cultural engagement (1:07:16)
  • What is wokeness and what do we make of it? (1:12:37)
  • Closing prayer for thanksgiving (1:18:14)

As promised, if you submitted a question and we didn’t answer it at the Q&A, we’ll be in touch by the close of December with plans to answer your question by email or in person by the close of January. Of course, as questions come to mind across the year, you can always just email us at [email protected]. For more material of this sort, review our recap from the 2019 Elder Q&A.

Now Taking Questions for our Second Annual Elders Q&A

Now Taking Questions for our Second Annual Elders Q&A

Shepherds are part of God’s plan for the health and mission of every local church. Just consider all that God intends to accomplish through this role:  

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. —Ephesians 4:11–16

Christ is the goal and substance of our life as a church. Shepherds and teachers, which refers to one role, are part of how Christ gets this done.

Why Is This Good for Us?

One way our elders at Heritage seek to lead our church to maturity in Christ is by the simple work of answering questions. We do this in informal and private ways, and we do this in especially public ways such as our annual Elders Q&A. On November 22 at 4:30 p.m. we will host our second annual Elders Q&A.  

This event serves a number of interlocking purposes:  

  • To promote a culture of openness and vulnerability.
  • To model healthy question asking and answering.
  • To enhance our elders’ unity and insight into the ministry.
  • To clarify any ambiguities or gaps in our leadership for our members.
  • To instruct in biblical eldership and increase the visibility for our team.
  • To update the congregation on any timely projects or studies we’ve been working on.

We’ll plan for an hour and fifteen minutes. We won’t share dinner, as is our tradition at these meetings, due to COVID, but we’ll certainly bring that back next time around.

What’s On Your Mind?

If you have a question—think doctrine, church life, plans for our shared mission, etc.—you can get it to us in a variety of ways:  

  • Text. Text your question to 864.735.7465.
  • Email. Email your question to [email protected]
  • Write. Grab a Connection Card on Sunday, scratch out your question, and drop that in an offering box.
  • Form. Submit a question here.
  • Tell. Communicate your question for the Q&A to an elder in person or through email. They’ll ask you to write it down so that we don’t lose your intent in translation, but you’re welcome to start with a conversation.
  • Show Up. Show up with your question on November 22nd. The elders will take some questions from a mic during the evening.

As a help in this process, aim to submit your questions by Sunday, October 25. This lead time helps us notice recurring themes, know how to devote time to particular questions, discuss any topics as a team if needed, and order our time in a way that best serves the congregation. We’ll certainly consider any questions that come in after that date.

As a reminder, we won’t be able to answer every question that gets asked. However, if you put your name on a question and we did not answer it at the Q&A, we will reach out to answer that question for you in person or by email. In some cases, we may devote a blog-post to the topic.

Before the Q&A, get acquainted with Heritage’s elders at the About Page. Also, here’s the recap of last years Q&A for those that couldn’t join us.