Elders, in plurality, carry out the biblical mandate for shepherding the congregation: teaching, keeping watch over and defending, admonishing, equipping for works of service, encouraging, praying for, overseeing and managing biblical church discipline.
New Elders are nominated by current Elders based on qualifications established in I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, affirmed and ordained by the Members, and reaffirmed by the Members every three years thereafter. All new Elders engage in a mentoring process with an experienced Elder during their first year as an Elder.
The Elder Council functions as a team in actively shepherding the congregation. Council Elders make disciples; teach, lead or coach small groups; develop leaders; lead ministry areas; handle missions relationships; etc. according to their gifts and the needs of the church. The Elder Council meets monthly for personal accountability, shepherding prayer, skill development and other matters as determined by the Officers; quarterly with wives for fellowship; and annually for a direction-setting Elder retreat. Ordained Elders may choose for a season not to be part of the Elder Council. Non-Council Elders are accountable to maintain Elder qualifications in I Timothy and Titus, and to be involved in individual shepherding ministry as led by the Spirit. Non-Council Elders are welcome, but not expected, at any Council function and are reaffirmed by the members on normal timing.
By established practice, the Elder Council sets direction and makes decisions on the basis of unity as described in II Chronicles 30:12. This is not necessarily initial consensus; rather it is eventual commitment, under the direction of the Spirit, to walk in concert in a direction or decision. When differences remain, if asked, Elders are free to express their personal positions in the context of the Council decision in a manner that does not lead to divisiveness.