The Elders Service Team has continued its mission to help churches appoint elderships in churches all over the world. In the last few years, there have been elderships appointed in several families of churches outside of the United States. This trend is continuing as three new elders were appointed in Bangalore, India in April. There are also plans for appointing elders in Kenya and Sao Paulo, Brazil in the coming months.
Every member of the service team contributed to a new book titled Church Building Elderships: Godly Qualities that Produce Great Churches with Wyndham Shaw and Al Baird as the editors. Each elder contributed to an aspect of the eldership process from training men to be elders, explaining the biblical roles of an elder, researching the spiritual and emotional qualities needed to be an elder, and suggesting a process to appointing and growing an eldership. The men contributing to the book have over 500 years of experience as disciples with over half of those years while serving as elders. God has used all of this experience to provide a tool to help churches all over the world in the quest to mature the church and appoint elders as God raises up men for that task.
One goal of the service team for the past few years has been to find men who have the experience and desire to serve on this team from churches outside the United States. In the past we have been able to have elders join the service team from Hong Kong and Nigeria, but we now also have added Oleksii and Tonya Kravets from the Ukraine to represent Eastern Europe. We also added Luis Mendez from the San Diego Church, who was instrumental in helping train and appoint elders in the Mexico City Church in 2018. We are looking to expand the non-United States participation on this service team as new elders mature and grow to be able to participate in the world-wide overview that is needed for our discussions and plans.
We also have experienced the loss of two of our members in the last year. We will miss these two and all the ways they have inspired and encouraged us.
After many years of service and touching the hearts of disciples who now live all around the world, Gloria Baird left us last summer after a long battle with cancer. Gloria touched the lives of so many, directly and indirectly. She was a person of great faith and insight and the way she lived continues to influence so many.
Then on May 10, 2019, Luis Mendez went to be with the Lord after serving as an elder and evangelist for the San Diego Church for many years. He had only been on the service team for a short time, but his faith, enthusiasm and insight had been felt and appreciated.
Please continue to pray for Wyndham Shaw as he battles a progressive disease that is robbing him of his ability to serve as an elder in Boston and on the service team. Pray for Jeanie, the family and the Boston Church as they give the care and love needed during this very difficult time. Wyndham and Jeanie’s insight and experience are missed greatly as they take this journey of faith.
The Elders Service Team continues to work towards the goal of unity and works closely with the Unity Task Force under the ICOC 2.1 proposal. One of the methods we are focusing on is providing insight and training for conflict resolution in our families of churches. This is in the early stages of development, but we see this as one way the elders can assist churches as Satan attacks our unity in individual churches, families of churches and our worldwide brotherhood.
Chairman: Walter Evans (Philadelphia)
Eldership Development: Al Baird (Phoenix), Oleksii Kravets (Kiev)
Marriage and Family: Frank Kim (Denver)
Conflict Resolution: Larry Craig (New York), Walter Evans (Philadelphia)
Unity: Darren Gauthier (Chicago), Jerry Sugarman (Los Angeles)
Prayer and Comfort: Bill Hooper (Dallas), Imagbe Igbinoba (Lagos)
Minutes and Communication: John Brush (Miami), Dan Liu (Hong Kong)