Elder Selection Process
The Senior Pastor shall be a member and leader of the elder team. Each elder (except the Senior Pastor) shall upon appointment serve a three-year term, to be followed by a recommended one-year sabbatical period, and elder terms shall be staggered so as to ensure continuity on the team. Leaving the team of elders will not preclude one’s future service as an elder, subject to subsequent appointment by the regular elder selection process.
Scripture gives evidence of the first elders being appointed by the founders of the church. By this example, it is implied that the existing spiritual leadership of a church be intimately involved in the process of selecting elders, to ensure selection based on spiritual, rather than superficial, qualifications. Beyond this, there are no specific guidelines given regarding the selection process. It would therefore appear that freedom is given to the individual church to develop a process that will best serve its own special needs and situation.
Each year, the current slate of elders shall determine the number of positions to be filled that year because of vacancies or newly created positions on the elder team and shall initiate the following process for selection of new elders:
1. The congregation, having carefully reviewed the qualifications and duties of an elder, will be asked to submit the names of members for consideration as elders.
2. The elders shall review the submitted names, identifying those men who appear to have congregational support and the unreserved affirmation of each elder.
3. Individuals who thus far qualify shall be so informed and they shall be urged to engage in self-appraisal and personal evaluation. Any person may withdraw his name at this point if he does not aspire to the position of elder.
4. The elders shall conduct interviews with each individual before making a final selection.
5. The name of the prospective elders shall be brought before the congregation over a period of three weeks to provide the opportunity to show cause why any of the prospective elders would not be qualified to serve. At the end of this period, the prospective elders will be presented to the church for affirmation in a commissioning service. In the event of a vacancy or special need, the elders may refer to previous nominees from the current year’s congregational submissions to make a selection that will then be brought in front of the congregation for the requisite review period. The elders may also reinitiate the selection process at any time during the year, as they deem necessary.