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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more material of this sort, review our recap from the 2019 Elder Q&A.