Counsel of Chalcedon
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Have You Hugged Your Elder Today? Loving Shepherding in the Church

The Christian community is inundated with books about relationships. But there is one relationship about which Christian authors are silent. And tragically, this relationship is one of the most important in the Christian life. I am speaking of the Christian's relationship with his elders. This is an important subject about which the New Testament has an enormous amount to say. Few Christians, however, understand the importance of developing a biblical relationship with their elders, and even less know how to do so. It is no exaggeration to say that the failure of Christians to involve their elders regularly and joyfully in their lives has led to inconsistent Christian living, the breakdown of the Church's piety, influence, and worship, and in congregations of Christians around the world who have no biblical concept of the role the elders are to play in the life of a Christ-centered Church. Often a family sees its elder only when a crisis arises, they want to baptize a baby, or they seek to leave one congregation in favor of another.