Caring for Our Elder Leaders

A first step in building Elder Leadership might begin in caring for each others physical health. What if as a session we agreed that Paul’s quote, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own”, (1 Corinthians 6:19) applies both individually and in a corporate sense to the session as a body. As part of that holy care began with our physical health. Here might be a way to begin to address that concern.

Have a general discussion about the importance of caring for our physical bodies and the various actions that people take to address that such as exercise, how we eat, the amount of sleep we get, etc. With that general list in mind, distribute two 3 by 5 index cards to each elder, including the clergy. Enter into a time of silent prayer in which each is asked to reflect on and identify an action that they think if they did it regularly would contribute to their personal health. At the end of the prayer time, each writes that action on each of the cards but without their name and passes one of the cards in.

Next month, with the list compiled so that all can see the list, a new card is passed out. Again, without names, each is asked to rate themselves using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 representing complete success, as to how they have done this past month in taking the action that would contribute to their health. Each month, at their regular meeting, the same procedure is followed and a graph of success in each area is recorded. After each time of sharing there is a time of prayer in which the person rededicates him or herself to practicing heir designated action for the year.

This way the entire leadership of the session, including clergy and staff, are engaged in a communal effort to address the physical health in our faith journey. “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice toge3ther with it. (1 Corinthians 12:26)

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