We’re excited about the future God has in store for us at First as we move to a new elder leadership structure.
In a special business meeting on February 10, 2019, the church membership approved the Church Board's proposal for elder leadership. The first Elder Board will be elected in August 2019 and officially step into office on September 1, 2019.
Following are details about the proposal, which was overwhelmingly approved in our meeting.
How will we be organized?
Jesus Christ is the head of the church and we will seek to follow him in all things. (Colossians 1:18)
The congregation is the highest human authority in the church. Each member is responsible to pray for the members and leaders of the church, care for each other, and serve in the ministry of the church. The members are to hold each other and our leaders accountable to live and preach the gospel. (Matthew 18:1-6, Matthew 18:15-20, Galatians 1:6-9, Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 13:7, James 5:16)
Individuals within the congregation will serve in many different capacities. In the new organizational model, we will continue to see people serving in familiar Serve Teams such as Kinship and Connections and in Ministry Teams such as Kids, Missions and Adult Community Groups. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27, 2 Corinthians 13:11-12, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:16, 1 Peter 4:9, 1 John 3:16)
We will also have Elders and Deacons. Elders will be responsible for shepherding, teaching, and developing ministry vision and programs to meet our mission of Renewing lives and our city through relationship with Jesus. The Deacons will be responsible for member care, administration, and overseeing the work of Serve Teams assigned to them. (Acts 20:28, James 5:14, 1 Timothy 4:11-16, 1 Peter 5:1-3, Acts 6:1-7)
How will we operate?
At each annual meeting, the congregation will elect elders to the Elder Board and affirm deacons for the Deacon Committee. The Elder Board will form Ministry and Serve teams to accomplish the work of the church.
The Elder Board will be comprised of pastors who are on the paid staff (vocational elders) and non-vocational elders. Together, they will oversee all preaching, teaching and worship. They will oversee the work of staff and volunteers in Ministry and Serve Teams, with a particular focus on the missions programs, family ministry, adult discipleship, and outreach efforts of the church. Among their other duties, the Elders will assign and oversee tasks for the Deacon Committee and will serve as the legal authorities and officers of the church.
The Deacon Committee will work in specific ministry and service support areas assigned to them by the Elder Board. In the first year of elder leadership, the Deacons will oversee the congregational care and hospitality ministries of the church. They will also be responsible for administrative and facility operations.
The Ministry and Serve teams – from Worship to Facilities – will be comprised of both volunteers and staff members. Our ability to accomplish the work of ministry in our community is dependent on the active involvement of every member of the congregation.
How is this model different than our current model?
Multiple Elders: We will have a plurality of elders working together in all aspects of the church and its ministries. In contrast to today, where we have one elder (the Senior Pastor) and an elected Church Board, these roles will be mixed and shared among a group of qualified vocational and non-vocational elders. (Acts 20:17, Titus 1:5, James 5:14)
More Effective Activity: We will have a mix of elders, staff members and volunteers leading and participating in all aspects of the work of the Deacon Committee, Ministry Teams, and Serve Teams. This will allow us to act more quickly and effectively to achieve our ministry purpose. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
Our purpose remains the same
Our mission: Renewing lives and our city through relationship with Jesus
Our values: Our Neighborhood, Living the Bible, Caring Community, Missions Partnerships, The Next Generation, Prayerful Dependence
Our strategy: Connect, Grow, Do