From the Editor. One of the most important things that ministers and elders do is officer training. The recognition of God’s gifts and calling for church office is directly related to the issue of maturity. This has ceased to be an ideal in our culture. We need to make sure that it remains an ideal for the church.
The cover photo this month is an original Japanese brush painting by my mother, Barbara Reynolds Gould. She went to be with the Lord at age 91 on the Lord’s Day, April 21, 2013. We had planned to have Job 25:19 engraved on her grave stone: “I know that my Redeemer liveth;” and on the morning she died C. H. Spurgeon’s morning devotion was on this verse. This nicely ties officer training and dealing with grief together. The loss that death deals us must never be underestimated or glossed over, but the grief of the Christian is never without the hope that our Lord has gifted us with in the gospel. Brad Winsted provides us with the conclusion of his chronicle of grief in “A Road of Grief, Part 3.”
As for the importance of officer training, my mother’s Japanese technique requires great skill, care, and craftsmanship. So should be the quality of our training, because, when it is done well, the product is truly beautiful, adorning the church with servants of Christ. Pastor William Shishko has trained many officers over the decades of his ministry. I hope you will benefit from his wisdom in his article “Organic Officer Training.” Pastor Francis VanDelden gives a very practical way of assessing elders in “Elder Self-Evaluation.”
Andy Wilson reviews a helpful new book on covenant theology by Michael Brown and Zach Keele, Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored. Pam Malkus reviews an unusual book whose title beckons us to read the book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.
Finally, don’t miss our monthly poem by George Herbert, a man, like his Savior, who was acquainted with grief.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds
FROM THE ARCHIVES “ELDER, DEACON, OFFICER TRAINING”
Subject Index Vols 1–20
- “Indians, Farmers, and Church Officers.” (Larry Wilson) 5:4 (Oct. 1996): 79–80.
· “A Training Course for Elders and Deacons [part 1].” (John R. Hilbelink) 2:1 (Jan. 1993): 3–15.
· “A Training Course for Elders and Deacons [part 2].” (John R. Hilbelink) 2:2 (Apr. 1993): 27–37.
· “Biblical Qualifications for Elders.” (Archibald Alexander Allison) 3:4 (Oct. 1994): 80–96.
· “Qualifications for Ruling Elders: An Historical Survey.” (Mark R. Brown) 10:3 (Jul. 2001): 65–66.
· “A Training Program for Elders.” (Gregory Reynolds & William Shishko) 10:3 (Jul. 2001): 55–58.
· “Avoiding the Dangers of Distance in Officer Training.” (Gregory Edward Reynolds) 15 (2006): 19–21.
· “A Proposed Job Description for a Deacon.” (A. G. Edwards III) 4:1 (Jan. 1995): 3–5.
· “A Training Program for Deacons” (William Shishko) 6:3 (Jul. 2000): 62–70.
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.