I'm up in DC attending a "Weekender" at Capitol Hill Baptist where Mark Dever is the pastor. Last night was the elder's meeting. I got to sit in on it and observe what goes on in these meetings. We started at 6:30pm and didn't get out until midnight. For the first 2 hours, the 9 elders prayed for each other, prayed for the church, and prayed for their members. It was a glorious display of pastoral care. When they began to pray for the members, well all got out the church directory (which they update regularly). They went page by page and just lifted up specific people and specific situations. They did not rush to keep turning pages. They just prayed, and prayed, and prayed. After the members, they prayed for the children, and the staff, and the missionaries, and the former staff. Never have a seen that kind of pastoral care in a leadership meeting before.
Then, they talked specifically about particular members and and thier lives. They talked about who they had and had not seen in a while. They talked about marriages and jobs. Then, they went back to the directory and looked at all the members with the last name of "I." Each meeting they take a different letter of the alphabet and just talk about each member and how to benefit them spiritually.
Then, they got to the matters noramlly associated with a leadership meeting: missions, ministry, administration, etc. We were dismissed so they could continue talking into the morning hours.
Today, we will review the elder's meeting (I have lots of questions) and talk about the history of CHBC. We will also attend seminars, have a lecture on service planning, and end with attending their membership matters course tonight.
Have a great day and pray that I wouldn't buy too many books from the book stall.