Category Archives: Policy
Another post on this subject here at the blog Sunday Women.
NEVER share your negative speculations. There are people in ministry who are tough to love, but it’s destructive to share assumptions about their motives.
RARELY share information particularly disturbing to your spouse. Me? I can’t stomach details of substance abuse, so my husband loves me by keeping silent.
RARELY share hurtful information that has no solution. If it can’t be fixed, don’t bother sharing.
SOMETIMES share hurtful information that has a solution. These things can be fixed or, at least, helped.
SOMETIMES share hurtful information because its burden is too great. Some secrets need the additional comfort, wisdom, or prayer that only your spouse can give.
OFTEN share information that will soon be public knowledge. This gives your spouse a chance to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare.
ALWAYS share encouragement. Spiritual fruit, progress in holiness, and success in gospel labor are things every spouse needs to hear.
Good thoughts for us as elders/shepherds. Read the whole thing.
Good insight for elders and all shepherds both men and women.
His points are that
1. Remember wives are not co-elders.
2. Talk about individual issues and agree as elders.
Read the whole thing. Very short.
We seem to be moving toward more mercy ministries. And this is good. But historically there are traps that other Christians have fallen into. Tim Keller and John Piper provide some good words here.
Good words from John Piper. “We exist to relieve all suffering, especially eternal suffering.”
“Should we only do mercy ministry where there is response to the gospel?” No
Only the first 10 minutes are for the mercy ministry. The rest of the conversation is great also.
(Authored by Steve Wright)
One of the emphases this year is a focus on missions. The missions team has been hard at work behind the scenes. But one of the things the elders have been working on is a statement of principles that guides us in determining our support for missionaries. Some of these will be strong in some candidates and some weak, but at least they give us a philosophical guideline to start.
Things to consider when determining support for Missions”
1. How well do we know and trust these people as sincere, committed Christians. Best of all “they went out from us.” We’ve tested their character and purposes as they have grown up in our church, or as we’ve worked side by side with them.
2. How high is their view of church? To what extent is the indigenous church a partner and recipient of this missionary’s work?
3. How central is the gospel to this missionary’s work? The more emphasis on proclaiming the gospel, the better.
4. How “unreached” are the people affected by this missionary? The more unreached the better – especially in the 10/40 window.
5. How engaging is this partnership to the individuals, interests and gifting at New Covenant? The more it captures our passion to continue fervent in prayer, effort and giving – the better.
At last night’s elder’s meeting we discussed our snow cancelling process. And then today, we awake to lots of snow. So it seems good to post on that thought process.
Small Groups – Whether to have a small group or not is the call of the small group leadership team. We ask each leader to keep in mind the following issues that apply to deciding about small and large meetings.
1. Be aware of the tendency to cancel out of wanting some time off. We all have the flesh that likes to be released from commitments. My flesh is always going to want to sit down and occupy myself with other things instead of going out. A little snow should not keep me back. After all, we live in New England and we are always going to have snow. We go out in the snow to shop don’t we.
2. On the other side, be aware of endangering people. Missing one meeting due to weather is not going to stop the work of the kingdom. We want to be safe rather than martyrs. Let’s save our martyrdom for real issues.
With those two thoughts in mind, each leadership team should make the call for their own group.
For the Sunday Meeting, these are the same thoughts going through our minds as elders. Is this my flesh that wants to cancel? We live in New England and drive to other things in the snow. And Are we endangering people.
Pray that we honor the Lord and his wisdom and we start this winter.
A covenant for a small group can be helpful in laying out expectations and preventing disappointment. The following small group covenant might be helpful to you. What are your suggestions to make it better?
Growth Group Covenant
This Growth Group exists to glorify God by calling together a group of disciples of Jesus Christ who are committed to studying the word together, praying together, sharing their lives together, and reaching out together so as to make real spiritual progress in our spiritual growth.
So as to make this growth possible, for the next 12 weeks, I will commit to loving these brothers/sisters by:
1. Making the meetings a priority. I will not join at the beginning unless I can commit to making at least 9 of the 12 meetings in a quarter. If I cannot make a meeting, I will let one of the leaders know. I realize that irregular attendance is disruptive to building community and is unfair to others.
