Paul exhorted the Ephesian elders with these words, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.” And in the next breath he warned, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”
While there is always some organic shepherding within the church, Stephens Valley Chapel is very intentional in our relationships between leaders and members.
Some think the primary task of an elder is to govern the church. While the elders retain ultimate oversight for our ministry at Stephens Valley Church we believe the primary task of the elder is to shepherd the flock. Decisions made by our elders’ Council will consequently be made in a relational context. We serve our people best when we know them well!
All of our elders are assigned a certain number of members whom they oversee. This oversight is exercised gently and pastorally, in love and with understanding. Some elders make monthly phone calls to their group. Others try to host their group in their homes. Still others like to meet for lunch and enjoy a meal together. Sometimes the elder and his group attend church functions together. Often elders make hospital visits if someone in their group is ill. This ministry increases communication and trust within the congregation and diminishes the idea that elders simply rule from a board room. All of this is done with a view to making our church more loving and caring by strengthening the bonds between the leaders and people.