Elders at Grace Fellowship

Our goal from the beginning of our church plant has been to establish a biblical leadership structure, and the Leadership team has been working towards that, and praying for it. Here’s what it says in our constitution:

“Purpose of the Leadership Team: With the temporary absence of a plurality of elders, it seems prudent and wise to have a team of men who aid the pastor in the leadership of the church. This should not be a permanent situation because the scriptural goal of putting a local church “in order” is to have a team of Biblically qualified elders (Titus 1:5). It should be a priority of the Leadership Team to establish a Biblical elder board.”

We are ready, Lord willing, to nominate Bob Plummer and Lee Kafer to join Pastor Kevin as elders here at Grace, and we made this page as a resource for everyone to help understand the who, what, and why of elders! We’ve got a video with Kevin, Bob, and Lee about elders, as well as several of the articles and resources we used in getting to this point. As always, please let us know if you have any questions!

Over the next four weeks, please let me know if you have any questions, be praying, and reach out to Bob and Lee to talk with them about this too! After this month, if there are no concerns, we will be affirming both men.

One hope we definitely have is that God will raise up other men in our congregation who have the desire and ability to help with shepherding the flock. The resources on this page are to help understand that role better! If you are interested in knowing more, please talk with Pastor Kevin!

Some articles and resources that we read together and discussed :

Elder Resources

Lay Elders: A User’s Guide

This is a two part journal from 9Marks ministries that we read together and the articles were very helpful in explaining who lay elders are, and how they serve in the church. Here’s Part One and Part Two.

Warning Flags for Elders

Here’s another brief article we discussed.

What Should Elders Do When They Gather?

Another helpful article we discussed!

Church Elders: How To Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus

This is a book that we read together, and I think may have been the most helpful thing that we all read, just in terms of getting a picture of what elders look like in real life. You can check it out HERE.

Biblical Requirements for an Elder

Here’s another brief article we discussed.

Lastly, this is the section from our Church Constitution on elders and the process of selecting and nominating them:

Article 6 – Selection of Elders
6.1 Qualifications.
To be considered as an elder, a man must have been called by God into leadership at Grace Fellowship (Acts 20:28) and be a man of the highest Christian character according to the qualifications of Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9). He must be in full and complete agreement with the statement of faith of Grace Fellowship.

  1. Relation to God
    a. Above reproach – without any character defect
    b. Able to teach – effective Bible communicator
    c. Not a new convert – mature Christian
  2. Relation to Family
    a. Husband of one wife – one-woman man, sexually pure
    b. Pastors and Shepherds his children
    c. Manages family well – provides for, leads, organizes, loves
  3. Relation to Self
    a. Temperate – mentally and emotionally stable
    b. Self-controlled – disciplined life of sound decision-making
    c. Not given to drunkenness – without addictions
    d. Not a lover of money – financially content and upright
  4. Relation to Others a. Respectable – worth following and imitating b. Hospitable – welcomes strangers, especially non-Christians for evangelism c. Not violent – even-tempered d. Gentle – kind, gracious, loving e. Not contentious – peaceable, not quarrelsome/divisive f. Good reputation with outsiders – respected by non-Christians Additionally, he must competently and consistently accomplish the biblical duties of an elder/pastor which include:
    1. Prayer and Scripture study (Acts 6:4)
    2. Ruling/leading the church (1 Timothy 5:17)
    3. Managing the church (1 Timothy 3:4–5)
    4. Caring for people in the church (1 Peter 5:2–5)
    5. Giving account to God for the church (Hebrews 13:17)
    6. Living exemplary lives (Hebrews 13:7)
    7. Rightly using the authority God has given them (Acts 20:28)
    8. Teaching the Bible correctly (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:2)
    9. Preaching (1 Timothy 5:17)
    10. Praying for the sick (James 5:13–15)
    11. Teaching sound doctrine and refuting false teachings (Titus 1:9)
    12. Working hard (1 Thessalonians 5:12)
    13. Rightly using money and power (1 Peter 5:1–3)
      14.Protecting the church from false teachers (Acts 20:17–31)
    14. Disciplining unrepentant Christians (Matthew 18:15–17)

6.2 The process of becoming an elder/pastor involves at least the following steps:

In the case of elders chosen from within the church, he must be a member in good standing at Grace Fellowship who has demonstrated the calling, character, and competency of an elder.

In the case of “lay” elders chosen from within the church, the current elders will seek nominations from the church, and any elder not hired from outside the church must be nominated by a member of the church.
His nomination must be approved without objection from anyone on the Board of Elders.

If accepted as an elder nominee, the man will then undergo a period of training.

Training, prior to becoming an elder, will include whatever is deemed necessary to enhance the nominee’s understanding of an elder’s responsibilities as outlined in Scripture.

Upon completing his training process, the man must be approved by all elders without objection to be introduced to the church members as an official elder candidate.

If approved as an elder candidate, members of Grace Fellowship will be notified that he has met the criteria of an elder. Anyone in or out of the church having a concern regarding the man’s qualifications to lead as an elder will have four weeks to notify the elders, who can investigate the matter to determine if there is any reason to disqualify the man.

Consensus approval from the elders and a congregational affirmation, indicated by a majority vote, are required prior to installation of an elder.

If the elders do not find any reason to reject the man as an official elder, an official final vote of the elders shall be taken and if there are no objections to his installation from any elder, the man will be installed by the laying on of hands, after which he shall be considered an ordained minister of the gospel.

Selection as an elder does not result in contract rights as an employee. All employees are “at will” and the employment relationship may be terminated without regard to such person continuing to serve as an elder.

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