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Nominations for Elders - August 26 to Sepember 9

In order to nominate online, you must read this entire page (or a hard copy from the Info Desk) and answer the questions at the bottom of this page.

(Go HERE to see FAQs.)



 

“Carefully study appropriate passages of Scripture...and be very prayerful in selecting persons to this office,” the EPC Book of Government wisely advises the congregation about nominating a person to church office.

As we nominate members of All Souls to the office of elder, we wanted to take time to both learn more about the office and then to think and pray for God to show us the leaders He wants for us.

Please read this page completely, and over the next two weeks, nominate (see bottom of this page) people as God directs. (Nominations can also be made by picking up a paper ballot at the information desk in the lobby, and dropping the ballot in the offering basket through Sept. 9). If you have any questions, please read our FAQs about the process. The elders are also available to meet and talk - session@allsoulsfellowship.org.

Thank you for participating in this important part of our church life.

(NOTE: In order to nominate online, you must read this entire page (or a hard copy from the Info Desk) and answer the questions at the bottom of this page.)

Biblical Leadership

A Life of Service and duty

The first duty of the Ruling Elder is to “represent the mind of Christ” according to the Word of God (1 Cor. 2:16). Ruling Elders are responsible for the oversight of the church (Acts 20:28). They are to watch over the spiritual welfare of the congregation (1 Pt 5:2). Ruling Elders should study the Scripture and become equipped to teach it (2 Tim 3:16). They provide pastoral care by visiting the sick, the bereaved, the lonely, the aged, and the shut-in. Elders, as they live in the very atmosphere of prayer, are to see to the spiritual development of the congregation (2 Cor. 1:10, 11). They also connect with the people of the church in the chamber of the sick and the dying; in conversing with the anxious inquirer, and the perplexed or struggling believer.

 

What Scripture Says about the Office of Elder

Specifics are given in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, 1 Peter 5:1-4, Titus 1:6-9, Ezra 7:9b-10, and we have also summarized below:

  • Attributes of an officer should be already present—candidate must examine himself/herself.
  • Focus should not be on personality, but character–the fruit of godliness.
  • Candidate must commit to pursuit of Christ-like character and attributes required of an officer.
  • Candidate must be an example.

 

CHARACTERISTICS and ATTRIBUTES of an Elder

1. Godliness

1 Timothy 3:1-7

In this passage, we find 12 adjectives to describe the character requirements for leaders. The first character trait summarizes all others: elders must be “above reproach.” This is not speaking of perfection, but rather of the direction of one’s life. Elders must not be marked with any kind of disgrace, as this would limit their influence and authority among the flock.

We also find this character illustrated in other passages:

  • Temperate, self-controlled, upright, holy, disciplined | Titus 1:7,8
  • Sincere | 1 Timothy: 3:8
  • Not Pursuing Dishonest Gain | 1 Timonthy 3:8, Titus 1:7
  • Not a Lover of Money | 1 Timothy 3:3
  • An Example to the Flock | 1 Peter 5:3
  • Full of the Holy Spirit | Acts 6:3, 5
  • Desire to Serve–in Humility | 1 Tim. 3:1, 1 Pet. 5:2, Acts 6:2
  • Love for Others–Hospitable, Gentle, Patient and Not Quarrelsome | 1 Timonthy 3:2,3, Titus 1:7,8
  • Good reputation–even among those outside the church | 1 Timonthy 3:2,7

 

2. Zeal for Righteousness

Moral sensitivity to anything unjust in himself or herself (first) or others. This quality highlights the importance of seeking holiness and purity.

 

3. Compassion

This consideration should be demonstrated to those who are facing both physical and spiritual weaknesses. This can be described as being a servant to all those in need.


4. Patience

Why? Several reasons: leadership is exhausting and demanding work, there is little apparent return for all the efforts a leader makes, many who are on the receiving end don’t always show appreciation, and God’s timing is not ours. The Christian leader waits on the Lord.

 

5. Good Example

Leaders are models to whom other people look up. They are examples in both good and bad. We stress the need for humility and maturity, recognizing that the leader is no better than those who follow, just more visible.

 

6. Discernment

This quality guides the leader in knowing both what to do and how to do it. Leaders are to encourage the spiritual and moral growth of the community. To do this, they must discern God’s desires for his people. The leader understands the need for delegation and the danger of becoming buried under the heavy load of administration, and so missing the important “spiritual guide” nature of leadership.

 

7. Devotion to God

While listed last, this is the most important quality. Everything else depends on it. A close personal relationship with God guides us in all our leadership responsibilities. Essential is a life of prayer, cultivating an awareness or mindfulness of God in all of life.

 

 

EPC Requirements

According to the EPC Book of Order (Book of Government), the following requirements must also be met by an Elder:

§ 10-4 The Office of Ruling Elder

In the Old Testament, the office of Elder was established for the oversight of the Church. In the New Testament, this office is continued. Those who fill this office today for governing the Church are called Ruling Elders. Chosen by the people of a particular congregation, these Ruling Elders are to watch over the spiritual welfare of that congregation. When appointed to participate in Presbytery or General Assembly, they shall watch over the spiritual welfare and participate diligently in the workings of that portion of the Church to which they are commissioned, recognizing that the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is a connectional church. The Ruling Elder shares authority with the Teaching Elder in all of the courts of the church, in both rights and duties. As a representative of the people, it is the first duty of the Ruling Elder to represent the mind of Christ, as that person understands it, in the various courts of the Church.

