The local church is led by a collegial group of shepherd leaders referred to in the New Testament as elders, overseers, or shepherds. Their primary function is to “shepherd the flock of God which he has entrusted to their care” (1 Peter 5:2). Few decisions are as critical for the life and ministry of the local church as the selection of godly leaders who deeply love Christ and the gospel, are committed to the local church, and have a burning desire to see the gospel penetrate and transform their city.
OUR PROCESS INVOLVES:
1. Receiving nominations from the congregation.
2. Interviewing potential candidates to determine their qualification and willingness to serve.
3. Inviting nominees and their wives to participate in a leadership cohort where we will explore our core theological convictions, build a biblical foundation for ministry and community engagement, explore the dynamics of ministry in the local church, and develop deeper convictions about what it means to shepherd God’s people and lead his church.
We will be actively engaged with Scripture and the following resources:
The Gospel Coalition “Confessional Statement” (Theological Convictions)
The Gospel Coalition “Theological Vision for Ministry” (Biblical Foundation for Ministry and Community Engagement)
Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis (Dynamics of Ministry in the Local Church)
Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson (Shepherding God’s People)
Elders and Leaders by Gene Getz (Leading God’s Church)
4. Presenting the candidates to the church family and allowing time for our members to meet personally with any of the candidates in order to express any concern they may have about them serving as an elder.
5. Affirming and installing our candidates as elder/overseers of Christ Church.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO NOMINATE?
Anyone who is either a “Covenant Member” of Christ Church or living in the spirit of covenant membership. Covenant membership involves affirming our statement of faith and philosophy of ministry as well as being actively engaged in the life and ministry of the church.
The five core commitments of covenant membership are:
WORSHIP with us as your larger church family (Corporate Worship).
PURSUE a vital and growing relationship with Christ (Private Devotions).
CONNECT with other believers in a gospel community for mutual encouragement and accountability (Biblical Community).
GIVE GENEROUSLY of your time, talent, and financial resources to build the ministry of the church (Biblical Stewardship).
BUILD BRIDGES to those in your circle of influence who do not know Christ in the hope of seeing them come to know Christ and be actively engaged in a local church (Missional Living).
QUALIFICATIONS OF AN ELDER
We believe that the primary leadership in the home and church is vested in men who have been called to be servant leaders: “men who love their wives the way that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” The primary indication that someone will be an effective servant leader in the church is that they have been an effective servant leader in their home. We are looking for men (if married) whose wives and families are thriving because he is serving them well. We categorically reject the traditional view of domineering patriarchal headship which is an affront to the gospel—and contrary to everything our Lord taught and modeled.
In addition to servant leadership in the home, the Bible offers a detailed description of the heart and character of those who are qualified to lead.
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-7 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
TITUS 1:6-9 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
In addition to these qualifications, we suggest you nominate someone who is:
Famous for their love of Christ (they talk about him freely and often, in warm relational tones rather than abstract theological assertions).
Famous for their love for the church (they have a deep conviction that the local church is the hope of the world, are meaningfully engaged in every aspect of the life and ministry of the church, and you will often find them serving the church with great humility in the smallest of tasks).
Famous for their love for people (they obviously love people and are often engaged in meaningful gospel conversations, offering biblical comfort and encouragement to those in need).
Famous for their love for our city (they are actively engaged with their friends, neighbors and co-workers who do not know Christ for the sake of Christ and his gospel).