Why don’t we have elders?

The city of Santa Cruz of Capibaribe is nestled in the hills of Pernambuco’s “agreste” region. It lies 190 km west of the State’s capitol Recife. With a population of 80,000 this city is at the center of the region’s textile industry. Most people here are involved, in one way or another, in putting clothes on people’s backs. But what really makes this place special is the congregation of God’s people, purchased by His Son’s sacrifice – the beachhead of His emerging Kingdom.

The title of this post comes from the seminar the church there hosted last month. They have over a hundred members and have been meeting for many years but still have never appointed elders. With this goal in view, the leadership invited the elders
from Recife’s downtown (Boa Vista) congregation to come and teach on how to go
about choosing and installing their first elders. They have two brothers who they believe are ready.

The trip there was very edifying. About 40 participated in their first rural Elder-Link seminar. A half a dozen congregations in the area were represented, including Belo Jardim. Ten of us went from Recife including all three elders, three of the deacons, Cicero (Paulista church) and two other brothers in training (one with his wife). We stopped on the way and visited a few of the rural congregations. Some of the group had heard of them but never seen them (as seen in photo above).

The seminar ran from Friday to Sunday. Most of the teaching was done by the three elders. An additional speaker was Maciel, the mature brother that runs the church
orphanage. The theme of the lessons was how the church chooses and appoints its
first elders. The Santa Cruz congregation that hosted the event has two men who
are being considered but the church doesn’t have an evangelist to lead in the
process. We plan to go back in the near future to help continue moving the process

Pray with us that God guides them in this process.

Meeting with the rural church in Caruaru, PE