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MEETINGS

Wednesday, August 10

The apostles and the elders gathered together to look into this matter.​—Acts 15:6.

The Watchtower of October 1, 1988, stated: “Elders will recognize that Christ, by means of the holy spirit, can direct the mind of any elder on the body of elders to provide the Bible principle needed to cope with any situation or make any important decision. (Acts 15:7-15) No one elder has the monopoly of the spirit within the body.” An elder who respects his fellow elders does not always try to speak first at elders’ meetings. He does not dominate the discussion, and he does not believe that his opinion is always right. Instead, he states his viewpoint humbly and modestly. He listens carefully to the comments of others. More important, he is eager to share Scriptural principles and to listen to direction from “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45-47) As elders discuss matters in an atmosphere of love and respect, God’s holy spirit will be present, and it will guide them to reach the right decisions.​—Jas. 3:17, 18. w20.08 27 ¶5-6


(Acts 15:6)  So the apostles and the elders gathered together to look into this matter.
(Acts 15:7-15)  After much intense discussion had taken place, Peter rose and said to them: “Men, brothers, you well know that from early days God made the choice among you that through my mouth people of the nations should hear the word of the good news and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by giving them the holy spirit, just as he did to us also. 9 And he made no distinction at all between us and them, but purified their hearts by faith. 10 So why are you now making a test of God by imposing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we were capable of bearing? 11 On the contrary, we have faith that we are saved through the undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus in the same way that they are.” 12 At that the entire group became silent, and they began to listen to Barʹna·bas and Paul relate the many signs and wonders that God had done through them among the nations. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied: “Men, brothers, hear me. 14 Symʹe·on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written:
(Matthew 24:45-47)  “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so! 47 Truly I say to you, he will appoint him over all his belongings.
(James 3:17, 18)  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.


Elders show that they respect their fellow elders by carefully listening to them (See paragraphs 5-6)

5. How do elders show that they respect their fellow elders, and why is it important that they do so?

5 Elders show that they respect their fellow elders by carefully listening to them. This is especially important when the elders meet as a body to discuss serious matters. Why? Note what The Watchtower of October 1, 1988, stated: “Elders will recognize that Christ, by means of the holy spirit, can direct the mind of any elder on the body of elders to provide the Bible principle needed to cope with any situation or make any important decision. (Acts 15:6-15) No one elder has the monopoly of the spirit within the body.”

6. How can elders work together in unity, and how does the congregation benefit when they do so?

6 An elder who respects his fellow elders does not always try to speak first at elders’ meetings. He does not dominate the discussion, and he does not believe that his opinion is always right. Instead, he states his viewpoint humbly and modestly. He listens carefully to the comments of others. More important, he is eager to share Scriptural principles and to listen to direction from “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45-47) As elders discuss matters in an atmosphere of love and respect, God’s holy spirit will be present, and it will guide them to reach decisions that strengthen the congregation.​—Jas. 3:17, 18.


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