25 September, 2022

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Fellowship of Elders

by | 16 September, 2021

A committee devoted to strengthening the elderships of our churches formed in 1942 and sponsored a series of columns in Christian Standard throughout 1943. We’ll share a few paragraphs from an introductory article that appeared in December 1942, followed by an “Elder’s Achievement Chart” for purpose of self-examination that most elders should find interesting.

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We launch a new department—

The Fellowship of Elders

Edward M. Eldridge of Cincinnati, Chairman
Aldis L. Webb of Cincinnati, Secretary
Dec. 12, 1942; p. 5

. . . [A] group of twenty-one elders at Christian Workers’ Week at Lake James decided something should be done to awaken the elders of local churches throughout the nation to the full sense of their responsibility as outlined in the New Testament. Growing out of the town-hall discussion of the educational responsibilities of the eldership, there came a conviction that in too many cases both the church and the elders themselves were unaware of the elders’ duties and that some kind of effort should be made to awaken all parties concerned to the gravity of such weakness.

A special session was called to discuss ways and means of challenging the eldership to a renewed sense of obligation to the functions of their office. After a lengthy and very earnest discussion, a special committee was appointed to . . . recommend some program of action to strengthen the eldership of our churches. This committee met at once.

A statement of principles was formulated and then a group of seven constructive suggestions, [which included forming] a Continuation Committee. . . .

The purpose was to avoid imposing any organization upon the elders, and to endeavor, instead, to draw the elders into a study of their functions and to draw out of them suggestions as to procedures and standards they might have.

To facilitate the study, a questionnaire was . . . given wide circulation among the elders throughout the nation. . . .

In order that elders may begin at once to examine themselves and to improve themselves for the functions laid upon them, certain books and pamphlets will be suggested to them for reading and study.

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Admittedly, it’s rather dry copy—but the “Elder’s Achievement Chart” in the center of the page surely was what most people looked at. We’ll share a photo reproduction of that chart along with a link to a downloadable pdf (in case you want to print a copy).

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Download the 1942 Elder Chart.

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

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