Goin’ to Tulsa

First, some Tulsa music to set the mood —

I posted that just so I could set the mood to say that I’m going to be speaking at the Tulsa Workshop, March 21-24, 2012. I’ll be teaching three classes on training and equipping elders. That’s right. I’m the elder track for 2012.

It’s three classes — which is a lot — but the work of elders couldn’t be covered in three weeks! So what do I need to talk about? If you could put any issue, subject, or concern before the elders of the Churches of Christ there, what would you want someone to say to them?

If you’re an elder, and you could have any topic or concern of yours addressed, what would it be?

What should the classes be about?

Now, here are the lyrics —

I left Oklahoma drivin’ in a Pontiac
Just about to lose my mind
I was goin’ on to Arizona, maybe on to California
Where all the people live so fine

My baby said I was crazy, my momma called me lazy
I was goin’ to show ’em all this time
‘Cause you know I ain’t no fool an’
I don’t need no more schoolin’
I was born to just walk the line

Livin’ on Tulsa time
Livin’ on Tulsa time
Well you know I’ve been through it
When I set my watch back to it
Livin’ on Tulsa time

Well there I was in Hollywood
wishin’ I was doin’ good
Talkin’ on the telephone line
But they don’t need me in the movies and nobody sings my songs
Guess I’m just wastin’ time

Well then I got to thinkin’,
Man I’m really sinkin’
And I really had a flash this time
I had no business leavin’ and nobody would be grievin’
If I went on back to Tulsa time

Livin’ on Tulsa time
Livin’ on Tulsa time
Gonna set my watch back to it
Cause you know I’ve been through it
Livin’ on Tulsa time

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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5 Responses to Goin’ to Tulsa

  1. Kirk Hunt says:

    I’d suggest an increased awareness of elders to be shepherds to their flocks. When my wife and I first started dating, my father-in-law asked me about the elders at my home church. He asked, “do they smell like the sheep?” I gave him this stupid “uhhhh” look when he asked because I didn’t know what he meant! But, after considering the life of Jesus and his role as the Chief Shepherd, it terrifies me, yet excites me, to think about someday serving as an elder. What an incredible role to fill.

    I know the church’s shepherds deal with a lot. I’ve heard the stories of sleepless nights, tears, etc. Yet, so often there seems to be a lack of involvement in the lives of their sheep. It’s great for them to come and visit when the sheep are suffering, but why not also come for a visit when all is well? Why not meet up with one of the sheep for lunch just to see how their lives are going. Certainly maintenance and “well-visits” of the sheep are very important in hopes of avoiding a spiritual breakdown.

    The Chief Shepherd knows His sheep by name, His sheep know His voice, and they follow Him. Can the same be said about the earthly shepherds who oversee the flocks of the church? Do shepherds today truly smell like the sheep?

  2. Adam Legler says:

    I’d echo that with showing the importance of some kind of continuing education like reading and an emphasis on staying out of the administration bubble.

  3. JMF says:

    Jay —

    What would Rick Pitino or John Wooden talk about? Or Wimp Sanderson? 🙂

    I doubt they’d talk about x’s and o’s, but rather, they’d talk about their job as psychologists.

    Same for you. Think more Dale Carnegie and less N.T. Wright.

  4. Jay Guin says:


    Nick Saban would take about the Process: http://blog.al.com/tide-source/2010/01/the_process_sabans_blueprint_h.html

    That could work. (I wonder what they think of Saban in Tulsa?)

  5. Brian B. says:

    Jay, I have a couple of thoughts that may or may not influence your presentation since you only have a few sessions to cover a very important topic.

    First, to a certain extent, if an elder has to be trained, was he truly qualified in the first place? This question seeks to understand how we view the role of elders and how we perceive the “biblical qualifications” when selecting elders.

    My second thought flows out of the first question. Why wait until a guy is 50 years old and his name has been submitted by the congregation as qualified to be an elder? Elder training should start long before an individual is “qualified” to be an elder. The current generation of elders should already be focusing on the next generation and mentoring them in the ministries of prayer, compassion and pastoral car. Maybe one of your sessions can focus on identifying and preparing the next generation of elders. (For purposes of this comment, I don’t think simply being named a deacon is training for the functions of an elder.)

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