This past Sunday (5/18/14) we presented 3 men as candidates for the office of elder at SCBC. The following document was given to all in attendance.
ELDERS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
According to the Bible, the church is to be led by qualified and called men known as elders. Simply put, a church elder is a man called by God to be an overseer.
According to the Bible, elders are to be known for their prayer life (1 Tim. 2:8), modeling Christ-like service (Matt. 20:26–28; 1 Pet. 5:2), and being practically responsible in their homes, as well as in the workplace (1 Tim. 3:4–7).
Not just any man can serve as an elder—they must be qualified to do so.
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF AN ELDER
The qualifications of elders are laid out in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9. First, we see that these lists are primarily about men being good Christians. Second, these lists are in large part tied to a man’s role as a good pastor in his home with his family and in his world with his neighbors and coworkers.
CHURCH ELDERS ARE OVERSEERS
Elders are synonymously called overseers. An overseer is one who pastors the church like a shepherd herds his flock (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:2). An elder shepherds the flock under his care.
GOD CALLS A CHURCH ELDER
Who should be trained as elders? Those called by God to serve as an elder (Acts 20:28). As the church, we simply confirm God’s call.
THE DUTIES OF AN ELDER
– Elders are asked to do many things:
– Pray and study the Scriptures (Acts 6:4).
– Rule/lead the church (1 Tim. 5:17).
– Manage the church (1 Tim. 3:4–5).
– Care for people in the church (1 Pet. 5:2–5).
– Give account to God for the church (Heb. 13:17).
– Live exemplary lives (Heb. 13:7).
– Rightly use the authority God has given them (Acts 20:28).
– Teach the Bible correctly (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:2).
– Preach (1 Tim. 5:17).
– Pray for the sick (James 5:13–15).
– Teach sound doctrine & refute false teachings (Titus 1:9).
– Work hard (1 Thess. 5:12).
– Rightly use money and power (1 Pet. 5:1–3).
– Protect the church from false teachers (Acts 20:17–31).
– Discipline unrepentant Christians (Matt. 18:15–17).
– Develop other leaders & teachers (Eph. 4:11–16; 2 Tim. 2:1–2).
CHURCH ELDERS SHOULD BE TRAINED AND EXAMINED
Church elders should be primarily trained through the local church to meet the qualifications and duties of an elder. Their training may involve formal theological training, but the Bible does not require this path. Those who are called to serve as an elder should be able to handle the Bible accurately. The men who are being presented to you this morning have undergone nearly 2 years of training to prepare them to serve as elders. Every aspect of their training has been Bible and prayer saturated. They have been taught the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and have also been taught how to study it, apply it and teach it. In addition to this they have studied systematic theology and have learned the principles for church leadership which are laid out in God’s Word. At the conclusion of their Biblical and theological training each candidate underwent an in depth doctrinal interview.
In addition to the training these men have received, their lives have also been examined. This examination took place as the men and their families spent a great deal of time with the current elders in a variety of settings. During this time the elders examined the spiritual health and maturity of the men. The men have also been observed as they have shepherded their families, served as deacons, led Growth Groups, taught on Wednesday evenings and participated as active members of SCBC. Throughout this process there have been many open and frank conversations and discussions involving exhortation and correction, all for the purpose of strengthening and preparing each man to serve in the office of elder at SCBC.
So, having completed their training and having been examined, it is will great joy that today we present to you, the congregation of SCBC, Pete Green, Herb Heinrichs and David Pettyjohn for elder. Over the next 60 days you have the opportunity to examine these men, talk to them, get to know them and their families and affirm them or if necessary, raise concerns you might have. This final process of examination by the congregation will last for 60 days.
At the conclusion of this process the candidates will be voted in by the elders and installed as elders by the laying on of hands by the other elders (Deut. 1:12–16; Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim. 2:6–7). Lord willing, if all goes well, these men will be installed as elders on July 13, 2014.
Over these next 60 days we would ask you to do 3 things;
1. Pray for the candidates and for the current elders of SCBC.
2. Get to know the candidates and their families.
3. Communicate with the elders of the church expressing your affirmation of the candidates or expressing any concerns you might have based on 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9.
The elders of SCBC