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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.