Three years ago Biff and Mable became Christians. He is 38, and she is 39 years old. Shortly after God regenerated them, they joined a church. A year later, Biff wanted to be part of the elder board, and coincidentally, the leaders asked him to enter into an assessment phase to determine his qualifications for church leadership.
During the process, the board became aware of a significant life pattern with Mable. She has a history of being treated with psychotropic drugs for manic outbursts. A complicating matter is that her small group has complained about how their time together is always about her struggles rather than mutually edifying each other.
When attempts were made to talk with her about dominating the group time, she would not show up at the church meetings for weeks. When she returns to the meetings, she typically has a new diagnosis, a new label for her condition, and new medications based upon the ongoing sessions with her psychiatrist.
Though the small group wants to care for Mable, they are becoming impatient. There are weeks of progress, but then she seems to take several steps backward.
On a typical day, Mable stays home and sleeps, or surfs the Internet and watches television. Biff tries to lead the family while volunteering for ministry opportunities. And he continues the assessment process for eldership.
Case Study Questions
- How would you help Biff and Mable?
- Is Biff qualified to be an elder? Why or why not?
- What would you tell their small group?