To the Congregation on the Occasion of Ordaining & Installing New Elders & Deacons

by Ruling Elder Steve Powell (originally delivered to the congregation at the 9:00 a.m. service on March 7, 2021)

My privilege today is to share some words of encouragement to you the congregation regarding this occasion. And I want to do this in the context of our purpose here at Spriggs Road.

Our purpose as a church is to glorify God by extending the kingdom of Jesus Christ over all individual lives through all areas of society and in all nations and cultures. To accomplish this, we (as a body) seek to work out the essential elements needed in Christian discipleship as they are summarized in acts 2:42. We seek to be continually growing in vital worship, in theological depth, in true fellowship, in bold evangelism and in deeds of compassion. 

Now with this purpose as a backdrop you should be very encouraged that the Lord has provided these men to help lead and coordinate all the supporting ministry activities of this congregation in those key areas. But notice I did not say these men will “do” all the supporting ministry activities for this congregation.  

This is important to understand since ministry is not a “spectator sport.” All of us have a role to play in advancing the people of God toward maturity in Christ and all have been gifted in some way for working collectively toward that goal.  So, in the final analysis, Christian ministry is designed to involve every member. And as leaders we need everyone to join with us in implementing and sustaining the vital ministries.

I want to give you some key words that involve action on your part.   I encourage you to listen and reflect on these words as you consider your relationship with us as elders and deacons and what your supporting role is here at Spriggs Road Presbyterian Church.  I have chosen to use the letters from our church name abbreviation SRPC to highlight those key words.   

The first group of action words begin with S:

Sharpen – Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. In Old Testament times, one iron blade was used to sharpen another blade until both became more effective tools. This is an important relational concept involving mutual accountability and strengthening. So, help us to build relationships that will sharpen all of us.

Support – Consider all the areas of ministry and the array of tasks involved in those areas and think about all the ways you can support the leadership team as well as each other.  And also take some time ask us about opportunities to serve.  We will be glad to give you feedback about opportunities. 

Serve – Think about how you have been gifted and how you might come alongside us in serving the body here. Then make a commitment. Remember, the Lord uses service as a key part of our sanctification process. 

Next are the action words beginning with R:

Reach out – be proactive and engage us, talk to us, text us, email us or whatever works best for you.

Recommend ideas and solutions in support of the ministry. Give us your perspectives and concerns.

Responsibility – take responsibility for being part of the solution.  The deacons always need help in their key ministry areas so be proactive and volunteer.

Next are the action words beginning with P:

Partner and Participate – join with us and many others in supporting our ministry activities.

Pray – please pray for us and our families.  This is so important to us.  We are not supermen.  We need your prayers and we value them.

And finally, are the action words beginning we C:

Connect – connect and communicate with us, not only to give us feedback, but to ask about us, to encourage us, and to share your requests with us.

Comfort and care – We, along with our families, will often need the caring and comforting support of others.  Recent examples.

Quick Summary Take some time to think and reflect on these words.   They are important.

  1. Sharpen
  2. Support
  3. Serve
  4. Reach out
  5. Recommend
  6. Take responsibility
  7. Partner and Participate
  8. Pray
  9. Connect
  10. Comfort and care

And in conclusion – on behalf of the elders and the deacons let me say that we are deeply thankful for all of you and for how you support us.