Identifying Elders, Part 1
We are entering into an exciting and challenging time in the life and history of our church: Identifying elder candidates. Exciting because it helps reveal what the Lord is doing; challenging because we must be careful and prayerful throughout this process. While I have talked publicly of the need to recognize elder and deacon qualifications for years, I first taught on the subject in May and June of last year. (If you missed the “Leadership Lucidity” series, you can listen here.) I also announced my intention to lead our church into this transition during last year’s Annual Membership Meeting in June. This past Sunday, I taught on elder qualifications as the first of three messages on the church elder topic – and as the beginning of a process for the church to recognize elders formally. As part of that message, I directed listeners to this blog for more information and invited questions. Below are answers to some basic questions you may have:
How are the candidates going to be selected?
The biblical example shows church elders selected by other elders/apostles (1 Timothy 4:14 & Titus 1:5). Often, we also observe the congregation or church affirming what is taking place or participating in decisions (e.g. Acts 6:1-7). Therefore, the initial process was begun last year by our current leadership and will culminate this year with an affirmation process involving church members.
The current leadership (Church Council) selected two elder candidates. I then met with those two candidates and we selected two other candidates together, bringing the number to four candidates. All of the candidates have been tested in ministry, and are men with whom I have personally become well-acquainted during my time as pastor.
Will you (Pastor Larry) be presented as an elder candidate?
No. Since I went through an interview process that culminated in being called to pastor (i.e. serve as lead elder) in 2005, and then through a formal ordination process in 2006, those processes have sufficiently served to install me as an elder in the church. We are hoping to recognize four more elders, for a total of five affirmed elders serving the church beginning June 2012.
What if someone has an objection to one of the candidates; what is the proper procedure in sharing their concerns?
It would be the same as now, the way you would handle concern about nomination of any leader or member; approach the pastor in confidence to discuss your concerns.
I hope the above was helpful! You might have other questions, so feel free to use the comment form below. I will be posting more questions, including those I’m asked by others, and answers as we go…