Pastors and elders, the next time you are criticized for being unloving or unconcerned, ask yourselves:

1. Do we have some mechanism for personally knowing our sheep? As leaders, we will give an account for how well we watched over our people's souls (Heb. 13:7). The Bible doesn't mandate only one way for doing member care, but we must work to have some process in place. If we never ask, "How is the congregation doing?" or better yet, "How are you doing?" we should not be surprised to find lots of people falling through the cracks.

2. Do we have some way of knowing when people are not showing up at church? You can eyeball it, check the friendship pads, or spy out the church mailboxes, but we need to have a general sense of who is not making faithful use of the means of grace. Our Book of Church Order stipulates we talk about it at every elders' meeting. The first step to noticing who's missing is to start looking and start talking about it.

3. Are we confronting cliquishness in our church? ...

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