The Biblical Roles and Responsibilities of Elders
Christ has graciously designed the leadership of the Body of Christ to include Pastors (Eph. 4:11-16) and Elders (1 Tim. 3:1-7) in the local church. In addition, our Savior has defined the roles and responsibilities of Pastors and Elders in His Word.
At Sunset Church, 1) the Pastor and Elder Board is responsible for the oversight of the vision and mission of the church and works closely with the pastoral staff to ensure that members of the church grow in Christ likeness and faithfully live for God’s glory. 2) The Elders are responsible to shepherd the members of the church primarily through (but not limited to) the ministry of the Word and prayer.
The Bible calls the members of the church to “select from among themselves” those leaders whom God has called, gifted, and affirmed. Therefore, the Sunset membership and existing leadership engages in this process of nomination, training, testing, electing, and affirming.
Review the following passage on the qualifications to help you as you make your nominations (see also Acts 6:1-7, Acts 20:28, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
1 Timothy 3:1-13
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How do I nominate someone?
2. Why is it important for me to participate in nominating someone since I don't know everyone?
As a member of Sunset you are aware by observation and experience whether someone meets the biblical qualifications and whether they would serve the Lord well in His Church. Carefully reading the qualifications for Elder on the back of this form and prayerfully considering those you know will allow you to participate in the process of our church electing those called to serve the Lord.
3. What happens when I nominate someone?
All nominations go through a process which includes prayerful consideration by the Nomination Committee to insure they are qualified. Qualified men will be informed of their nomination and invited to a meeting to hear about the responsibilities of Elders. They then are given time to prayerfully consider whether they want to be candidates for Elders. Those that accept will complete a training if not previously trained by the Elders or Pastors. They will then complete a testing portion of the process that includes both written and verbal examination of their life and doctrine. Upon PE Board approval they are presented to the congregation for a vote.
To be affirmed, a candidate must receive a two-thirds majority vote of who is present and voting.
4. Who is eligible to be nominated?
According to Scripture, any man who is called and gifted by the Holy Spirit, qualified by God’s grace and the affirmation of the church leadership, and elected by the church membership is qualified to be an Elder.
5. Why should I prayerfully consider aspiring to the office of Elder?
Because God has given gifts of leadership to His people and He calls us not to “bury our talents” but to use for His glory. It is a great privilege to serve the Lord in the leadership of the church, to care for her as good stewards of the Gospel.
6. How long would I serve as an Elder if elected?
The calling of Elder is for as long as he fulfills to the duties and responsibilities and qualify according to Scripture. However, there are 3-year terms for the position on the Pastor and Elder Board. After a max of two 3-year terms, we allow Elders to take a one year sabbatical before returning to the PE Board.
Having read over the Scriptural qualifications for Elder (I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6), I believe that the following candidate(s) meet(s) the qualifications for the position indicated. Nominations will close on Thursday, February 28.