But whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant—Matthew 20:26
It’s good to be back. As most of you know, the Shurden family escaped last week for our annual jaunt to the beach. Despite the fact that we had substantial rain over four of the days we were there, we are returning to you with sun-lightened hair and sun-darkened skin! I’m taking that to be a good sign.
We are very thankful to the elders of Cornerstone for giving us the opportunity to sneak away before the rush of fall activities. We are returning refreshed and rejuvenated. Further, I want to thank all those who rose to service in my absence, especially our elders and pastors Bing Davis and Matt Bradley who preached while I was away. Thank you, dear brothers!
Starting this Sunday (August 19) and continuing through next Sunday (August 26), the elders of Cornerstone are asking you to prayerfully consider nominating qualified men to the office of either elder or deacon. If you’re thinking, “What makes a man qualified for the office of elder or deacon?” then I would encourage you to read the Job Descriptions for elder and deacon, which can be located at the entrances to the building. Also at the entrance, you will find a written summary of the nominating, training, and election process as well as some instruction on how to nominate. Please avail yourself of those publications.
In the space remaining, I want to briefly discuss the Cornerstone vision for leadership, so you can know what is expected of officers. The vision for leadership can be summarized in four phrases. I’ll take them one by one below.
- Officers Lead by Example – First, an officer leads with his life. This means that an officer’s leadership begins and is sustained not by his gifts or what he does but by who he is. His character and commitment to live out the gospel in the priorities and practices of His life is building block number one for leadership.
- Officers Lead in Service – An officer, secondly, leads in ministry. This means an officer is a servant of servants. He uses his gifts as a means of leading or directing the body of Christ. For a deacon, this gifting is primarily exercised in meeting practical needs (or what is sometimes called “felt needs”) through deeds. For elders, this gifting is primarily exercised in meeting spiritual needs through discipleship and teaching.
- Officers Lead Through Shepherding – In the third place, an officer leads by giving vision, oversight, and care. This means that officers give regular and ongoing oversight and care to the ministries of the church (macro) as well as individual persons and families (micro).
- Officers Lead for Equipping – Finally, an officer leads in training the congregation to exercise their gifts. An officer serves and shepherds in such a way as to equip and release the membership of Cornerstone to identify and practice their God-given calling within the body of Christ and the world.
I hope this brief description of the vision for leadership at Cornerstone helps you more deeply appreciate the vital work of elders and deacons while giving shape to your own nominations. In conclusion, let’s be in fervent prayer as we enter into this important work together. May Christ be honored in all we do!