 

§ 10-5 The Life of the Ruling Elder

According to Scripture, those who bear this office should exhibit certain characteristics of life. This includes being blameless in life, sound in the faith, wise in the things of God, and discreet in all things. Persons who fill this office should exhibit a lifestyle that is an example to all, both in and outside the Church. A congregation preparing to elect persons to this holy office should carefully study appropriate passages of Scripture relating to the Ruling Elder and be very prayerful in selecting persons to this office.

 

§ 10-6 The Ruling Elder and the Power of Order

While the power to rule is a joint power exercised in church courts in regular gradation, each Ruling Elder also exercises the power of order. This is the power that belongs to the Elder by right of ordination. Thus...

A. A Ruling Elder should study and learn the Word and become equipped to teach that Word, even to supplying a regular ministry of the Word where none is available. The Ruling Elder should become adept at leading worship and at leading in prayer.

B. As an Undershepherd, that person should visit the sick, the bereaved, the lonely, the aged, the shut-in, and all those who have a pastoral need. In cases where there is a special need, the Ruling Elder shall be careful to inform the Pastor.

C. It is especially incumbent upon the Ruling Elder to see to the development of the children of the congregation, to inquire after the inactive members, to encourage new members in spiritual development, and to otherwise show care for those whom they serve.

D. A Ruling Elder should be diligent to watch for moral failures and seek to warn, to admonish, and otherwise to reclaim those who stray. In special cases, where it is deemed necessary, such failures should be brought to the attention of the Church Session for appropriate action of discipline.

 

 

Solid Commitments

The ordination vows required by our constitution comprehend the expected commitments of the officer and his or her prayerful examination of each of the following commitments. The ordination vows and the examination each should elicit may be summarized as follows:

1. To Jesus Christ as Lord

“Do you reaffirm your faith in Jesus Christ as your own personal Lord and Savior?“

  • Has no known sin in his life in which he/she is repetitively and unrepentantly engaged?
  • Prepared to share his/her testimony of faith in Christ with others?

 

2. To the Bible as the word of God

“Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks?”

  • Obviously submits to the Scriptures in belief and lifestyle?
  • Regularly reads and studies the Bible?

 

3. To Reformed Theology

“Do you sincerely receive and adopt the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Catechisms of this church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures? Do you promise that if at any time you find yourself out of accord with any of the essentials of the faith you will, on your own initiative, make known to your church Session the change that has taken place in your views since the assumption of this ordination vow?"

  • Thinks carefully and theologically?
  • Committed to distinctives of Evangelical and Reformed faith?

 

4. To Presbyterian Polity

“Do you subscribe to the government and discipline of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church? Do you promise subjection to your fellow Presbyters in the Lord?”

  • Can work well with others under a common structure for a common goal?
  • Thinks independently and also works well with others for a common solution?
  • Known for brotherly/sisterly affection and mutual trust in working relationships?

 

5. To the Glory of God

“Have you been induced, as far as you know your own heart, to accept the office of Ruling Elder from love of God and sincere desire to promote his glory in the Gospel of his Son? Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in promoting the truths of the gospel and the purity and peace of the church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise to you on that account?”

  • Obviously motivated by the love of God?
  • Courageously stands for God regardless of cost to self?
  • Seeks to lead unchurched people to Christ and to his church?

 

6. To the office of elder

“Will you seek to be faithful and diligent in the exercise of all your duties as Ruling Elder whether personal or relative, private or public; and to endeavor by the grace of God to adorn the profession of the gospel in your manner of life, and to walk with exemplary piety before this congregation of which God will make you an officer?”

  • Sets an example that others should follow?
  • Will participate fully in leadership training?
  • Regularly takes initiative to accomplish ministry assigned to him/her?

 

7. To the church

“Are you now willing to take responsibility in the life of this congregation as a Ruling Elder, and will you seek to discharge your duties, relying upon the grace of God, in such a way that the entire church of Jesus Christ will be blessed?“

  • Has no known unreconciled relationship in local church body?
  • Faithfully attends Sunday worship?
  • Faithfully tithes?
  • Regularly encourages others to grow in their faith?

 

How to Nominate:

Read & Pray

We ask all members to read this document thoroughly, read the scripture passages listed and pray about fellow members who exhibit the character and qualities of an elder.

and

Nominate via Paper Ballot

Pick up a ballot at the information desk, fill in and drop in offering basket or in the ballot basket (also at the information desk).

or

Nominate now by completing the questions immediately below.

 


Nomination Form for Elders of All Souls:

My First Name:*  
My Last Name:*  
My Email Address:  
 *  

I have read–completely–the above page regarding elder qualifications, character and attributes.

 *  

I am a member of All Souls Fellowship Church (I have completed the steps of membership and have taken membership vows).

 *  

“I believe that the following people meet the requirements and possess the character and attributes of the office of elder. Therefore, I nominate them to be canditates for the session of All Souls.” (You may list more than one–simply separate names by commas within the field below.)