The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.—I Timothy 3:1
We are entering an exciting season in the life of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church! During the Sunday School hour today, we are conducting our first “Cornerstone Family Meeting” to discuss the nomination, training, and election process of Elders and Deacons. For those of you that may have missed last Sunday’s meeting, I’m including a brief overview in the pastoral notes, so you will have a sense of the process as a whole and know how to fully participate in the work of nomination. Please read the following nine points carefully.
- We will receive nominations for the office of Elder and Deacon from members of CPC from August 19-26. Only official members of CPC are eligible to nominate for office, and only official male members of CPC are eligible to stand for office.
- All nominations must be submitted in writing to Susan Bumpus in the church office by hand written letter or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The person making the nomination must identify himself or herself in the nomination.
- Each nomination should be put forward for either the office of Elder or Deacon. Discernment for particular office will be evaluated and ultimately recommended by the Pastor in relationship to the Session of CPC.
- Following nomination, the pastor in relationship with the Session will evaluate nominees for fitness and qualification for office.
- After initial evaluation, all eligible nominees will be invited to officer training. Upon acceptance of the invitation to officer training, the nominee becomes a candidate for officership.
- Candidates will be trained from September to January in the specific areas required by the Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The required areas for training are: Christian experience, character, family management, knowledge of the Bible, the Westminster Confession of Faith, history and constitution of the PCA, and the duties of the office of Elder and Deacon. In addition to these areas, candidates will be trained in the Job Descriptions for Elder and Deacon and the Vision for Leadership at CPC.
- After successfully completing the training process, candidates will be examined by the Session of CPC in the aforementioned areas.
- Upon successful completion of examination, the Session of CPC will recommend candidates to the congregation for election.
- Following the election, candidates will be installed to either the office of Elder or Deacon by affirming the questions of officership in the course of a worship service.
For the next three weeks, you will find the Job Descriptions for Elders and Deacons on the tables at both entrances of the chapel. For your convenience, the descriptions will be posted on the Cornerstone website as well. These two documents outline the purpose, responsibilities, and qualifications for each office and are intended to provide assistance to you in the important work of nomination.
Further, in the pastoral notes, I will review some aspects of the training process with you and discuss the “Cornerstone Vision for Leadership,” so you can better understand the expectations of leadership and the pattern of service for leadership. Again, our sincere hope is this information will be an aid to your own nomination(s).
The desire to serve as an office bearer in the church is a good thing (I Timothy 3:1), but it is a solemn duty that should not be entered into hastily or without testing (I Timothy 3:6, 5:22; James 3:1). Therefore, please commit to pray for the officer nomination process, and for the men that will come forth as officer candidates. May God be pleased to grant us great grace, as we seek His face for godly and gifted men who will serve Christ as officers at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (I Timothy 5:17).