Elder Selection Process 2018
South Baton Rouge Church of Christ
This page outlines the guidelines that the South Baton Rouge Church of Christ will use in selecting elders in 2018. This process is not perfect because all human efforts are frustrated by our own inadequacies. The men we choose are more important than the system we use. While it is impossible to anticipate all future contingencies, the intent of this document is to communicate the process to select our leaders. An imperfect process filled with men and women of prayer will function far better than a perfect process without prayer. We believe that this has merit and allows God’s Spirit to move and work in our congregation.
The Purpose of Elders:
The Elders primarily fulfill 2 roles or responsibilities in our church family:
- The first role of Elders is to function as overseers and guardians of the church. They function as overseers for the entire organization. The elders evaluate the effectiveness and guide the direction of the church according to these criteria:
The commission of the Church to make and mature disciples who love God and love people.
Scriptural Church Doctrine
- Prayerful discernment of Church Health, Needs, and Opportunities
Elders do not determine ministry programming. This responsibility falls to the ministry staff. However, the elders are responsible for evaluating programming based on its appropriateness and effectiveness of furthering the mission of the South Baton Rouge Church of Christ.
- The second, and perhaps more important role, is for the elders to function as pastors and shepherds. This is the task of spiritual care characterized by a passion for God, heart for people and zeal to bring the two together. Elders provide spiritual guidance, comfort, wisdom, care, and admonition to the church. They are lead teachers, ministers, servants and prayer warriors. They model for the church a life that demonstrates to all who are “God-Hungry” how to live.
God provides us with information as to the work and leadership style of an elder. Study the descriptive words in 1 Peter 5:1-4 (shepherd, overseer, one who cares, is willing and eager to serve, an example); Acts 20:17, 28-35 (keeps watch, on guard, committed to the word of God’s grace, helps the weak); 1 Timothy 5:17 (directs the affairs of the church, preach, teach); James 5:14 (prays for the sick, ready to serve); 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (works hard, admonishes); Mark 10:42-45 (does not lord it over, but is a servant, a slave); 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (characterized by love as described).
Summary of Our Process:
After prayerful consideration, the current eldership of South Baton Rouge Church of Christ will use the following process to identify the men who will serve as additional shepherds. The process will include the following components:
- Prayer and Fasting
- Ensuring Harmony
- Personal Counting the Cost
- Appointment of New Elders
- Elder Orientation
- Preaching: Mark Hadley will preach a series of sermons titled – “Upside-Down: Leadership in the 21st Century Church.” These messages will cover God’s vision of biblical leadership. This sermon series will begin on January 28, 2018.
- Teaching: Curriculum focused on the role and characteristics of an elder/leadership will be studied in our Sunday morning Bible classes and in our Sunday evening Life Group meetings. This lesson/Life Group series will be in addition to the sermon series and will begin the week of February 4.
- Prayer and Fasting: Beginning on February 15 we will launch a congregation-wide 4-day season of prayer and fasting. This effort is critical to our process. It is through the discipline of prayer and fasting that we hope to “hear” the voice of God as He identifies the additional shepherds among us and sets them in place. This season of prayer and fasting will conclude with the nomination of our new elder candidates.
- Nomination: On Sunday, February 18, each baptized member will be given a nomination form. The nomination form will contain 6 blanks. Each member is to prayerfully fill in the names of the additional men they believe God is calling to shepherd this church. All of the available blanks DO NOT need to be filled, but no nomination form can nominate more than 6 names.
Nomination forms will be due no later than Sunday, March 4. Unsigned nomination forms and nomination forms turned in after the deadline will not be accepted. Nomination forms with more than six names will not be used.
- Ensuring Harmony: The current elders will review the nominations and may say “no” or “not yet” to someone deemed unable to work well with the existing eldership, or not supportive of the congregational vision, or not qualified to serve in some other fashion.
- Personal Counting the Cost: The men that the elders select from the nominations will be contacted and asked to pray and reflect about their willingness and capacity to serve in the role of elder. At this point, the elders would like to add 2-6 additional elders. The current elders would meet with the selected candidates. The additional men, who after prayer and reflection are willing to serve as elders, will be presented to the church on Sunday, March 25. This will begin the Discernment phase.
- Discernment: Once the names of all new candidates are made known to the congregation on Sunday, March 25, the congregation is invited to tell each individual nominee (through signed comment cards or through conversation) what gifts he has that would be beneficial to leading and shepherding the congregation. If any member of the congregation believes that a nominee is not qualified to serve as an elder due to his not meeting the standards set forth by Scripture, the concern should be written, signed, and given to our current elders no later than April 1. The current eldership will handle all biblical concerns. Scriptural concerns cannot be anonymous but will remain confidential. If the issue is clearly disqualifying in nature, and not simply a matter of personal judgment or opinion, the nominee will not be further considered.
- Appointment: Once the current eldership completes the discernment phase, all additional men who have been nominated to serve, have prayerfully considered the task, and who do not have an unresolved concern will be appointed in our Sunday morning worship service on Sunday, April 15.
Jimmie Carter will be stepping down as an elder at this point (after 36 years of service). Thank You, Jimmie!!
- Orientation: On Boarding Process for Entire Elder Group (including spouses)