Elder Team Training February 2021

2021 mandate: the courage to pioneer!

Courage—Joshua 1:6-9 NLT

6 Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

The best way to stay full of courage and faith is to keep your heart full of God’s Word.

Pioneering—Joshua 3:1-4 NIV

Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.

The best way to pioneer is to follow the spirit of God in your life. He will take you to places you’ve never been.

Notice the backdrop in the text that we read: there were some great unknowns and uncertainties now that Moses was dead but there was also a great opportunity before the nation of Israel to possess the land that was promised them. In 2021 there are both threats and opportunities before us that will require from us as leaders the courage to pioneer!

What is a pioneer? A pioneer is someone who opens up and explores a new way. Someone who takes the lead or initiative. Someone who prepares the way for others. Someone who digs through the obstacles to make it easier for others.—PJD


We don’t fear the future, we pioneer it!

6 areas we will pioneer this year, let us lead the way…

  • Living a lifestyle of prayer
  • Connecting to the transforming power of the local church
  • Turning believers into fully devoted disciples
  • Training the next generation of leaders
  • Loving a wide range of people
  • Fulfilling the Great Commission


  1. How can we as a team execute these mandates? Via one on one ministry, small group ministry, reaching out to our communities…
  2. How can you make a way for others?
  3. What do you need to initiate?
  4. What obstacles can you remove to make it easier for someone else?
  5. How can we as the body of Christ bring others into a transformational life changing experience? How can I inform and inspire others?
  6. Who in the next generation can you encourage to fulfill their leadership potential?
  7. How are you communicating to others what it means to be a disciple?
  8. Who have you reached out to that is not like you?
  9. How can we intentionally engage in an environment of convenience, comfort, and compromise?


Pastor Earl led off the discussion responding to both question 5 and 6 (above) which is where we camped out for the evening. Pastor Earl encouraged us that God will use the wealth of experience we have had in ministry. David cited studies that Millennials desire input from those 50+ in years and we as leaders have the wealth of the Word to impart to them.

Denise posed the question, How can we create opportunities to invite millennials into our circle of influence so that we can minister to them. Here are some great points that came up in the discussion that we should take note of on how we can reach the younger generation and build relationships with them…

  1. Be authentic, we are being watched by them (Ps. Jonathan)
  2. Celebrate and affirm them, affirmation is the oxygen of the soul (Ps. Jonathan)
  3. Be intentional and reach out, be led by the Spirit to initiate a relationship (Ps Tom)
  4. Give time to listen, a listening ear shows you care (Birgit)
  5. Ask questions that shows you are interested in their life, that says they are valuable and important, its like a dance and a process getting to know them (Eliel)
  6. Make a top ten prayer list of young people that you will target like Br. Russ Tatro taught. (Debbie)
  7. Don’t try to be cool, be yourself, be transparent. Pastor recommends a classic to read, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (Ps. Jonathan)
  8. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you ideas on how to take down barriers by reaching out to others and be unassuming (Bob)
  9. Know that people are watching you so live your life with integrity and opportunities will come your way. (Mary)

Pastor also shared a few more thoughts that he did not get to share on Vision Sunday…

1 Corinthians 9:19 MSG
Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

#1 Courage will require us to hold fast to our convictions and values and the Biblical doctrines that we hold dear.

#2 Courage will require us to lock our arms together in unity as we possess the land

#3 Courage will require us to pioneer in faith in spite of our fears. 

We don’t fear the future we pioneer it.