2. Completing the assignments that the group agrees to. I realize that I cannot grow unless I am growing through regular intake of the Word outside of the group.
3. Praying regularly for the individuals in that group. I realize that prayer will produce real growth in others and bind our hearts together.
4. Growing in openness and transparency of my life by telling others of temptations I am facing. I realize that walking in the light results in deeper fellowship with other Christians.
5. Practicing Biblical confidentiality. I will keep what is said in the meeting there unless the nature of what is shared warrants going to outside spiritual authorities. I will not participate in giving or receiving gossip inside or outside the meeting.
6. Yielding to, respecting, and communicating with the pastoral undershepherds appointed by the elders. I realize I am under the authority of the elders of the New Covenant Fellowship and they have delegated part of that authority to these undershepherds to help extend their pastoral care.
7. Reaching out to others in the church and outside the kingdom of Christ. I realize that any community that exists for itself will ultimately die.
All members of New Covenant are welcome to use the Lord’s building.
1. For one time use, simply coordinate the use with the building coordinator. Building use should be for purposes that are in line with, or not opposed to the gospel. (e.g. baby showers, homeschool graduations, homeschool college nights.) The member requesting use of the building is responsible to open, clean and close the building. The member that uses the building should leave the building in better shape than he or she found it.
2. For intermittent multiple use, we ask that compensation be made for using a building for which no overhead has to be paid. The member requesting use of the building is responsible to open, clean and close the building. The building should be left in better shape than it was found..
3. For annual multiple use, we ask that a request be submitted annually. These will be considered on a case by case basis. In all cases, those using the building should ask how they will bless the New Covenant Fellowship for using a building for which they do not have to pay overhead. In some cases, a rent may be requested. The member requesting use of the building is responsible to open, clean and close the building. The entity that uses the building should leave the building in better shape than they found it.
4 For an organization connected with a member, for one time use to raise funds (e.g. for an event that is charging) , we ask that compensation be made for using a building for which no overhead has to be paid.The member requesting use of the building is responsible to open, clean and close the building. The entity that uses the building should leave the building in better shape than they found it.
5. The building will not be rented to those outside the church.
6. Other uses will be considered on a case by case basis.
7. Conflicts will be arbitrated by an elder and the building coordinator.
8. As of 11/2009, we are asking $100 for #2, #4.
As we grow larger, it is necessary to repeat and clearly state the values that the core has always held. The New Covenant Road is an example of that attempt to clearly state and repeat the progress we believe all Christians at New Covenant should make. I am working on posters for the wall. But as shepherds, please repeat these values and encourage people to take the next steps.
The New Covenant Road – Connect Grow Serve Go
Connect to Christ and earthly body.
1. Connect To Christ by repentance and faith in the gospel.
2. Connect To his Body by baptism and membership.
Grow to be like Christ
1. Grow in greater love with Christ through daily word and prayer.
2. Grow in greater love with Christ’s brothers and sisters in a small group.
3. Grow in greater love toward my immediate family.
Serve to build up this local body of Christ.
1. Serve in a “temple ministry.”
2. Serve in a “house to house” ministry.
3. Serve by discovering and deploying your spiritual gifts.
Go to be a witness for Christ
1. Go and take the gospel to my friends and neighbors.
2. Go and take the gospel to the nations.
3. Go and be the salt and light of the world.
- The aim of the counseling ministry is to extend the pastoral care of the elders through helping of individuals in the church.
- We believe counseling belongs in the local church (Rom 15). Outside counselors may, on occasion, supplement the counsel of the church.
- We believe the Scriptures are sufficient for counseling (2 Tim 3:16-17).
- We believe that those who counsel, do so under the authority of the elders. The elders are given the responsibility to care for the flock of God that is under their care. Therefore any counseling done in the church has as its purpose to extend the pastoral care of the elders.
- Ideally, men should counsel men and women should counsel women.
- The elders have been influenced by and are in general agreement with these training materials and organizations. They are expected to provide the theological and methodological basis of any ministry in this area.