Dear Gracepointe Family,
I am thankful for all that God has done and is going to do at Gracepointe Church! It has been a great 2019! Two of our current elders, Brad Bates and A.J. Mowrer, will be rotating off at the end of the year. Therefore, we are beginning the process of filling these two positions.
The structure of a church is an important issue. It is not, however, the most important issue. There are many other issues that have priority over this one. The deity of Christ, justification by faith alone, the inerrancy of Scripture and the substitutionary atonement of Christ are a few examples. However, just because it may not be the most important topic, it certainly does not make it unimportant. The form of government a church chooses to embrace is extremely relevant to the life and health of the church.
Although some aspects of church government are clear in Scripture, others are less clear, like how church leaders should be selected, what issues should be voted on, etc. As a result, there are certain points where we must allow for some flexibility without compromising the Scriptures. In this packet you will find a lot of necessary information regarding the role of an elder, his responsibilities and qualifications. I encourage you to take time to read through this information and then prayerfully consider who among us might serve as an elder of Gracepointe Church.
For the glory of His name,
1) The elders help to settle disputes in the church. “While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the Christians ‘unless you keep the ancient Jewish custom of circumcision taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’ Paul and Barnabas, disagreeing with them, argued forcefully and at length. Finally, Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question” (Acts 15: 1-2;NL T). The question was raised and forcefully argued, then taken to the apostles and elders for a decision. This passage teaches that elders are decision makers.
2) They pray for the sick. “Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the lord” (James 5: 14 ). Since the elders have to meet specific qualifications, their lives are godly and therefore the sin in their lives is minimal and is confessed regularly; therefore, they are used to pray for the sick . One of the necessities in prayer is praying for the lord ‘s will to be done, and they are expected to do this.
3) They are to watch out for the church in humility. “I exhort the elders who are among you, I being also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God among you, taking the oversight, not by compulsion, but willingly; nor for base gain, but readily; nor as lording it over those allotted to you by God, but becoming examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.(1 Peter 5:1-4).Elders are the designated leaders of the church, and the flock is entrusted to them by God. They are not to lead for the pay or the reward but because of their desire to serve and shepherd the flock.
4) They are to watch out for the spiritual life of the flock. “Yield to those leading you, and be submissive, for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you”(Hebrews 13: 1) This verse does not specifically say “elders” but it is talking about the church leaders. They are accountable for the spiritual life of the church.
5) They are to spend their time in prayer and teaching the word. “And the Twelve called near the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up= preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word”‘(Acts 6:2-4 ). This is for the apostles, but we can see from the passage above in #3 that Peter equates himself as an apostle and an elder. From this verse you can also see the difference between the duties of elder and deacon.
Simply put, the elders should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. They are the preaching and teaching leaders of the church. It is a position to be sought but not taken lightly-read this warning: “let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1 ). The role of elder is not a position to be taken lightly.
”The office of biblical elders hip is not an honorary position bestowed on individuals who have attended church faithfully or who are senior in years. Nor is this office to be viewed as a church board position to be filled with good friends, rich donors, or charismatic personalities. Nor is it a position that only graduate seminary students can fill. The church elder is open to all men who meet the biblical requirements.” -Alexander Strauch
• desire to serve (1 Tim. 3:1)
• able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1 :9)
• not a recent convert (1 Tim. 3:6)
• well thought of by outsiders (1 Tim. 3:7)
• husband of one wife (1Tim. 3:2; Titus 1 :6)
• manage his own household well (1Tim. 3:4-5; Titus 1:6)
• above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)
• sober-minded (1 Tim. 3:2)
• self controlled (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8)
• respectable (1 Tim. 3:2)
• hospitable (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8}
• gentle (1 Tim. 3:3)
• a lover of good (Titus :8)
• upright (Titus 1:8)
• holy (Titus 1:8)
• disciplined (Titus 1:8)
• not a drunkard (1 Tim 3:3; Titus 1:7)
• not violent (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7}
• not quarrelsome (1 Tim 3:3)
• not a lover of money (1 Tim 3:3; Titus 1:7)
• not arrogant (Titus 1:7)
• not quick tempered (Titus 1:7)
“Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood … “ -Acts 20:28
The elders should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. They are the preaching and teaching leaders of the church. It is a position to be sought but not taken lightly- read this warning: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1) The role of elder is not a position to be taken lightly.
As we continue to move forward following God’s plan for Gracepointe Church we believe it is time for us to elect more elders to serve this body of believers. If you are a member of Gracepointe you can nominate men to the elder position. Please read the qualifications listed on the attached sheets, and then spend time praying before you submit any names.
Elder nominations will be open from Sunday, November 17, 2019 – Sunday, December 15, 2019.
After reviewing the biblical qualifications for an elder with much prayerful consideration, and as a member of Gracepointe Church, please use the link below to submit your name/names to be considered for the elder position at Gracepointe Church.