My wonderful friend and mentor is now 90 years old.  He apparently is suffering from severe dementia.  Uncle Elbert had always been our family’s Historian, Chronicler, Guardian and general go-to-guy.  It grieves me greatly that he and I can no longer have our once long telephone visits about just any subject.  He was a connecter of all the relatives and knew the addresses and latest facts about even the shirttail ones. He was a facilitator to all of us before we had ever heard the word.

In the Lord’s church we all should strive to be facilitators and guardians of the flock, connecting members to each other and watching out for others. When we study the “each other” verses to the early church there is no doubt about it.  We are told to “loveone another,” (Rom 13:8) “serve one another,” (Gal 5:13) “live in peace with each other,” (1 Th 5:13) “do good and share with others,” (Heb 13:16) and about 30 other such verses.

This all starts with the elders of course.  They are charged with keeping watch over the flock and being shepherds of the church of God (Acts 20:28).  This entails feeding (Jo 21:15-17), guarding, protecting and preserving the sheep.

The sheep (members) should be involved in this guardianship also.  This could be anything from providing physical needs like food and clothing (Jas 2:15-16) to emotional and spiritual needs (Gal 6:2).

In the secular world a good guardian will be planning ahead to protect his ward from physical, financial and psychological dangers.  As spiritual guardians who call ourselves brethren, we should be even more vigilant in protecting one another from sin and the devil.

–Jim Bailey