“Elders: the Disciples’ Great Advantage!”
A Workshop for Elders
As a church consultant, and having served as executive for a national ecumenical organization, I have had the opportunity to see how many different denominations are organized. My appreciation for our Disciples’ lay office of elder has grown through the years. In a time when people want to be equipped to do ministry, not simply pay for someone else to do ministry in their name, we have a terrific advantage! This workshop will briefly look at the history of the office of elder, the amazing relevance of the office of elder for the 21st century, and practical, Bible-based advice on how to strengthen yourself as an elder and your congregation’s group of elders, the relationship between pastor and elders, dealing with conflict, and the implications of cultural and generational shifts. There will also be time for sharing ‘elder best practices” as participants will be invited to share what has been working best for them (feel free to bring hand-outs, if you wish!).
Dick is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served congregations for 25 years in Indiana, Kansas and Missouri. He has served in rural, exurban, urban and suburban settings and has been an associate minister, founding pastor of a new church, and senior minister of a multiple staff. Dick served as Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tennessee (1990-1993. He served as General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada from 1993 to 2003. He served from 2007 – 2012 as the first Executive Director of Christian Churches Together in the USA, a new and very broad ecumenical organization that includes 36 communions from five “families.” Dick is the author of three books, 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and From Mainline to Front Line and Recreating The Church: Leadership For The Post-Modern Age. Dick has written and spoken extensively on the subject of church renewal and transformation and coaches and consults with congregations, middle judicatories, denominational agencies and other church organizations. Dick is a Ministry Partner of The Columbia Partnership www.TheColumbiaPartnership.org . Dick is also part of an interfaith effort to improve relations between Pakistan and the United States, sponsored by Intersections (a ministry of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City). As part of this effort he has traveled in Oman and Pakistan. He is married to Mindy. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.