Let's Go Back to the Bible

Covid and Churches Without Elders — Part Two

Where there are no elders to provide leadership, congregations are often directed simply by having the men of the church to “oversee” the church. The problem is that in such meetings there are many men who have not reached spiritual maturity and often do not have the church foremost in their lives. As matters are discussed, these men can speak and keep the church from going where the spiritually mature know it should go. The “vote” and influences of the immature rule the church.

This can so easily happen now as Covid seems to be behind us. It is time, or soon will be, that we all remember what it was like two years ago and return to what we once did to develop the church—meeting twice on Sundays, midweek Bible studies, VBS, church dinners, gospel meetings, singings and so many other activities. Let me urge every male member in congregations without elders to take these matters very seriously.

We may think that until these decisions are made there is little we can do. The rest of this article will seek to address what every member—young and old, male and female—can do right now to help the church recover. We can all focus on those who have not yet returned and ask God to help us.    

I am not talking about programs to make it happen. I am calling on each of us to help those who once came to come back to the church. Think of those who once worshiped, even if only one time each month, who no longer are there. What can we do? What influence can we have on them?

Remember the words of Paul as you deal with them. “You who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). Put yourself in their place and use words of kindness and concern, not words of shame and guilt, in all you say. Each one will be different so there is not one unchanging way to bring them back. Pray that God will give you wisdom—and divine wisdom speaks of gentleness and kindness.

Why not go to their house, or when you see them elsewhere, and invite them to come to your house to share a meal? Let them be reminded by this association of what they may not even know they had missed. Invite just a few of their closest friends to be there. The major topic of the evening is not their coming back. Listen carefully to what they say about how they dealt with Covid, and let them know they are being missed and how deeply you feel about them. Jesus was compassionate and put Himself in our place to bring us to the Father. This is only the beginning place, but every one of us can do this, compassionately. Can you think of the next steps that would get them back?