September 1, 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At Central Christian Church (CCC), it is the time to begin the process of nominating Elders to lead our congregation. Members of CCC who are at least 18 years old may participate in this process.
CCC finds its roots in the Restoration Movement. This movement, started in the 19th century, hoped to bring unity among the Christian community by following the New Testament pattern, which describes the first century church as independent and self-governing. It is without denominational structure, with each congregation guided and served by a group of men, selected by and from that congregation.
The Bible uses terms like elder, shepherd, and overseer to describe these men. These words are used interchangeably and each one helps us understand what elders do. At CCC, we most commonly refer to these men as Elders. Elders oversee and set the direction, goals, and policies of our congregation. They shepherd or care for our congregation’s spiritual, emotional and physical needs, as well as administering church discipline when deemed necessary. They are intentionally involved in prayer and are ministers of the Word. They are teachers, modeling learning and Biblical literacy, and protect us from false teaching. The Elders are involved in the recruiting and development of our vocational ministers and work closely with them to accomplish what has been described above.
Our Elders serve three-year terms. Of our present Elders, the terms of Tom Bailey, Scott Cruden, and Jim Jakymiw will conclude at the end of the year. In order to continue serving as Elder, they will need to be nominated again.
Nomination Ballots for Elder of Central Christian Church are available at both Information Centers (one near the office and one by the auditorium entry) as well as online. Below there is information about the history, the role, practical guidelines, and scriptural qualifications of Elders. The scriptural qualifications for Elders are significant, yet those placed in the role of elder are not perfect men. But in the case of those who lead the church, God is calling men to maturity and strong spiritual leadership based in the Holy Spirit.
On the other side of the Nomination Ballot space is provided to nominate men to be Elders. Write their names and give Biblical reasons for your nomination. Should you need more space, use another sheet of paper and fasten all your sheets together before turning in. You may return your ballot in one of three ways:
- Mail your completed ballot to: Central Christian Church, 6595 Guilford Rd., Rockford, IL 61107.
- Return your completed ballot to the ballot box at the church building. A ballot box will be available at both Information Centers.
- Complete and submit your ballot online.
Ballots must be returned by Sunday, September 24th and those returned by mail must be postmarked by that date.
I hope you are sensing why your role in the nomination and selection of Elders is a matter of great importance and responsibility. Thank you for your prayerful participation in this process. May God work through each of us to place godly men into leadership at Central Christian Church.
Grace and peace,
Tom Bailey, Chairman of Elders
NOMINATION FOR ELDER OF CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Throughout the centuries, God used leaders to accomplish His will and mission. When Moses was leading the people through the wilderness, his father-in-law Jethro was concerned about his welfare and gave him this advice in Exodus 18:19-21:
“Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” (NIV)Exodus 18:19-21
In Numbers 11:16 these men are referred to as “elders”. Both this title and form of ministry were adopted by the first century church. The elders were responsible for leading, feeding, loving and protecting the church. In the New Testament, Paul gives practical insight for elders in I Timothy 3:1-10; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-5 and Acts 20:28-31.
As we look for elders at Central Christian Church, we consider the Scriptures and understand that these men must be qualified. It is apparent that they must have both spiritual qualifications and personal character of the highest measure. They are to be the very best candidates the church has to offer.
THE ROLE OF AN ELDER
The elders at Central Christian Church shepherd (pastor) the flock of God (I Peter 5:1,2). They are responsible for the spiritual condition of the church both short and long term. They help set policy and direction for this congregation. They are involved in the recruiting and development of the staff, purity of teaching, congregational life, as well as carrying out the church’s mission (Matthew 28:19,20).
A potential elder must be an immersed believer; a male member of Central Christian Church; and believe in and be willing to defend the Scriptural doctrine reflected in our published Core Beliefs and sign a statement of faith.
Be sure to carefully read the Biblical requirements for an elder, and give prayerful consideration to your nominations.
|Qualifications for Elders/Overseers|
|Self-controlled||1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8||Husband of one wife||1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6|
|Hospitable||1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8||Temperate||1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7|
|Able to teach||1Timothy 3:2; 5:17; Titus 1:9||Respectable||1Timothy 3:2|
|Not violent but gentle||1Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7||Not given to drunkenness||1Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7|
|Not quarrelsome||1Timothy 3:3||Manage his own family well||1Timothy 3:4|
|Not a lover of money||1Timothy 3:3||Sees that his children obey him||1Timothy 3:4-5; Titus 1:6|
|Not a recent convert||1Timothy 3:6||Does not pursue dishonest gain||Titus 1:7|
|Has a good reputation with outsiders||1Timothy 3:7||Holds to the truth, sound in doctrine||Titus 1:9|
|Not overbearing||Titus 1:7||Not quick tempered||Titus 1:7|
|Upright, holy||Titus 1:8||Loves what is good||Titus 1:8|
|Disciplined||Titus 1:8||Above reproach (blameless)||1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6|