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5 Qualities Of A Good Church Elder or Deacon

Here are five qualities of a good church elder or a church deacon according to biblical standards.

The Biblical Model

I don’t want to venture outside of the biblical qualifications of an elder or deacon so I am going to use the advice of Paul which was given in Titus chapter one and in 1st Timothy chapter three. These will be our guide and they should be upheld as the only qualifications that God seems fit to give us and that is good enough for me so I will base the five qualities of a good church elder or deacon on these Scriptures for if God deems them most important, then it is most important for me and I would assume for you too. For one thing, a deacon means a servant, minister, or attendant which is what the Greek word “diakonos” means, so first and foremost, a deacon or a church elder must be a servant of the church but here is what I read that both Titus chapter one and 1st Timothy chapter three mention.

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4 Obvious Warning Signs Your Church Is Understaffed

Here are 4 warning signs that show you are obviously understaffed at your church.

The Do-it-all Pastor

There is an old saying that I believe might be true; the top 10% of a church do 80% of the work but I would add, the 90% complain about the 20% that doesn’t get done. The most difficult thing about small churches is that they cannot afford to have fulltime employees and this presents a huge problem. There might be a lack of volunteers to help in doing the essential duties at the church. Things like cleaning the building, paying the bills, recording the collections or offerings and mailing out the offerings statements to church members at the beginning of the year for tax purposes, and making sure that the remaining things that need to be done are completed in a timely fashion. When there are few volunteers and fewer (or no) fulltime employees, we know who has to carry the bulk of the work at the church. It is the pastor. When the pastor finds himself doing most, if not all of the work at the church, then that is a serious warning sign that the church is understaffed and I can testify of such a situation. The church where I am pastor at is too small to have fulltime employees so typically I get to church early on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday evening Bible studies and I take out the trash, replace the toilet paper and paper towel rolls in the bathroom, vacuum the floors, do the dishes if there are any in the sink (and there usually are), and I also try to do some light maintenance. Thankfully we have an elder who does a lot of the yardwork and without him, I’m not sure this church would make it or if I would make it, so one of the most serious warning signs that I know of that a church is understaffed is when the pastor is the “do-it-all” pastor and he has to handle the bulk of the things needed to get done at the church. The risk of this of course is having a pastor that burn’s out or worse, leaves the church.

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5 Free Online Resources Pastors Need To Know About

Here are 5 online resources that I believe will help pastors and ones that they should know about.

Blue Letter Bible

This is one of the greatest resources that I have and it’s available free of charge on the Internet. It’s the website blueletterbible.org. This website is such a great resource. For one thing, the advertisements are carefully selected to be biblically related so you won’t find distasteful advertisements with unseemly images so you’re never distracted by them but that’s not the main reason I like it. Blue Letter Bible contains translations in the three languages in which the Bible was written in; the Old Testament as written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek and a small amount of Aramaic in both the Old and the New Testament so this website gives you the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic for each and every word in the Bible. This site also gives you all of the popular translations like the King James Version, the ESV, the NASB and many others so that’s a great advantage too but here’s the main reason why I love it. I looked up James 4:6 one day (in the ESV) which says “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The word “opposes” doesn’t do the Greek word justice because the Greek word for “opposes” is “antitassō” and it means “to range in battle with” or “to be at war with” so now you can read what James was really wanting to tell his readers; “God is at war with the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” That makes this verse much more meaningful, doesn’t it? All you need do on this website is type in the verse(s) of any book in the Bible and the chapter and verse(s) and it brings up a Strong’s translation link with the Strong’s page number and then you just click on that link and you’ll find what the original word in the Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic means. I love to use it in sermon preparation and Bible study. Blue Letter Bible (http://www.blueletterbible.org/) is one of the best resources that a pastor has.

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5 Struggles Bi-Vocational Pastors Face

Here are 5 struggles that many bi-vocational pastors face each and every day.

The Avalanche

Pastors that are bi-vocational and believe it or not, some are tri-vocational (with three or more jobs) the avalanche of work, the church, and family can easily bury them causing suffocating paralysis. It is basically a challenge of the clock. There are only so many hours in a day and only seven days in a week but the church still expects you to give sermons (including the preparation time), visit the sick, counsel those in marital conflicts or expecting pre-marital counseling, unexpected funerals providing grief counseling that follows, attending board meetings, and a host of other associated duties. Then there is the family with children’s activities (concerts, ballgames, award assemblies, birthdays, etc.) and hopefully, some time with the wife. Add to this the requirements of a job or jobs and the demands that this puts on them. If feels like for every foot of snow you dig out, ten more feet of snow comes down on you. There are times of exasperation where you feel you can barely keep your head above water and you are not necessarily getting anywhere but simply treading water. Just like in nature, job, home, church, activities can be like an avalanche where you get so buried that you feel hopeless in ever digging yourself out.

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Why Time Off Is So Vital For Pastors

What is time off so vital for pastors? What happens if they don’t get adequate time away from the church?

Doesn’t Everybody Need a Vacation?

I was once told by a man that pastors don’t need vacations because they have six days before Sunday to relax but I told this man that the average pastor works between 50 and 70 hours and for bi-vocational pastors, it is even worse. Then I asked him, “Do you take vacations?” and of course he said yes “But that’s not the same!” I asked why. He didn’t really give me a good answer but only tried to justify himself why he needed vacations but not pastors. Everyone else gets to take a paid vacation so why shouldn’t a pastor take one? In fact, he better if he knows what’s best for him, his family, and his church. The sad fact is that most get few vacations and few days off.

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