Training Future Eldership

I am writing this from Lar Mana (our church sponsored orphanage) at the end of Elder-Link NE 2015 (annual seminar of Northeast Brazil’s for developing elderships). Everything went well. This may have the best turn out of the six to date. There were eighty participating (sixty men and twenty wives). Twenty congregations were represented, from as far away as Fortaleza (500 miles North). The lessons were based on John 13 and Jesus’ example of servant-hearted leadership.

The speakers included veteran missionary Joe McKinney, now serving as an elder in Joelton, TN; Mark White, missionary in Porto Alegre, South of Brazil; and Bio Nascimento, evangelist with the Sao Lourenço congregation(suburb of Recife).

Unfortunately, Bio had to leave abruptly. His father-in-law passed away Saturday night. Brother Zezinho, 73, was a faithful member of the Sao Lourenco congregation. He had been hospitalized for some time with heart problems. Bio was to give the final lesson Sunday morning about the role of Judas in John 13. However, he had to leave to help his wife make preparations for the funeral which was Sunday afternoon (by law the dead have to be buried within 24 hours as embalming is not common here).

I filled in for Bio as best I could on short notice. I talked about the need to protect our hearts as the devil tries especially hard to take down those with leadership responsibilities. At Bio’s suggestion I used King Uzziah’s example.

“So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God…” 2 Chronicles 26:15-16