PROCESS AND INFORMATION
The Session of Redemption Hill Church recently voted to begin the process of adding new officers (Elders or Deacons) to the church. This process is the same across the PCA and is governed by, The Book of Church Order.
From the Book of Church Order, Section 24-1:
"Every church shall elect persons to the offices of ruling elder and deacon in the following manner: At such times as determined by the Session, communicant members of the congregation may submit names to the Session, keeping in mind that each prospective officer should be an active male member who meets the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. After the close of the nomination period nominees for the office of ruling elder and/or deacon shall receive instruction in the qualifications and work of the office."
The Session has voted to receive nominations for elders and deacons during the month of April.
If you are a communing member of Redemption Hill Church, you have one month to nominate any man who is a communing member in good standing for either of these offices. To nominate a man, simply email the Clerk of Session, Pastor Roddey with the name and the office you are nominating the man for.
You can nominate as many men you think are qualified, though we recommend you ask the man if he's willing to "stand" before nominating him. However, you do not have to ask him beforehand.
WHO SHOULD YOU NOMINATE?
Below are the criteria provided by Scripture and summarized in the PCA's Book of Church Order. Read these passages before nominating anyone. Pray, think, ask yourself, is the man I'm thinking of qualified according to Scripture?
"This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you-- 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it."
1 Timothy 3:1-7
"The 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."
1 Timothy 3:8-12
"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. 11Their 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."
Translation Note: It is worth pointing out that the words translated, "their wives," are more literally translated, 'the wives' or 'the women' is the Greek word, "gyne". It can be translated as "wife" or "woman" depending on context, since in Ancient Cultures, almost all women were wives.
We recognize that there are churches who ordain women to these offices, and that the practice of the PCA could be considered controversial and/or offensive. However, we humbly submit to the clear directions of Scripture, written not only by Paul, but also exemplified in Jesus' ministry as well. If you have further questions about the practice and theology, we would encourage you to read the PCA's position paper on Women Serving in the Ministry of the Church which was published in 2017.
After the nomination are received, the following steps will happen.
Step 1: The Session interviews nominated men to see if they are qualified according to Scripture and are interested in being trained.
Step 2: Nominated and qualified men are trained on the doctrines of the PCA and the duties of Elders or Deacon, depending on what office they were nominated for.
Step 3: In accordance with Scripture, following the training, the men are tested to see if they understand core principles of theology, Scripture and practice.
Step 4: Men who pass the tests are presented to the body to be voted on for the office they were nominated for. These men are then ordained and installed into office.
According to our bylaws, Elders serve three-year terms and can be re-elected if they wish to serve again. Deacons currently serve without any term limit.
WHAT DO ELDERS DO?
In short, Elders govern the church. Together, as a Session, they will provide authority and oversight to all aspects and ministries of the church.
As described in the Book of Church Order (slightly paraphrased for ease of understanding):
"It's the job of the elders, both ministering separately and together as a Session:
1. To watch diligently over the flock committed to their charge, that no corruption of doctrine or of morals enter therein.
2. They must exercise government and discipline, and take oversight not only of the spiritual interest of the particular church, but also the church generally when called thereunto.
3. They should visit the people at their homes, especially the sick.
4. They should instruct people who don't understand the Bible, comfort the mourner, nourish and guard the children of the church.
5. All those duties which all Christians are bound to do based on God's command to love the Lord and our neighbors as ourselves, are especially required of elders, and are to be discharged as official duties.
6. They should pray with and for the people, being careful and diligent in seeking the fruit of the preached Word among the flock."
WHAT DO DEACONS DO?
In short, Deacons will lead the church in providing material and spiritual help to each other and the surrounding community as a whole.
More specifically, per the Book of Church Order (and re-worded slightly for clarity):
"It is the duty of the deacons.."
1. To minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless and to any who may be in distress.
2. To develop the grace of liberality in the members of the church, to devise effective methods of collecting the gifts of the people, and to distribute these gifts among the objects to which they are contributed.
3. They may have [based on the decision of the Session] the care of the property of the congregation, both real and personal, and may keep in proper repair the church edifice and other buildings belonging to the congregation.
4. In matters of special importance affecting the property of the church, they cannot take final action without the approval of the session and consent of the congregation."
If you have any questions about this process, reach out to Pastor Peter or Pastor Roddey.