Emmaus Christian Church is led by a board of stewards. This group consists of the pastor, along with 12 others who are selected for a two year term. At the end of two years, the member may stay on for a second term. Each year at the congregational meeting, vacant board positions are filled by congregational vote.
Around October, the process of nominating new board members begins. While this is a common process and is coming to a close, I wanted to take a minute and emphasize what an important process this is for our church.
Now, if you are looking for a biblical model for church leadership, you will not find a “board of stewards” mentioned anywhere. The terms and offices set forth in scripture are Elders and Deacons. These leaders fill many of the roles that our BOS fills. Elder and Deacons in the New Testament filled the roles of leadership and care for the church. Elders were men who led, cared for, protected and taught the church. Deacons were selected to care for the physical needs of the members of the church. They in many ways are the hands and feet of Christ for the church members.
At ECC, the roles of BOS members are an overlap of both of these offices in scripture. They make decisions for the church, and also lead the ministry teams that carry out practical acts of service for the body as a whole.
Since these roles are similar, I thought it would be good to look at the qualifications for leadership in the church in the New Testament.
1 Timothy 3:1-13 has the qualifications for Elders and Deacons for the church.
“1The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
I could spend days unpacking and dissecting these verses, but I just want to focus on the first statement he makes, “if anyone desires to the office of overseer (translated as pastor/elder/ect. ) he desires a noble task”.
The reason I mention this is that being a leader in the church is a noble task. There is nothing mundane about the calling to leadership. It is not an easy task, but nothing that comes easy is worth doing. Leading other people is more than voting at a meeting. It requires prayer, study, care and commitment. The board meetings only happen once a month, but the role of a board member may require meetings outside of the monthly meeting. Leading a group of other people, and meeting with members who have questions or concerns are also often needed. It should not be considered mundane, or something that we just sign up for either. It is a noble task. It is a calling that we are prepared for and selected for by the Lord, working through the congregation. To summarize, it is hard, but worth doing.
So, if you are a member of ECC, you have a responsibility to look around you for people you feel have been gifted by God to lead, meet the qualifications for leadership in the church, and may be called by God to lead this body. If so, nominate them for a position. Also, if you feel that you may be called to lead in a particular way at ECC, feel free to nominate yourself for a position.
Additionally, if you are a member, or regular attender at ECC, you have a responsibility to pray for the leader selection process, that God would send the right people to lead the is church, and care for the flock here at Emmaus.
His servant and yours,