Training Church Officers

Training Church Officers

Happy indeed is the minister whose church officers are 100 percent interested in their assigned tasks and are willing at all times to learn the very best ways of carrying them out.

By Francis D. Buckle, Secretary-Treasurer of the North England Conference

Happy indeed is the minister whose church officers are ioo per cent interested in their assigned tasks and are willing at all times to learn the very best ways of carrying them out. His lot will greatly differ from that of Paul, who had added to his other misfortunes "the care of all the churches."

Good officers can relieve the pastor of many burdens, leaving him free to search for those "other sheep . . . not of this fold," and bring them in. Members will be contented and co-operative with good officers at the helm. It is a mistake either to blame or to praise the worker entirely for the condition of the ordinary church member­ship. The church officers merit the greater por­tion of the comments either way.

Ideal officers are worth their weight in gold. But the ideal officer is not born. Some develop­ment and friendly guidance is needed. Training is essential. It is the size of the task to be per­formed that decides the manner and extent of the training required. So to begin with, the trainer needs to visualize the large scope of each office.

Every week is made up of 168 hours. Probably less than eight of these hours will be spent in church. The members spend twenty times as long outside church as in, and it is there that their Christianity needs molding. Our Saviour said, "By this shall all men know that ye are My dis­ciples, if ye have love one to another." For how many hours of the week are the church officers expected to show their love for those under their care? Three on Sabbath and one at the midweek service? Church officers have as their first duty the very important task of becoming interested in and concerned for the membership. Church routine is an incidental form of service, secondary to the human touch.

Lack of visiting and interest in its membership is losing the Church of England an amazing num­ber of members. The churches are emptying for that reason more than any other. Let us not follow suit. Before all else train all the officers to know how the members are faring in private life and to show an interest in them. Sabbath school super­intendents and teachers are expected to miss their members if not in the classes, and to do something about it as a matter of course, but every officer should also be aware of the absences and be in­formed of the need. The church clerk can be a clearing house for information. Deacons and deaconesses should be chosen for sympathy and visiting capacity. If the minister will organize to this end, taking less-experienced officers with him on some visits as part of their training, blessing will come to the church.

For routine matters a little training may be needed. The best time to deal with this will be at the time of the first appointment of an officer. I have been amazed at how little instruction is sometimes offered to these new hands when they take over. Treasurers, clerks, and secretaries are dis­heartened at the outset if a parcel of books is thrust into their hands, with a cold remark from the re­tiring officer, "Here are your books." The impli­cation is, "Sink or swim," whichever you prefer!

Would it not be more profitable, and certainly kinder, for the minister to get the changing offi­cers together and personally help them hand over, seeing that the new officers have a chance to ask all the questions they want to ask? This involves an understanding of each office by the pastor him­self, or he may misguide instead of being helpful.

Young officers are usually easier to handle in training. They are willing to learn, adaptable, quick to recognize the principles involved, and to fit details into their right places. It does not bull up the church life to appoint or retain those wh are past learning, simply to make them feel happy. The business and clerical offices should be in the hands of persons accustomed to handling business or young enough to learn.

If request is made in sufficient time by the church clerk or treasurer, those at the conference office are usually glad to help if at all possible. If word comes from you immediately after nomination is voted—about the end of November—we stand a better chance of helping than if our first intima­tion comes during the early days of January when we are stuck almost as by glue to our desks on year-end work.

It is an absolute truth that to save trouble later on, one should anticipate trouble early. We sug­gest that if the ministry wishes to be free from routine, free of the distraction of putting right the mistakes made by the church officers through ignorance, the earlier they are sure that the new officers understand the principles of their new tasks, the better.

Advertisement - Ministry in Motion 300x250

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By Francis D. Buckle, Secretary-Treasurer of the North England Conference

October 1944

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Let Us Preach for a Verdict!

What are you trying to do in your preaching?

Word to the "Little Flock"—No. II

Our continued look at this writing of Ellen White.

Music and the Minister

The monthly music of the message column.

Greek Temporal Elements in Revelation 9:15

The study of New Testament Greek is vital to a fuller understanding of the New Testament truths.

Meeting Science With Science

Today, more than ever before, the Bible in­structor comes in contact with the believers of evolution and modernism. How do we meet these challenges?

Adaptation to Catholics

Although there is but one gospel and one in Jesus, nevertheless different ways and methods of approach are required if we expect to win souls for Christ from different creeds and re­ligious convictions, such as Roman Catholics.

Meeting Changed Conditions in Evangelism—No. I

How can I most effectively reach the people with God's message under the rapidly changing con­ditions of our day?

A Sacrifice for Victory

Mission, Problems and Methods.

Blessing and Dedicating Babies

It is nearly fourteen years since my attention was first called to the practice of publicly blessing infants in some Seventh-day Adventist churches.

Panoramic Display of Majors Beasts of Prophecy

In this contribution on evangelistic techniques for illustrating truth, the experimentation and experience of years have been gathered together, R. Allan Anderson, associate secretary of the Ministerial Association, and of the editorial staff of the Ministry, has labored as an evangelist in a number of different countries and has had opportunity to observe the methods of many men.

What Can We Do for the Alcoholic?

The monthly Medical Missionary article.

Witnessing in Our Sanitariums

What can make a chaplain's heart more grateful than to hear expressions of appreciation for what our sanitariums are striving to accom­plish?

The Minister and Medical Matters

Within the past few years there has been a growing realization of the interlocking re­lationship existing between religion and health. Here's how minister's can take advantage of this information.

What Shall We Preach and When?

Radio evangelism in action

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (160x600)