During a camp meeting of the Rio de Janeiro South Association, in Grassai, the northern seaboard of the State of Rio de Janeiro, next to the mouth of the river Paraiba do Sul, in Brazil, six members from different churches gave their opinion on how local leaders could improve in discharging their responsibilities.
The following individuals were interviewed:
Luiz Vieira Alves da Silva, 60 years old, from the Belclima church;
Naddia da Cruz Marreiros, 39 years old, from the College church;
Clelia Schulz, 48 years old, from the Barra Mansa church; and
Davi Roberto Franca, 24 years old, from the Meier church.
Anildo Agostini and Lindoia Marinho Baptista, both active church members in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, gave their opinion later on.
Question: Which are the three most important qualities you would like to see in the leaders of your congregation?
Clelia: Commitment to God's work, friendship with the congregation, and sincere friendship.
Davi: Genuine conversation, humility and knowledge of his complete dependence on God in exercising his tasks.
Anildo: Dedication and communication, to know how to listen to those who are being led.
Lindoia: Kindness, fidelity and self-control.
Question: In your opinion, what should be the main responsibility of the elder?
Luiz: To promote integration among the members, from the children to the older members.
Naddia: Lead the church to a more real experience with Christ.
Clelia: Promote the church's program, bring good speakers and involve the departments in the work of the church.
Davi: Support the pastor in the spiritual and administrative leadership of the church.
Anildo: Help the members in their spiritual needs and work for the unity of the church lending support to all departments.
Lindoia: To be a real junior pastor, taking care and saving lambs.
Question: What type of sermons would you like to listen to more often?
Luiz: Sermons that talk about God as our Redeemer, Judge and compassionate Father. Topics that will help the Christian understand the conflict between the flesh and the spirit, and how it is possible to be triumphal.
Naddlia: Sermons that will uphold Christ as our Savior and Lord. Messages that are adequate to the needs of the individuals.
Clelia: Sermons that will counsel our youth in dealing with how to educate the children. Many parents need help in this area.
Davi: Spiritual sermons that will lead the members to recognize their mistakes and need of repentance.
Anildo: Sermons that will reach the sinner and show how it is possible to remain in Jesus' company. Sermons that will help the church live out the principles and doctrines of our faith.
Lindoia: Christ-centered sermons that bring hope and show Jesus' love for the sinners.
Question: What is the greatest need of leadership in the church today?
Naddia: Communion with God.
Clelia: The need to train leaders who can perform their work better. Many times we lack leaders who will promote our growth.
Anildo: Greater knowledge of our doctrines and for the leader to be well balanced on his decisions concerning the different issues pertaining to the church.
Lindoia: More communion with Jesus.
Question: What counsel would you give a leader so that his church may grow?
Luiz: To promote different ministries within his own church allowing a greater number of members to participate.
Naddia: Do not lose sight of Jesus who came to this world to fulfill a mission: to save that which was lost.
Clelia: To listen to the member as a person who is in need of help, and don't look only at his mistakes. The members of the church need to be considered by their spiritual leaders with a little more love and compassion.
Davi: Develop among the departments work in which the new convert can participate and thus feel a part of the new family of which they are.
Anildo: I would repeat the words of Paul in 1 Tim. 4:16: "Watch your life and doctrine closely.
Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
Lindoia: More understanding, love, and responsibility in redeeming souls.
Translated by Antonio A. Rios.