Article 2: Elders and Deacons
The purpose of the office of Elders and Deacons are explained in Scripture. All candidates must meet the qualifications for the office as set down in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:2-4). Elders are collectively responsible to oversee the following:
- Ruling/Shepherding (1 Peter 5:1-2).
- Equipping (Ephesians 4:11-12)
- Prayer/Fasting (Acts 6:4; 13:1-3)
- Teaching/Preaching (1Timothy 5:17)
- Administration of membership oaths and signs of the covenant (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
- Administration of church discipline and restoration (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
All decisions of the elders are to be by their unanimous consent.
The New Testament distinguishes the authority of the elders from that of the congregation. The elders have ministerial authority, which is to be respected by the congregation (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24). Decisions of the Elders may be challenged by a congregational vote and may be overturned by a two-thirds majority of the vote cast, the elders excepted.
A: Ordination of Elders
As the need arises, nominations for elder(s) will be received from the congregation. A candidate may be considered only upon unanimous approval by the current elders. After a candidate has been approved by the elders there shall be a period of three weeks for the electors to bring to the elders any objections or concerns they may have as to the Biblical qualifications of the candidate.
All objections and concerns will be evaluated by the current elders. If found to be valid in light of Scripture the candidate’s name will be removed from consideration. If said objections and concerns are determined to be invalid or insufficient in light of Scripture, the elders will, upon request, give an explanation for their ruling to the elector(s) making the complaint.
If the candidate receives the unanimous support of the electors, the elders will ordain the new elder through the laying on of hands and prayer.
Once ordained, the elder will serve for life, unless he resigns or is removed. An elder may, for good cause, take leave of his duties for a time without resigning his office.
B: Appointment of Deacons
As the need arises, the elders may ordain deacons to manage the financial, physical, social, and benevolent functions of the church under their general oversight (Acts 6:2-4).