Greentree Community Church is governed by elders and deacons that the local church family nominates and ultimately chooses by congregational vote. Church members have the privilege of nominating and, after a period of discernment and training, selecting its officers. Elders and deacons are servant leaders who manage and care for the church, with the pastors and staff.
Q-AND-A ON OFFICER SELECTION FOR THE GREENTREE CONGREGATION
What are the Qualifications for All Officers?
- Officers must be members of GTCC for at least one year by the open of nominations.
- Officers are to be chosen in accordance with the gender qualifications adopted by the congregation, namely that Elders shall be men only and deacons may be men and women.
- They must demonstrate consistent involvement in worship and ministries of Greentree as well as involvement in lay leadership of some ministry of the church.
You can find a list of all Greentree members who are eligible for service as officers.
What are the Scriptural Qualifications for Ruling Elders?
The primary responsibility of the Elders, as defined in Scripture, is to “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be (I Peter 5:2).” In light of this command, the Elders are charged with directing and overseeing the identification and election of Elders and Deacons. Here are additional Scriptures on the qualifications of Ruling Elders:
- I Timothy 3: 1-7: Paul called elders or “overseers” to be “above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money … able to manage his family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect … not a recent convert … having a good reputation with outsiders.”
- Titus 1: 6-9: “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless-not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain … hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
- Act 20:17-18, 28: Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them:…”Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”
What are the Scriptural Qualifications for Deacon/Deaconess?
- Acts 6:1-6: Deacons were chosen who were “known to be full of the spirit and wisdom” to assist in mercy ministry to the church, the needy, and the widowed.
- I Timothy 3: 8-12: Deacons are called to be “men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience … Their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything … He must be a husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.
What is the Greentree Process for Identifying and Electing Elders and Deacons?
- The Pastor and Elders are charged to educate the congregation on the responsibilities and scriptural qualifications of office and inform the congregation of their role in recommending nominees for consideration. This Q-and-A is part of that education process.
- After receiving all nominations for office from the congregation, a Screening Team of two Elders, one Deacon and six members of the Congregation (three male and three female) will thoroughly review each nominee based on their willingness to serve and qualifications.
- After thorough review and prayer for each nominee, the Screening Team will submit the names of the qualified nominees to the Elders. The Elders will review the nominees and follow up as appropriate. At a duly called congregational meeting, the congregation will be asked to vote for the Elder and Deacon nominees. The congregation will vote on each nominee, based on the nominee’s qualifications. A ninety percent vote of affirmation by the Congregation is required for election.
- All new officers will be properly trained in church history, theology, and government, examined on those views, and installed after passing the examination.
What is the Role of the Ruling Elder at Greentree Community Church?
It is the first duty of the Ruling Elder to represent the mind of Christ. The Session has identified four areas of service for each Elder, as follows:
- Session Meetings – Each Elder will participate in Session meetings, scheduled ten times each year.
- Ministry Partnerships – Each Elder participates in one or more ministry partnerships, by which the Elder is required to understand and have limited oversight, with a Pastor or staff member, of an area of the church’s ministry.
- Shepherding – Each Elder shepherds some part of the congregation, so that the Elder understands the member’s or family’s relationship to the church, serves as a point of contact to the church for member needs and encourages the member and family in personal growth.
- Discipleship – Each Elder personally disciples some part of the Congregation by such means as leading a Community Group, teaching a men’s study, or meeting one-on-one with Congregation members individually.
The above description is not exhaustive of the Elder’s responsibilities, but each Elder is required to care for Greentree and Greentree people in at least these ways. As you consider making a nomination for Elder, ask yourself if you believe the person under consideration can care for you and others in the ways described above.
What is the Role of the Deacon/Deaconess at Greentree Community Church?
The first duty of the Deacon/Deaconness is sympathy and service. The Deacons at Greentree have identified seven areas of specific service at Greentree. Deacons may serve in just one area or in more than one area:
- Benevolence – The Deacons manage a fund which assists members of the church and the general community with emergency needs like groceries and utility bills.
- Maintenance and Grounds – The Deacons are responsible for the management and upkeep of the Greentree building and grounds.
- “G Crew” – The Deacons take care that our facility and technology is prepared for weekly worship.
- Security – The Deacons mange the safety of members and the defense of our property.
- Transportation – The Deacons aspire to provide transportation to worship for congregants who want to attend, but do not have the means or ability to get to worship independently. This last need requires additional Deacons, as we do not presently have the people needed to accomplish this.
Again, this list is not exhaustive, but should be sufficient to give members an idea of the kind of service Deacons provide to the church. As you consider making a nominating someone for service as a Deacon, ask yourself if the person you are nominating can serve faithfully and competently in one or more of these or similar areas.