What is an elder? Who can be one? Why is it such a big deal?
What exactly is an elder anyway?
- In the New Testament church, local congregations were led by a group of elders.
- Elders have a heart for God's people.
- They lead by example and with humility.
- They teach the church.
- They take care of the practical needs of the church.
- At ChristWay, we believe that God has called us to follow that model and be led by a group of men that are a council of elders rather than just one man. This model creates greater accountability and collaboration.
Who can be an elder?
- Must have been a partner with ChristWay for at least one year.
- Must be a man who is a mature believer.
- Meet the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1.
- Must be a man of prayer who is willing to work hard as God directs.
- The men who will serve as elders are nominated by church partners. It is not a popularity contest nor is it about politics, and these men should be nominated through prayerful consideration. We are following Christ as we choose elders from our church to represent the thoughts and voices of the congregation. This gives us a group of men who are following the heart of God, no matter what happens. They are accountable to each other and to the church so they are all on the same page and on the same team.
Why is it such a big deal?
These men will lead the church while listening to God's direction. Individuals have a VOICE instead of a VOTE. We don't make decisions by popular vote. Elders listen to the voice of the people, seek God in prayer and follow the direction that God leads.
What's the process?
- Each year, at a time designated by our current elders, ChristWay partners are asked to prayerfully consider who God is leading them to nominate.
- After confirming that the nominee is willing to serve in this capacity, his name should be submitted in the designated location.
- The Elder Council will interview, observe and evaluate candidates to consider their spiritual qualifications.
- After a season of prayer and fasting, those whom they feel led to appoint as Elders will be placed before the church for 21 days of public examination. During that time any church partner may present in writing to the Elder Council any concerns, based upon scripture that a Candidate may not be qualified to serve as an Elder at this time. All written concerns must be signed. No anonymous concerns will be considered.
- The existing Elders will investigate all concerns and will address them with each candidate as necessary.
- Those candidates who have been proven through the examination by the Elders and the church will be presented to the congregation for affirmation.
- If they have not been ordained as an elder previously, elder candidates will be publicly ordained in a special service.
Email the current elders at firstname.lastname@example.org.