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  • Aug31Thu

    Leadership Transition Team

    August 31, 2017
    It's Unanimous! 

    Praise the Lord! On Sunday, August 27th, after about thirty minutes of questions, our church body decided with one mind to move forward in changing our church government to elder led by establishing a leadership transition team! This is no small thing and I believe this is a great testimony to our love and obedience to God's Word. I thank God for our humble submission to the Scriptures. 

    What Is The Leadership Transition Team
    Using Acts 6 as a paradigm for changing church structure to meet needs, our leadership transition team will help us change from our current model of pastor/deacons to elders/deacons church government. 

    This team will be composed of qualified men who are potential elders. They will be nominated by the church body. Do note that just because men are nominated to this team it does not mean they will be elders once the team is dismantled. That is possible, but remember that this team is temporary. It's purpose is solely to help the church transition.

    Specifically, the purpose of this team will be to lead the church through presentation, investigation, adoption, and implementation of being elder led. 

    • Presentation: Regularly update the church body on the results of meetings
    • Investigation: Dig in further as to what the Bible teaches about being elder-led and its implications for FBC.
    • Adoption: When the time comes, lead the church in formally adopting being elder-led
    • Implementation: Help the church transition from the current model to the new

    Accordingly, they will: 
    • Develop a written proposal for congregational rule, elder led congregation structure and function for the church. This includes the following:
      • Function: The broad scriptural functions of elders and how that would look in a job description.
      • Structure: Biblical structure of government, that is, the lines of authority and responsibilities.
      • Qualifications: The scriptural qualifications for elders (working out the interpretative/applicative issues of “husband of one wife,” “having children under control,” “having children who believe,” “apt to teach,” etc.).
      • Decisions: The decision-making processes relative to elders, deacons and the congregation.
      • Congregational Response: Biblical perspective on the congregation’s response to the elders
      • Constitution: Changes required within the church’s legal documents in order to accommodate eldership
      • Identifying Elders: The process for identifying/selecting elders.
      • Sustainability: Term limits/rotations, preventing burnout, elder sabbaticals, new elders, continuing elder-education, disqualifications, etc. 
    • Develop a comprehensive plan for guiding the congregation through the investigation, understanding, and embracing of elder led, congregational rule structure.
    • Oversee the evaluation and installation of the new elders
    • Work out a rough timetable for when things will happen

    The benefits of this team are twofold. First, it models plurality of leadership for the church. Second, it is a proving ground for elders and leaders. It gives a chance to demonstrate and develop the kind of qualities that will make for being a good elder. 

    The qualifications for this position are he must be a male, he must desire to do it, he must be spiritually mature, he must be able to teach, he must be able to lead, and he must demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. 

    How To Nominate
    Please very carefully observe the following items and dates:

    1. All nominations will be done in secret. This is to guard against manipulation, guilt-tripping, and/or embarrassment.
    2. Submit all nominations on a piece of paper with your name on it to either pastor Andrew or one of the deacons - Jim Showers, Dan Polzien, Dick Oberg. 
    3. You may nominate more than one individual. 
    4. Only nominate those men whom you have prayerfully and thoughtfully discerned to be Biblically-qualified. 
    5. Submit all nominations by September 24th. 
    6. After September 24th, pastor and deacons will begin screening confidential nominations. 
    7. October 29th pastor and deacons will present qualified and willing men for the team. The church will be given three weeks to prayerfully consider these men and raise any concerns. Any concerns should be brought directly to the pastor and deacons who will investigate them. 
    8. November 19th we will vote by secret ballot of these men. Lord willing, all men are confirmed and immediately begin working on objectives. 

    This is a very exciting time for us as a church! Please be much in prayer for God’s help and direction. And may God be pleased to do for us what he did for the church in Acts 6 – to cause the Word of God to spread all through Newberry and to cause the number of disciples to increase rapidly!

    In Christian Love and Joy.
    Pastor Andrew Manwarren 

    The Questions Asked At The Meeting and Short Version Answers

    1. Do the deacons preach or teach? Teaching is not a requirement of deacons, though it is an added bonus if they can! 
    2. Should the secretary's position be voted on and/or divided up? What about trustees? A deacon will be chosen to fill the position of trustee for state requirements
    3. How many elders should there be? There is no set number except to say more than one and as many as the Holy Spirit appoints. 
    4. How do we pick nominees for the team and how many? The congregation chooses men they think are qualified as elders. They are to write down their names on paper and give it to the deacons or pastor by Sept. 24th. This is to be done in secret. The deacons and pastor will test and prove the nominees and present to the church for vote on Nov. 19th. The current deacons are not grandfathered in. There will be a total reset of deacons and trustees. 
    5. Can a person nominate themselves? Yes. I think this falls under they "must be willing" requirement. 
    6. What about new deacons during the transitional time? The leadership team will focus on getting elders in place first. Deacons will be nominated later. 
    7. Where do trustees fit in? The deacons will be trustees. 
    8. What age should the elders be; what age would they stop being an elder? You don't have to be old to be an elder. The qualification is they must be spiritually mature men. The transitional team will look into terms of offices and present to the church body. 
    9. Who leads the church now? Pastor and deacons function as elders. The congregation has the final say. We are making the structure clearer. 
    10. Just because there is a job to be done, do we need a deacon? Not necessarily. The job could fall under an existing deacon position. 
    11. How many members do we have? There are 43 members including 18 men. We need to be praying for our men. 
    12. If the pastor is sick or gone on vacation, will an elder fill in to preach? Yes! 


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