I meant to get this e-mail out to you Sunday or Monday, but, with my hectic schedule as of late, I am just now getting this to you. My apologies.
This past Sunday you may recall that at the end of the service I mentioned that someone had requested prayer from the elders, and asked the elders to come forward as people were dismissed so that this individual could be prayed over. I have to admit that I was surprised when only Bobby came forward to pray.
Bud Hinson was the individual requesting prayer. In doing so, he was following the biblical formula in asking for the elders to pray over him. I was proud of him for reaching out to us to be prayed for. It demonstrates maturity on his part and trust in his church. The Scripture reference from James is below.
James 5:14-15 - "Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in fait will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him."
I was not the only person who noticed that the elders did not come forward to pray for Bud. I had multiple people mention it to me, one even using the term "insubordination" to describe it. I think you deserve to have it brought to your attention. As elders, we bear great responsibilities in the local church, and I want to make sure that we are all on the same page. Praying for those who have specifically requested it is a big deal, and I just ask that from now on, whenever the elders are called on during a service, you make it a priority to come forward.
As always, thanks for all you do. I am so grateful to have solid, committed leaders in our church. I believe the Lord will honor our commitment and unity, and I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do through us. I look forward to getting back home soon. Thank you for your leadership in my absence. I am praying for you, and please feel free to call if you need anything.
Reply from Sam Hinson:
1. It is difficult to describe the level of discouragement you have conveyed to me by the email below. You, the “multiple people” who mentioned it to you and the unnamed individual who accuses me of “insubordination” seem to be using the policy of “shoot first, and ask questions later.” Maybe your policy is “shoot first, and don’t even bother with the questions.”
2. To the “multiple people” who mentioned it to you and the unnamed individual who accuses me of “insubordination” I would suggest that they be reminded of the sermon you recently preached about “going to the individual” about a problem. If they think I acted inappropriately, why are they telling you instead of telling me? Why are you listening to them tell you about me, rather than suggest that they speak to me? What part of “going to an individual” is included in talking about me to you behind my back? You are encouraging this behavior by listening to individuals talk about other people.
3. To you, I appreciate the fact that at you contacted me. If you had resented my actions but not contacted me, then that would have been worse.
4. I don’t appreciate the way you chose to broach the subject. I feel like you “let me have it with both barrels” without even asking why I did not come forward.
5. A better alternative would have been for you to have simply asked me about the prayer time. If you had, I would have described a situation that occurred during the service of which you were unaware. After you had heard the situation, you might have agreed with me: that immediately after the service it was more important that I do something else rather than join the other elders. Even if you did not agree, at least you would have understood the reasons for my actions.
6. Without know all the facts, your communications with the “multiple people” have caused some damage already. But, it is not too late. That damage can probably be repaired. I will be glad to discuss the matter with you. You can wait until you are back in Whiteville, or you may call me by phone. I am not interested in discussing this by back and forth emails.
Reply from Scott Crabtree:
Prior to the service Sunday I asked Phil Honeycutt if I could have a brief word with him concerning an urgent youth ministry matter. He told me it would have to be quick because he had a nominating committee meeting right after church. I approached him immediately after church and had a very brief conversation with him in the sanctuary after which I went to go up to pray but it looked like you and Mr Bobby had already begun to pray and I didn't want to interrupt. I apologize for what appeared to some to be insubordination but I felt I had time to say a quick word to Phil before meeting up front for prayer. I take my Spiritual responsibility as an elder very seriously and again I apologize for any perceived misconduct..
Reply to Scott Crabtree:
Don't sweat it. It's hard to fit everything in when the entire group is only together for one hour. I just wanted to take the opportunity to address it and make sure we were all on the same page. I appreciate your dedication. If I had 100 Scott Crabtree's I could conquer the world. Or maybe North Carolina. Well, at least Columbus County. Anyway, I appreciate you and your enthusiasm and dedication. I'm glad God brought us together.
Hey - while we're on the subject, are you willing to serve as an elder and on the Governing Board again? Thou hast been nominated for thy awesomeness.
Just a man trying to save his thoughts and correspondence