1 Timothy 3:1 says, “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer (or elder), he desires a noble task” (cf. Tit 1:5). As many of you in our church family know, over the last several years the Lord has been steadily cultivating this “noble” desire in the heart of one of our members, Jason Boe. We praise God for this work of grace in Jason’s heart. However, while rejoicing at what the Lord has done, at the same time we realize that desire is not the only prerequisite for pastoral ministry. In fact, the Bible clearly spells out several qualifications that relate to a man’s character, reputation and doctrinal knowledge (1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9).
For this reason we have designed a process to help our church body evaluate potential elders (see Appendix 6 of our Constitution). The way the process works is that an Elder Evaluation Team is assembled who is charged with collecting references and conducting interviews with the potential elder’s spouse, co-workers and fellow church members. The team members that are responsible for evaluating Jason’s references are Joe & Becky Jimenez, Matthew & Patsy Withers and Jon & Betsy Cox.
Our evaluation process also says that in addition to submitting references, all potential elders are required to write a doctrinal statement outlining their beliefs on the basics of Christian theology. Over the last two years, Jason has been regularly meeting with me to study doctrine and compose his statement of faith. That statement is now complete, and he will be presenting it to the entire church family at a special edition of Entrust the evening of October 6th [Although Entrust is usually for the men, everyone is invited to this meeting]. This will be an opportunity not only for you to hear what Jason believes, but also ask him questions related to pastoral ministry.
On Sunday, October 13th based on the Jason’s references and the outcome of his doctrinal presentation, the Evaluation Team in coordination with church leadership will make a recommendation to the entire congregation. If the recommendation is positive, then the church membership will vote to call Jason as an elder at our Member’s Meeting on October 27th.
This is an exciting time in the life of our church, and it should cause us all to deeply depend on the Lord for wisdom and guidance. Let me encourage each of you to consistently and fervently pray for Jason & Heather, the Evaluation Team and our whole congregation as we seek God’s will together.
If you have any questions about this process or the way our church government is structured, I hope you will plan to join us for ABF this Sunday at 9:30am as we will be talking about biblical eldership as well as describing our elder evaluation process in a little more detail.
Grace & Peace,