1. Qualifications – The qualifications for a man chosen to fill the office of elder are clearly set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and various other portions of Scripture. Any man called to the eldership must be able conscientiously to affirm his agreement with and support of the “Statement of Faith” and the constitution of our church.
2. Responsibilities – All elders are pastors of the flock (Acts 20:28). They are responsible for the oversight and shepherding of the flock. They shall give account to God for the performance of their ministries (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:2-3). While every elder must be able to teach (1Timothy 3:2), some will be more engaged in formal and public teaching while others will be more engaged in private teaching, admonishing and governing (1 Timothy 5:17).
3. Selection – The normal procedure in the New Testament for the selection of elders is the process of recognition (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 3:1-13). Consent must be secured from any individual being considered for the eldership before his name is presented to the congregation for consideration. The nominee and date of the vote will be announced on at least four consecutive weeks at regular meetings prior to a congregational vote. At least three-fourths or 75 percent majority will be required for approval of the nominee to take up the office.
4. Ordination – In a regular or specially scheduled meeting of the church, the individual having received the confirmation of the congregation shall be ordained by the existing eldership of the church and/or elders from other churches. The hands of all participating elders shall be laid upon the new elder and prayer offered in his behalf (Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).
1. Ministry of Mercy – The ministry of mercy in our church and community is the responsibility of all members of our congregation (James 1:27), however, this is a special responsibility of the deacons (Acts 6:2-3).
2. Business Affairs – The deacons shall carry the responsibilities of administering the business affairs of the church (1 Timothy 3:8). It shall be the responsibility of the deacons to prepare the church budget, annual financial reports and any other necessary business reports and receipts. Account balances, revenues and expenses shall be monitored and maintained by the deacons of the church and compiled into an annual financial report that shall be presented to the church at an annual business meeting. It shall also be the responsibility of the deacons to care for and maintain the church’s properties.
3. Selection – The normal procedure in the New Testament for the selection of deacons is the process of recognition (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13). According to Acts 6:3, which is generally recognized as pertaining to deacons or at least a precursor to this office, deacons are to be men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom. While physical abilities and skills may be an important characteristic for those holding this office, the scriptures clearly reveal that the candidate’s spiritual qualifications are of supreme importance. Consent must be secured from all individuals being considered for the diaconate before being presented to the congregation for consideration. Those who are possible candidates and the planned date of the election will be announced on at least four consecutive weeks at regular meetings prior to a congregational vote. Acts 6:3 shows the pattern of the church leaders designating the number of individuals to be selected and then looking to the brethren who make up the church to look out among themselves and designate qualified individuals. Our practice will involve a recommendation by the elders as to the number of deacons desired and the church will look out among themselves for qualified individuals to satisfy this number. The membership of the church shall express their selections for the diaconate by way of vote. The candidates receiving the most votes by those present and voting, and receiving the approval of the eldership shall be ordained to this office.
4. Ordination – In a regular or specially scheduled meeting of the church, the individual(s) having received the confirmation of the congregation and elder(s) shall be ordained by the existing eldership of the church and/or elders from other churches. The hands of all participating elders shall be laid upon the new deacon and prayer offered in his behalf (Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).