This is a good question, and you certainly don’t need a secret handshake or password to get answers. The Pastors Body of Morningview is YOUR Pastors Body; we are nominated to the office of elder by you and voted into our positions by you. We are accountable to you just as you are to us, and we serve you and shepherd you with the Word according to the call of God upon our lives. While we may need to guard the confidence of members that we are shepherding through crisis or discipline, almost all the other aspects of what we do are open to be known and attended by members of this church family.
That being said, we as the pastors want to give you a window into what we do in our meetings. I want to do that by walking you through what was on our most recent meeting agenda.
Item #1: Prayer — we always begin our meetings with prayer. We meet monthly and we pray for 1/12 of our membership every single month. This way, we will have prayed by name for the entire membership over the course of the year. We also pray for pertinent needs within our membership. At this last meeting, we spent an entire hour and a half in prayer.
Item #2: Devotion — right now, we are working through D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book “Preaching and Preachers” together. One of us presents an outline of one of the chapters each time we meet to foster discussion and the edification of one another in our roles as shepherds of the church. This usually takes around 30 minutes.
Item #3: Approval of minutes from the previous meeting — we keep a record of what we discuss just like we would in any business meeting. This serves as a reference point of what we have accomplished or decided and of what we may still need to revisit as matters of our leadership of the church.
Item #4: Accountability time for Pastoral Evangelism — Every time we meet, we emphasize evangelism by sharing with each other our evangelistic encounters from the past month and writing down the names of specific lost persons to pray for.
Item #5: Usually our most pressing matter of business — the one thing that MUST get done. This month, it was the discussion and approval of all of the candidates for Deacon and Pastor. Those men will now be put before the church body for congregational approval.
Item #6: Membership Discussion — at this point in the meeting, we discuss and approve those who are seeking membership at Morningview, we discuss our on-going efforts to follow-up with the few remaining inactive members, and we discuss active needs, crisis situations, and discipline cases among our membership. We are very careful about wanting to demonstrate both the love and the accountability of Christ in each of these situations, so this item often takes the largest portion of our meeting time.
Items #7 through #12: Pertinent Matters of Vision, Ministry, and Leadership — the kinds of things that we are currently discussing are Pastor Accountability and Reviews, the format for our upcoming annual Pastor’s Retreat, the ongoing discussion of designating our cooperative program giving, a discussion of our theology and practice of communion, the manner in which Legacy Leadership Ministries (Reid’s Ministry) will come under the auspices of Morningview Baptist, and finally, when our next meeting will be scheduled. There are often more items (at times we have had close to 20), and we often do not get to discuss all the items and have to table them until our next meeting. The shortest meeting we have ever had was four hours (which is rare), and the longest was almost seven hours.
That’s what your pastors do in our meetings on a monthly basis, and any member of Morningview is welcome to attend our meetings (though we must dismiss visitors when discussing the private needs/challenges of church families). Now that you know a little more about what we do, I hope you will pray for us more fervently. We are very mindful of the sacred responsibility that has been entrusted to us, and we want to be wholly dependent upon the grace of Christ in all we do.
I also want to let you know that at our next Business Meeting (Sunday evening, July 24th), we will offer a time where the congregation can ask any question about matters we are currently working on, you may ask any question that is on your heart, or you may suggest matters that you would like the pastor’s body to consider. I hope you will prayerfully consider how you can take part in this open forum with the pastors. I love you all dearly!