The Elders met this past Monday. It was our pleasure to be joined by Jimmie Massie, a mentored-ministry student and co-leader of our College Ministry, who observed our meeting as part of his degree program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After solving our most pressing problem (where to meet – there were too many of us to fit in Bobby’s office), we devoted most of the meeting to two topics.
- Our Connect Ministry currently has two main components. Connect I provides a way for those visiting or new to NSCBC to get to know us better. Connect II is designed to guide people through the membership process. There continues to be a need, however, for something to help people (those new to the church and those who have been here a while) who are wanting to find a place of service within our church and/or outside the church that fits their giftedness and disposition. Marcia Kercher met with us to talk through what this could look like and to share some ideas about doing this. Following our discussion we appointed several Elders to continue the dialog with Marcia and the Deacons.
- We next turned our attention to plans for an Elder/Deacon retreat. Tentatively planned for April 29 – May 1, this retreat will provide significant time for us to accomplish two tasks: (1) deepen the working relationship between the two boards so that we may work together more effectively and mutually support each other more fully, and (2) set a vision and define goals for the next one to three years at NSCBC.
Our meetings start with a short devotional and prayer. The one for Monday’s meeting came from My Utmost for His Highest, the daily devotional by Oswald Chambers. It described the joy a surfer finds in huge waves that would seem daunting to most people. Chambers then connected this to the challenges we often face in our faith, claiming “The saint never knows the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation – but because of it.” Thinking about it today led me to ask myself the question: What sort of things do I want to avoid because they’re hard or maybe a little scary? I’m an introvert and sometimes struggle with a stutter, so speaking in front of people is something that can be difficult for me; even now I usually find it exhausting. So what business do I have being a college math professor? The answer is simple: I really enjoy teaching. I find great joy in helping students understand mathematics, especially those times when they come to a new and deeper understanding that lets them see the world around them in a different way. The thrill of that joy is worth the cost: Something I find really hard to do has become the medium for me to experience great joy. My prayer for NSCBC today is that we would look forward with great anticipation to where the Lord is leading us, trusting that when we face uncomfortable situations or challenging opportunities, we will push through and find unexpected joy in having done so.