This Sunday begins a vitally important time for our church family as we will begin the process of adding additional elders and deacons to the leadership at Jersey Village. This is a time of great excitement and also a time of great prayer.
While both elders and deacons will be, Lord willing, added to our leadership, the focus of our sermons for the next two weeks will be primarily on elders. This coming Sunday we will look at part one of a two part series entitled, “What the Church Needs to Know about Elders”. These lessons will speak to the Biblical qualifications of elders as well as a practical look at exactly what elders do and what the congregation’s responsibility is towards our leaders.
Following the lesson this Sunday, nomination forms will be made available to each member to review the Scriptural qualifications for leaders and members are asked to submit names of those men you feel are 1) qualified to serve and 2) capable of serving. Each member of the congregation is asked to prayerfully consider these men and the roles of elders and deacons. It is not necessary for you to determine if the candidate is willing to serve or not before you submit their name; their desire to serve (1 Timothy 3:1) will be evaluated later in discussions with the present elders.
Each nomination form turned in must be signed. If a husband and wife are in agreement with the names submitted, they can fill out one form, with both signing. Husband and wife should submit separate forms if they have a different set of names to nominate. All nomination forms are to be placed in the box located at the Welcome Center by end of day, October 19.
The number of members submitting an individual’s name to serve will be used as an indication of the level of support among the congregation and will be a major part of the selection criteria. Upon receipt and review of the forms, the current elders will ask to meet with each man who received appropriate support to discuss the qualifications, as given in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9, as well as the willingness to serve.
After this process is completed, the current elders will report to the congregation and present the names of those qualified and willing to serve. At this time, the congregation will be given two weeks to submit, signed and in writing, any questions or comments with regards to the qualifications of the nominees. Additionally, the congregation is also encouraged to provide written feedback regarding the qualifications and service of our current elders and deacons.
The importance of this process cannot be overstressed. There is no greater need in the church today than to have Godly men serving in leadership positions. There is also no greater joy than for a man to serve as a leader in the Lord’s church and the church experiences great strength, comfort, peace and guidance when led by men who desire to humbly serve the Lord as His shepherds and servants.
Please pray about your selections. Please pray that Godly men will step up and serve. Please pray for wisdom for the current elders and for the final decisions. Please pray that this entire process will be profitable for the church in Jersey Village, pleasing to God and done according to His will.
As we have seen in our study on Sunday evenings this month from the 23rd Psalm, the role of a shepherd is absolutely critical to the health and wellbeing of the flock. The shepherd is the leader, the guide, the protector, the comforter and the provider. The Lord’s design for elders (shepherds, overseers, pastors, bishops) of His body is seen in Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” (NIV).
As we will see in our two upcoming lessons, shepherding the flock is a tall order, but it is also one that was intended by God to bring great joy to the men willing to serve.
May God richly bless this effort!