I'll never forget this line from Francis Shaffer's book.   How then shall we live?

This little book is talking about living in a new way.   Let's look at something that has been overlooked.  This is a key...

What was one of the things that Paul left Titus to set up in the community of believers?   

He told Titus to appoint 'elders'. 

Now, Paul and Titus lived in a tribal type society and elders there, as in other tribal societies, were the individuals who earned their role as leaders by their character and demonstrated service to the community.  We've converted the term 'elder' into various types of understanding from someone who serves communion to the right hand men that serve with the pastor and more.

But, I think we are in a time when we need to do what Titus did:

We need to call together patriarchs and matriarchs across communities who have earned their place through their character and demonstrated their service.  These are the people who can help change our direction.  The kingdom of darkness is advancing.  We need to advance the Kingdom across entire communities.   

Has this been done before?  Yes and no.  The author is familiar with some areas where shadows of this approach have been taken and resulted in significant impacts to communities.   However, since there hasn't been a simple manual and a simple plan, things in the past tended to get complex and organized to the point of death.  

The early believers were knit together by a commitment to love each other and shared standards.   

Here is a lesson from life...   communities that are held together with commitment, shared identity and shared standards can last for generations.  Look at the Jewish people.   

This is also a lesson from life...  once a group becomes a formal organization, it begins the journey from birth to death.   

Just keep the patriarchs and matriarchs should work together as councils.  With these leaders, as with others, we need to hold the leaders accountable to living righteous lives.   

Patriarchs and matriarchs, as councils, along with the community of Christ followers need to work together with a shared identity that comes from shared standards. 

Standards are principles we live by.  If you haven't guessed it already, this is what this handbook is all about. 

Check out, www.kingdomstandards.com for the encapsulation of simple standards from this book. 

We have already discovered that to win a game, we need skill.   In every community, among these patriarchs and matriarchs will be those who have the skills needed to equip people for service.   How do we know this is true?   Because Ephesians says that Christ himself places these people in the body to equip us for works of service.   Can we trust that Jesus has made provision for our community?  Yes!

Let's call these folks a council of patriarchs and matriarchs and ask them to do this....

1)  Offer their service to equip others.  Let's be specific.  at least 2-4 hours per week.   It's hard to accomplish much of anything with less time than that.  

2)  Let's be honest - many churches and ministries are missing out on the basics.  We went over the 7 things we should be devoting ourselves to

Love God, Love our neighbor, Make Disciples, Apostle's teaching (Biblical Literacy, time in the word), Fellowship, Breaking of Bread, Prayer.   

Here's an idea whose time has come.   How about these patriarchs and matriarchs, some will be leaders of churches and ministries, share how they are doing with these things we should be devoting ourselves to and stir other Christian leaders across the community to do the same? 

Next Chapter:  Playing the Game


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