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Elder Board and Deacons

Elder Board and Deacons

This site has been set up to equip members with the necessary information for understanding the Elder and Deacon roles so that congregants are able to prayerfully nominate biblically appropriate candidates.

Important Dates

PRAY
Read through this material and ask God for direction

Nominate (January 24th – March 6th)

Presentation of the Nominees (Sunday, May 8th)

VOTE (Sunday, May 22nd)
Church members will cast their ballots either online or in-person.

About the Selection Process

Selection Process for Elders and Deacons

  1. The Church will pray and then will nominate from one to four people whom they feel are proper candidates for the Elder Board role or Deacon role (the current individuals on the Elder Board and are deaconns can be nominated to serve a second term).
  2. Potential candidates are then informed that they have been selected and should respond if they are interested in pursuing the nomination.
  3. The nominees will then be interviewed by the Elder Board to insure each fulfills the requirement of Godly wisdom.
  4. The final candidates will be presented to congregation to seek the full affirmation of a congregational vote. The top vote getters will receive the call to serve. The person who receives the fifth largest number of votes will be designated as an alternate, in case of an early departure out of the top four.
General Attributes for Elders and Deacons

The Bible has much wisdom to share about good leadership. Listed below is a collection of qualities consistent with biblical leadership.

1. Discernment
The gift of discernment is the divine enablement to distinguish between truth and error. It is the ability to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong. Scripture references are: 1 Corinthians 12:10; Acts 5:1–4; and Matthew 16:21–23. People with this gift:

  • Distinguish truth from error, right from wrong, pure motives from impure motives.
  • Identify deception in others with accuracy and in an appropriate manner.
  • Determine whether a word attributed to God is authentic.
  • Recognize inconsistencies in a teaching, prophetic message, or interpretation.
  • Can sense the presence of evil.

2. Wisdom
The gift of wisdom is the divine enablement to apply spiritual truths effectively to meet needs in specific situations. Scripture references are: 1 Corinthians 12:8; James 3:13–18; 1 Corinthians 2:3–14; and Jeremiah 9:23–24. People with this gift:

  • Focus on the unseen consequences in determining what next steps to take.
  • Receive an understanding of what is necessary to meet the needs of the body.
  • Provide divinely guided or given solutions in the midst of conflict and confusion.
  • Hear the Spirit provide direction for God’s best in a given situation.
  • Apply spiritual truth in specific and practical ways.

3. Godly Influencers
The gift of leadership is the divine enablement to envision the future of the church coupled with a humble heart to serve others. Scripture references are: Genesis 12:1; Isaiah 43:18–19; Matthew 7:7; Matthew 20:25–28; Luke 22:27; John 10:3–4, 11; I Corinthians 2:9–13; and James 1:5. People with this gift:

  • Are servants by nature; eager to see the church prevail in the world.
  • Demonstrate spiritual foresight that anticipates the work of God.
  • Allow Scripture and prayer to inform their decision-making process.
  • Impart vision to others using clear communication.
  • Can assess significant past events and their potential for impact on the present and future.
  • Are able to think creatively and apply ideas and concepts in new ways.
  • Desire accountability in fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting the needs of those they serve

About the Elders Board

The Elder Board is a team committed to influencing and informing the Elder Team concerning decisions for Concord. Their advice and insight is key component to the Leadership Team (which is made up of both the Advisory Council and Elder Team). They play a much-needed role in maintaining a balanced and holistic perspective when handling high-level leadership decisions. According to the Constitution and By-Laws, Concord is to nominate people to serve in this role every three years.

Primary Responsibilities of Elders

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  1. Leader — Elders are servant-leaders who lead courageously and for the benefit of the congregation. (1 Timothy 3:4-5, 1 Peter 5:3, Luke 22:26)
  2. Shepherd — Elders pastor the flock providing for the protection and care of the congregation. (Acts 20:28-29, James 5:14)
  3. Teacher — Elders teach the Scripture and preserve the purity of sound doctrine in the church. (1 Timothy 3:2)
  4. Mentor — Elders train up and equip younger members of the church for leadership and ministry. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Biblical Qualifications & Expectations:

The primary passages of the Bible that list elder qualifications are 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. We encourage you to read these verses as you pray.

