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.
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@example.com. For more material of this sort, review our recaps from previous years: 2019, 2020.