Some Thoughts on the Upcoming Conversation on Elders
One of the major changes under consideration in the proposed revision of the Constitution and Bylaws is our governance structure. We would like to move from an Executive Board to an Elder Board.
Under our current governance, we have an Executive Board made up of the following: Deacons (7), Pastors (2), Members at Large (2), Chair of the Missions Committee and the Chair of the Trustees. The proposed revision would replace the Executive Board with an Elder Board that could range in size from 7 to 11 members.
One of the primary reasons why we want to make these changes is because we think it will help us better care for the needs of our congregation. How so?
- The title “Elder” as opposed to “Executive Board Member” helps to shape and define the role. When you think of an “Executive Board” it conveys the idea of a “decision-making” board. But an Elder is much more than that. A leader in the church – an Elder – is not just an “overseer” but is also a “shepherd.” Hebrews 13:17 indicates that the task of an “Elder” is to “watch over your soul.” Hence, the title “Elder” keeps in focus the role of the position; to bring spiritual care to the church family.
- Because we are using the biblical words for church leadership, we can turn to Scripture to get direct teaching on what these positions of leadership are to do. The Bible clearly tells us what an Elder is to do. The Bible clearly tells us what a Deacon is to do. This lends clarity to the focus of these positions; namely the spiritual and physical care of the church family. Conversely, nowhere, do you find specific instructions for an Executive Board.
- Because we can go to Scripture to gain clarity on the role of an Elder and the role of a Deacon, we can organize our structure to make sure the variety of needs within our church congregation are being met. With Elders focusing on the spiritual needs of the congregation and bringing oversight to the ministry, we have a group of leaders who are focusing on this important aspect of congregational care. At the same time, this frees up Deacons to provide care and oversight for the various physical and practical needs of the church family. For example, in Acts 6 the Apostles focused on the ministry of the Word and prayer while a group was formed to care for the very practical need of the widows. The result was that all the needs were met and the church grew.
- Finally, by having trained Elders and Deacons, there is a continuity of care that should continue from year to year. In other words, the responsibility of overseeing and organizing care within the church does not rest on one individual. Instead, it is the ongoing work of Elders and Deacons, assuring that care will continue to be given year after year.
Join us this coming Sunday at 6:00 pm to begin our conversation. There will be ample time to ask questions and share your thoughts. Also, you can email questions and thoughts on this topic to
The informational packet for the meeting can be found here. The packet includes the following:
- Cover Letter
- An Overview of the Purpose & Process for the Constitution & Bylaw Revision
- An initial draft of the Constitution & Bylaws
- A Flow Chart that reflects the proposed changes
- A Chart of Responsibilities comparing what is current to what is proposed.
Login/Register to leave comment