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CAN WE SPOT A LOST SHEEP ?......


Queen Esther
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There you have it then. People who don't hand in 10 hours on a report probably wouldn't visit the sick and the elderly. The correlation is obvious. Except in the real world it's not like that. I've personally seen pioneers talk about "Sister so-and-so who we haven't seen", and then drive straight pass their house in order to make sure they get their "time in".

The doctor analogy is poor in this case.

Did Jesus "go in blind"? No.

Did Jesus use metrics? No

Did Jesus get to know people personally? Yes

And before you pull the "but Jesus can read hearts" line, yes he can. But that doesn't mean that we would be unable to know people personally without metrics. In fact often times people in the congregation will know a lot more about a person's spirituality than the elders if the elders are looking at record cards and others are giving personal attention.

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CAN  WE  SPOT  A  LOST  SHEEP ?...... When she comes on Sunday, she is usually quite late. Is she baptized or inactive is the question for debate. Few people try to know her and some wonder and stare. No one tries to dig down deep to see who's really there. In her purse is a funeral program that is ragged around the ears. It is yellow and quite wrinkled and has been soaked with many tears. She's looked at it quite often and knows the resurrection hope. But she still mourns her daughter, and

It is not rocket science of course. Unfortunately there exist some members of the congregation who are a little "different" and because of that don't get included, and sometimes get outright ignored by the majority. A brother once told me about his wife and two sons. His wife had severe depression, but despite that, would come and sit at the back of the hall. From what he said, I gathered the friends pretty much ignored her. Maybe because they just didn't know what to say to her. Maybe because s

For whatever it is worth, when I was an elder, I kept my own personal check list of all attendees. During the course of the meeting I would discreetly (I hope) look about and place a check/no check by everyone's name. It is too easy to fall through the cracks when there are many things to occupy one's attention. To the extent possible, I wished to avoid that. I stopped serving for a variety of reasons and forgot all about my lists. Two decades later, I visited my daughter's congregation and

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I'd certainly recognize that what is being discussed varies quite a bit from congregation to congregation. Some elder bodies are more "rules and metrics" oriented than others.

In fact observing the differences between those if you've moved around a bit helps you to see which approach actually does the most practical good.

By the way I'm not criticizing someone who makes a note of someone who's missing from the hall with the intent to kindly check-up if they're okay. It's the idea of measuring someone's spiritual worth by numbers on a record card that creates a whole different paradigm to first century Christianity.

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1 hour ago, PeterR said:

I've personally seen pioneers talk about "Sister so-and-so who we haven't seen", and then drive straight pass their house in order to make sure they get their "time in

You don't know whether they drove past to get their time in, or because they didn't want to come unannounced. What do you know, maybe one of them went home and contacted sister so and so later. Personally, I would not want someone just popping in impromptu, especially if there is more than one person. A phone call, and maybe an appointment would be much better. You are just being critical, without knowing facts.

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36 minutes ago, Anna said:

Personally, I would not want someone just popping in impromptu, especially if there is more than one person. A phone call, and maybe an appointment would be much better.

Surprisingly there are many people who do enjoy that, but like you Anna I personally am not one of them. My wife and I love our brothers and sisters and enjoy their company, but when we get home from a day of service, we just want to chill or use what little time is left to get stuff done. "Dropping by unannounced" is not something I've ever been cool with - although I know many others are. If someone drives past my house without "just dropping by," I view that as an act of consideration toward me - it's not too much to ask for a brief text or phone call first to ensure it's not an inopportune time. It's happened on more than one occasion for example that it's well into the evening, we have finished supper and I'm sitting on my lounger watching a favourite TV show in my PJ's with a remote in one hand and a glass of Scotch in the other...knock, knock, ding, dong...family with kids in tow "just drops by" = awkward. :( 

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1 hour ago, b4ucuhear said:

Surprisingly there are many people who do enjoy that,

I used to when I was a teenager. Spontaneous drop ins were great as there was an excuse to take a break from homework or some other mundane task! :D But now our lives are so planned out, even our relaxation time, that any interruption is not really welcomed especially if you have no time to prepare physically or mentally. I thought I would personally kill the two elders that "dropped in while passing by" after I had had sinus surgery and looked like I had been severely beaten up. I was resting on my chaise, still partially drugged up,  and lo and behold, I see these two guys walking past my window. Normally I wouldn't have answered the door, but the combination of the hydrocodone and my fuzzy mind, I thought it was something important, I had no idea it was going to be one of our elders and the CO! I hadn't told anyone about the surgery, and they must have wondered why I was absent for his visit, plus it was raining and they were looking for things to do, lol. Anyway, the week after that I took that elder aside and wagging my finger at him  I jokingly but seriously told him to never ever do that to me again! I think because they are guys, brothers don't understand that women like to put themselves together before accepting visitors.

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I also am not the best at taking spontaneous visits.

The thing is, in 2017, in a car group of 4 people there will usually be 4 charged cellphones. When I visit that sister and she says she misses seeing people at the hall because she couldn't get there and nobody's dropped in for the last couple of weeks, do you think it's a fair excuse to drive by with the mindset that you're out to finish your time, probably spend 20-30 mins in a coffee shop somewhere along the way, and never reach for your cellphone when you were passing that sister's house just to see if she'd like a drop-in?

I grant you, not everyone is like this at all. But keeping those metrics up sure does have an effect on some people's behavior. If you want to deny it's true then be my guest. I appreciate not everyone wants to hear this. Either you know and acknowledge what I'm talking about, or you don't.

 

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5 hours ago, PeterR said:

It's the idea of measuring someone's spiritual worth by numbers on a record card that creates a whole different paradigm to first century Christianity.

People keep track of many numbers - blood pressure, age, speed at which they are driving, weight, exact bank balance. It's not wrong to do it and it doesn't interfere with one's appreciation for 'the real thing.' There will always be some anal people who obsess over any number, but that is them, not the number. 

It's a quick take on one's participation in the work Jesus said people should do. It makes possible an overall glimpse of the regional preaching activity enabling planning and allocation of resources.

Nobody drops people like the paid church preachers, where the only metric they track is donations - the one metric that no one ever knows about in the Christian congregation. Our elders are unpaid volunteers who often have much on their plates - working, and raising families. They do the best they can, feel bad when they fall short, and are continually trained to do better. They don't have to serve at all. 

It's not that your point is invalid, but to obsess over it too much is to show yourself as anal as the ones you gripe about.

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

It's not that your point is invalid, but to obsess over it too much is to show yourself as anal as the ones you gripe about.

Who obsesses more - the one who finally comprehends Jesus' words not to "let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matt 6:3), or the one who chases people for their reports, tabulates them, send them off to HQ, reviews them with the body, and brings them out whenever a decision has to be made?

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13 hours ago, PeterR said:

Who obsesses more - the one who finally comprehends Jesus' words not to "let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matt 6:3), or the one who chases people for their reports, tabulates them, send them off to HQ, reviews them with the body, and brings them out whenever a decision has to be made?

My mother in law, who is living with us, daily takes her blood pressure, glucose reading and weight and records it in a chart, so that when the doc checks on her once a month, she knows exactly where she is and can adjust any medicine acordingly. She just increased her insulin by one point and said that she wished other patients kept such a meticulous chart as it would not only make her job easier, but would ensure better care for the patient. 

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