A Treatise on the Eldership
J. W. McGarvey  (1870)



      In a former section of this treatise, we mentioned the necessity of regular and frequent meetings of the Eldership of the church, in order to efficiency in the discharge of their duties. It is impossible that a work, requiring the united wisdom, watchfulness and activity, of a plurality of men, can be successfully accomplished without frequent, and often protracted consulations. The members of a business firm, even if they are engaged in a [75] comparatively small business, find such consulations necessary; and the regularity with which the directors of banks, insurance companies, and corporations of like character, hold their meetings, is very well known. How, then, can it be expected that the Elders of a church, who have the interests of many precious souls under their care, will be able to dispense with such meetings? The thought is preposterous: and consequently, we find that in all churches which are characterized by faithful discipline, such meetings are regularly held. In many of our large city churches, the Elders find it necessary to meet at least once a week, and to often spend several hours together in consultation. It is probable that there is no Eldership, even in very small congregations, who would not find occasion for weekly meetings, if they were fully alive to all the duties of the office: but when less frequent meetings are found sufficient, let them, of course, be adopted.

      In these meetings some regular mode of procedure should be adopted, by which all business should be attended to in order, and nothing neglected. Reports will be heard concerning efforts to reclaim the wandering and to check the wayward. Reports, also, of new cases which have arisen, demanding the attention of the Elders. Questions in reference to all the details of the church's work will be settled, and the details of labor distributed according to the ability and adaptedness of each Elder. And lest the combined watchfulness of all the official Board should have allowed some case of delinquency to escape notice, the names on the church book will be called over in regular rotation, and the spiritual condition of each member inquired into. By this means, [76] the Elders will be constantly reminded of duties which might be forgotten, and constantly stimulated to the discharge of duties which might be neglected.

[ATOTE 75-77]

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