1. In general, an elder should be one that is above reproach, a man of character, committed to his wife and family, self-controlled, and hospitable to all. He should not be a new believer, but one season in his faith.

2. Elders should be men of spiritual, emotional, and relational maturity who express the Fruit of the Spirit in their life (Galatians 5:22-23).

3. An elder candidate should be one who has served willingly in the church and is actively involved in the body life of the church, having a place of ministry that they faithfully execute.

4. They must have credibility in our body to be recognized by people as a leader in the church. They are people who have earned their right to lead and have carved out their value in the church body.

6. They have grown to trust God with their financial resources. They give joyfully, systematically, proportionately, and sacrificially to God in support of the ministry and His church.

7. They represent Christ well in their business dealings, family life, and reputation outside of the church. They are known to be honest people with integrity.

8. They handle leadership with maturity and humility; knowing that being a leader means a willingness to give up certain rights and to monitor their behavior before others. They must not be given to excesses that would ruin their credibility with people.

9. Elders must be willing to engage in God-honoring conflict resolution and church discipline in order to protect the unity of the church.

Concord’s Requirements and Expectations for Members of the Elder Board

The Elder Board candidates must meet these stated requirements:

(a) A member of Concord for at least 5 years (except in the case of the Pastor)

(b) Active teacher/leader in ministry

(c) Satisfies scriptural qualifications (1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9;1 Pet 5:1-4; Gal 5:22-26), as interpreted, affirmed/clarified by the Senior Pastor and Board.

(d) A man who has the capacity, flexibility, and availability to serve. The time required will vary greatly month to month, but the minimum includes monthly meetings, annual retreats, and committee meetings as needed.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Guiding Principles (as seen in Titus 1:5-9) and primary responsibilities are as follows: 

(a) Be accountable and provide support to the Senior Pastor

(b) Be accountable to the congregation

(c) Pray for the Congregation, staff, deacons, ministry leaders, themselves, and the mission of the church

(d) Monitor / oversee the Church in these areas:

  1. The church’s spiritual condition (health, growth, unity, care)
  2. The church’s financial condition
  3. The church’s direction
  4. The church’s essential Biblical doctrines
  5. The Senior Pastor’s character and leadership
    1. caring for his soul through support and accountability
    1. providing informal monitoring throughout the year and a formal written evaluation at least once a year

(e) Establish effective policies for Elder Board, staff, deacons, ministry leaders, and the congregation

(f) Make recommendations on major decisions requiring a congregational vote

(g) Give an annual written report to the congregation

(h) Serve as advisors to the Senior Pastor

(i) Write concise Board Policies and Procedures

(j) Prepare and assemble self and peer evaluations annually

Other Ad-Hoc Responsibilities of the Elder Board           

(a) Oversee the congregational election of the Senior Pastor through the establishment of a Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) in non-binding consultation with the STLMBA.  No Board Member shall serve on the PSC to avoid any conflict of interest.  The congregation will nominate potential members of the PSC and vote on the final slate, with the Elder Board responsible for the vetting process.

(b) Select/appoint an acting interim pastor in the absence of a Senior Pastor.

(c) Arbitrate any disputes or grievances a member of the congregation or staff may have with the Senior Pastor or a Board member.  The Board should utilize other members and resources as necessary to bring about a fair conclusion.

(d) Ordain and/or license pastoral candidates and others who God may be leading into vocational or parachurch ministries.

(e) Handle the discipline of the Senior Pastor.                                                                                                                                                    

The Elder Board will be given the authority and the responsibility to direct or discipline the Senior Pastor using the grievance process or any conclusions coming from their evaluation of his character and leadership.

