Dear CPC Flock,
1 Timothy was written by Paul to his young protégé, who was laboring in Ephesus. One of the things he wanted Timothy to do was to have elders and deacons elected, trained, and installed into the church. Elders were to lead and teach the church. Deacons were to serve and care for the church. Without them, the health and continuance of the church in Ephesus would suffer. However, Paul didn’t want Timothy to just pick anyone. Hence why, he gave officer qualifications in chapter 3, which related to the character and giftedness required for each office. Paul knew that having bad elders and bad deacons would ruin the church in Ephesus. Timothy and the congregation needed to be wise and follow his instructions.
Brothers and sisters, all of this is true here at CPC, because we are going to be moving into a season of nominating, training, and then electing officers. We are thankful for the elders and deacons we have. They are a blessing in the way they lead and serve us. But as this church grows, we would like to have more, if it is God’s will to raise them up.
Here is what this process will be like. There are booklets available, which explain the qualifications for elder and deacon. Please take one and use it to help you understand Christ’s requirements and expectations for those who lead. In it you will find some instruction on the offices of elder and deacon. It explains the qualifications for both. A PDF version will also be emailed to you. On June 4, I’m going to preach a sermon focused on the eldership and June 11, the diaconate. June 18, nominations will be opened. They will close July 9.
In a few weeks, a form will be made available for all communing members to fill out for those they desire to nominate. This form is the only way nominations will be received. If you nominate someone, you need to have talked with that person to make sure they are okay with you doing so. There will be no nominations received after July 9. Once nominations are closed, the men selected will be trained. Please know, the training will take several months. It will involve lots of readings and meetings. During this time, the session will vet the men nominated, and then examine them, with both written and oral exams.
After doing so, the session will present to the congregation a list of men, from those nominated, who will then be voted on by the congregation, hopefully before Christmas. Following this, whoever is elected by the congregation will be ordained, if they are not already, and they will be installed. That’s the process.
But what should you do now? Read the material given to you on elders and deacons. Study the qualifications listed in Titus 1 and 1 Tim. 3. And pray. Ask God to raise up godly and gifted leaders at CPC. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom. Ask the session for help. And if you still are not clear on who to nominate, don’t nominate anyone. There’s nothing wrong with that. Better to not do so, than to nominate someone who doesn’t meet the qualifications. And finally keep praying, for your existing officers, and for God to give more in the future.