"Session" Update – August 2014

By Ward Shope

So what is “the Session” at New Life anyway? If you didn’t grow up Presbyterian, the word “session” is often modified by the previous word – as in “training” session or “counseling” session. Well, counsel is taken at “session meetings.” But simply put, the Session is the group of men called “elders” who have been elected by the congregation to guide our church. We have 17 elders who are active in Session meetings at the current time, but that number can rise or fall. And we are actively looking for others to put before the congregation to join us in sharing the responsibilities.

Our Session is divided into two teams. The Strategic team concentrates on the areas of ministry vision, personnel, finances, and other governing matters. In the last few years, the Strategic Team has taken the lead in the process of hiring Todd, Tim, Joshua, Anthony and Beth Anne to join our ministry staff. This hiring is tied to the vision of New Life which was articulated in the Vision Booklet. Click here to review that booklet.

The Shepherding Team is responsible for the spiritual care of the congregation and general oversight of its ministries. Spiritual care includes the areas of growth in discipleship, as well as the care of members in crisis, or pursuing those who are drifting away from the church – which may signify drifting from faith. The Shepherding Team is spending significant time on identifying ways we can encourage people to move more deeply into relationship with Jesus and other believers. While we are thankful there is growth in worship attendance at New Life, we continue to see involvement in a home group as a primary means to deeper growth in Jesus. We also encourage the development of other small-group experiences and involvement in ministry. Inviting believers and their families into these smaller activities allows us to know one another more deeply, encourage one another in growth and ministry, and to look out for each other in troubled times. Not being involved keeps believers isolated from the resources other believers can provide for them.

Each month, New Life Notes will provide a quick look into a current Session item to help you understand how the elders are seeking to guide our body of Christ at New Life.