Lone Hill Church is led by a Council of Elders who lead under the Headship of Christ. The God’s Word, the Bible, is our guide as we seek the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Council at this time is made up of three elders: Rick Fedelem, Dave Baker, and Pastor Ray Stamps. Rick is a retired architect and has served as an elder for more than 10 years. Dave is a general contractor and has served for the last two years. Each has sensed God’s calling to this vital ministry.

The Elders’ Mandate

Here are some the Scriptures that reflect the responsibilities of an elder’s ministry.

Heb. 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

Acts 20:28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

1 Thess. 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

1 Pet. 5:1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Acts 6:4 "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

The Elders’ Vision

What is it that elders should be working to accomplish in the life of each member of Lone Hill Church? The answer to this question resulted in our vision statement: “that each member of Lone Hill would be continuously glorying in Christ and living in His presence through faith, worship, and obedience.” Colossians 1:26-28 reflects this goal of living in the presence of the Lord.

Col. 1:26 ...has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.

The Elders’ Ministry

The elders’ ministry is characterized by a number of analogies. They are to be physicians for the souls of the Church, shepherds caring for God’s flock. Their medicine is the Gospel, the cross of Christ, teaching the saints to be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian’s soul, though saved, only can attain health by living in the presence of our Lord. He is the only one who can give life and health and all things (Jn. 15:5). Distanced from our Lord we become spiritually sick, confused in the understanding of God’s will and leading in our lives, burdened, anxious, bitter, conformed to the world, feeling unloved, and alone. Our lights become dimmed to a pinprick, and our saltiness is reduced to a hardly recognizable tang. Thus, the task of the elders is to shepherd and care for the Church, so that they are nurtured and equipped to cultivate their own personal experience of continuously living in the presence of Christ.

It is in this experience of Christ’s abiding presence that we find His strength by which we can do all things (Phil. 4:13). It is in Christ’s presence that we hear His call to “Follow Me” (Mk. 1:17). It is in His presence that we cease to fear, to be anxious, to feel alone, and we experience His encouragement (Jn. 14:1), His peace (Jn. 16:33), and His fellowship (Rev. 3:20). It is Christ’s presence which is the dynamic of changed lives.

Elders are to plant and water (1 Cor. 3:6). They are to set the table and make sure that there is plenty of healthy spiritual food to nourish the experience. They are to rightly divide the Word of Truth. They are to preach and teach the Word of God. They are ministers of the Gospel. They pray for the Church and continually minister the Word of Christ. They are to guard against any intrusion of a false gospel or false teaching of any kind which would confuse the Church or pervert the true Gospel that alone has been given the power to save. They must equip and instruct and counsel and encourage, as well as, correct and reprove. They are to keep reminding the Church to keep their eyes on Christ and Christ alone.

Yet, in the end, they know that only the Spirit of God illuminates the heart (1 Cor. 2:12-13), renews the mind (Rom. 12:2), convicts the soul (Jn. 16:8) and transforms lives (2 Cor. 3:18). Only God causes the growth (1 Cor. 3:6). The elders must know that their job is faithfully to shepherd the flock of God, while they also know that the results are the work of God (Phil 2:13). It is Jesus who said, “I will build My Church” (Mt. 16:18). Thus, the elders must remind one another and the Church to pray for the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ in His absence (Lk. 11:13; Jn. 14:16-17, 20). They must call the Church to be filled with His Spirit (Eph. 5:18). They must call the Church to the means of grace which lead us into the experience of Christ’s presence.

The activities and life of the Church must be structured around those means of grace which have been gifted to the Church by which we experience Christ’s presence. That is what real worship is – entering into the presence of Christ (Mt. 18:20), glorying in the wonder of who He, and believing the Gospel (Rev. 5:9-10). It is gathering around the Lord’s Table to commune with Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-17; Lk. 24:35). We are to pray in faith through which we enter into God’s presence, boldly, confidently to approach His throne of grace (Heb. 4:16; Mt. 6:6). To hear and read His Word is to hear Him speak to us, and in hearing Him speak we enter His presence (Lk. 24:44-45).

The elders are to exhort each saint to worship more deeply, to receive the Lord’s Supper more seriously, to daily seek the Lord’s face in prayer and reading and receiving of God’s Word. We want each to know that the secret of a victorious Christian life is found in experiencing the continuous presence of Christ in your life. Only by experiencing Christ’s abiding presence are we positioned to grow, to be strengthened by His grace, to flourish, to become all that we can be in Christ.

This is the goal and ministry of the elders to the Church. This we seek to do.

Ray, Rick, and Dave