The decision to keep this confidential or communicate it to the congregation will be at their discretion. If the Senior Pastor’s ability to lead effectively is temporarily affected or compromised by these matters, the Board will select an interim pastor and executive pastor from within or outside the staff.

(f) Dismissal of Senior Pastor

Requires the following:

A vote by the Board to propose the action, a nonbinding consultation by the Saint Louis Metro Baptist Association (STLMBA) with the Board and congregation, and then a final consent by binding vote of the congregation. When a Senior Pastor is dismissed or resigns, the Board shall provide a severance package based on the outgoing Pastor’s past service, reason for leaving, and cooperative spirit. Severance shall not continue for less than one month or more than nine months. In the case of death or retirement, a parting gift comparable to severance shall be given to the Senior Pastor or the Pastor’s family.

(g) Establish ad-hoc committees as necessary.

About the Deacons

Definition

Our church body has begun the process of selecting 4 new deacons. We have put together this webpage to help clarify the biblical role of deacons so you can pray for direction in this process. Also, you will have the opportunity to nominate who you think would be a fitting candidate for this important church office. 

As you are praying through who you might nominate, please note that being divorced does not automatically eliminate a person from serving as a deacon. Pastor Rusty will be submitting a position paper on this topic soon. If you have further questions about this topic please reach out to him or the office. Thank you.

About the Deacons

Biblical Qualifications & Expectations:

8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 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.
— 1 Timothy 3:8-13 ESV

Biblical Qualification/Expectations Explained:
  1. Dignified (v. 8): This term normally refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy, and is closely related to “respectable,” which is given as a qualification for elders (1 Tim. 3:2).
  2. Not double-tongued (v. 8): Those who are double-tongued say one thing to certain people but then say something else to others, or say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere. Their words cannot be trusted, so they lack credibility.
  3. Not addicted to much wine (v. 8): A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drink. Such a person lacks self-control and is undisciplined.
  4. Not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 8): If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church.
  5. Sound in faith and life (v. 9): Paul also indicates that a deacon must “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” The phrase “the mystery of the faith” is simply one way Paul speaks of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently, this statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering. Yet this qualification does not merely involve one’s beliefs, for he must also hold these beliefs “with a clear conscience.” That is, the behavior of a deacon must be consistent with his beliefs.
  6. Blameless (v. 10): Paul writes that deacons must “be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless” (v. 10). “Blameless” is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Although Paul does not specify what type of testing is to take place, at a minimum, the candidate’s personal background, reputation, and theological positions should be examined. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.
  7. Godly wife (v. 11): It is debated whether verse 11 refers to a deacon’s wife or to a deaconess. For the sake of this discussion, we will assume the verse is speaking about the qualifications of a deacon’s wife. According to Paul, deacons’ wives must “be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (v. 11). Like her husband, the wife must be dignified or respectable. Secondly, she must not be a slanderer or a person who goes around spreading gossip. A deacon’s wife must also be sober-minded or temperate. That is, she must be able to make good judgments and must not be involved in things that might hinder such judgment. Finally, she must be “faithful in all things” (1 Tim. 3:11). This is a general requirement which functions similarly to the requirement for elders to be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) and for deacons to be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10).
  8. Husband of one wife (v. 12): The best interpretation of this difficult phrase is to understand it as referring to the faithfulness of a husband toward his wife. He must be a “one-woman man”, meaning, there must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way either emotionally or physically.  This does not exclude divorced men, but it would be wise to inquire about the situation and exercise discretion.
  9. Manage children and household well (v. 12): A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his wife and children.
Deacon Core Values:
  • Prayer
  • Servanthood
  • Generosity/Benevolence
  • Devotion to the Family
  • Growing in the Gospel
  • Faithfulness (in all areas)
  • Encouraging Unity in the Body
  • Courage
  • Seeking Wisdom